Nepali New Year – Baisakh 1

Baisakh is the first month in the Nepali calendar. Like January 1 in other countries, Baisakh 1 in Nepal is the national new year. The day falls at the middle of April. In 2018, the New Year falls on Saturday April 14, 2018 – Baisakh 1, 2075.

Why is Nepali New Year different?

That is because Nepali calendar is different from the calendars in other countries and is called Bikram Sambat. Bikram Sambat is about 57 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar. The length of months in Nepali calendar is determined by astronomical calculation and is different from year-to-year. For example the current Nepali month, Chaitra is 31 days long this year. Next year it will be 30 days long. The festivals also fall in different dates, every year.

World of Calendars

The most commonly used calendar with January to December cycle, the Gregorian calendar, is a solar calendar system. This calendar had also originally evolved out of a lunar calendar system.

There are a lot of calendars in the world. Most of these calendars use the Moon as a reference to calculate time. When the year begins however is different in different calendars. Some calendars use new moon as the start of the month, others use full moon, or some others use crescent moons as the basis of calculations.

Since each lunation is approximately ​29 1⁄2 days (29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, 3 seconds, or 29.530588 days), it is common for the months of a lunar calendar to alternate between 29 and 30 days. Since the period of twelve such lunations, a lunar year, is only 354 days, 8 hours, 48 minutes, 34 seconds (354.367056 days), purely lunar calendars lose around 11 days per year relative to the Gregorian calendar.

In a purely lunar calendar like the Islamic calendar, the lack of intercalation causes the lunar months to cycle through all the seasons of the Gregorian year over the course of a 33 lunar-year cycle.

Although the Gregorian calendar is a commonly used in most countries, traditional lunar and lunisolar calendars are being used throughout the world. These calendars are used to determine religious festivals and national holidays.

Such festivals and holidays include Ramadan (Islamic calendar); the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mongolian New Year (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mongolian calendars); the Nepali New Year (Nepali calendar); the Mid-Autumn Festival and Chuseok (Chinese and Korean calendars); Loi Krathong (Thai calendar); Sunuwar calendar; Diwali (Hindu calendars); and Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew calendar).

  • Babylonian calendar
  • Celtic calendar
  • Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Mongolian calendars
  • Egyptian calendar
  • Epact
  • Hindu calendar
  • Iranian and Hebrew calendars
  • Islamic calendar
  • Lunar phase
  • Mayan calendar
  • Paschal Full Moon
  • Roman calendar
  • Thai lunar calendar
  • Tibetan calendar

Tibetan calendar

The Tibetan year is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added every two or three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year.

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