The Iranian calendars are a succession of unique and exemplary calendars that were invented over two millenniums ago in Iran. It is said to be one of the oldest chronological records in the history of humankind (Lorentz, 2010).However, for it to suit administrative, religious, and climatic functions it has been modified over and over again. This paper briefly discusses its history, how solar Hijri calendar works, and the month names.
When it comes to the history of the Iranian calendar, it is reported that it dates back to second millennium BCE. The Persians throughout history have been so interested in the importance of having a calendar and are said to be among the first cultures to make use of the solar calendar (Rahimie, 2015). The sun is an essential symbol in the Iranian culture. The ancient Iranians used a 360-day calendar based on the solar observations as well as their beliefs. It was comprised of 12 months of 30 days named based on the festivities of the pastoral year. The first calendars changed over the centuries with the month names slightly changing until now.
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The Solar Hijri calendar which is Iranian’s official calendar starts on the vernal equinox. A zodiac sign is used to correspond the months where the first six months have 31 days, next five have 30 days, and 29 days for the last one in normal years (Rahimie, 2015). It is prudent to note that the New Year falls on the March equinox and ends on 20th of March the following year. Saturday is the first day of the week and the week end on a Friday.
As for the months of the Iranian solar calendar, they are in their Persian names of the Zoroastrian calendar maintained over the years. In ascending order starting from March to February, they include Farvardin, Ordibehesht, Khordad, Tir, Amordad, Shahrivar, Mehr, Aban, Azar, Dey, Bahman, and Esfand (Akrami, 2011).
- Akramir, M. (2011). The development of Iranian calendar: historical and astronomical foundations. Department of Philosophy of Science, Islamic Azad University. Retrieved 20 October 2017, from https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1111/1111.4926.pdf
- Lorentz, J.H. (2010). The A to Z of Iran. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
- Rahimie, N. (2015). Iranian Culture: Representation and Identity. London: Routledge.