Iranian Official Calendar, a Solar Hijri Calendar
Iranian official calendar used for over two millennia is one of the longest chronological in human history. This calendar has been modified time by time. The modern calendar is currently the official calendar in Iran since 1925. This calendar also has been used as the Afghanistan official calendar since 1975 too.
Iranian calendar which is one of the world’s most accurate calendar systems based on astronomical observation is in accordance with the movement of the Earth around the Sun and that is why it is called Solar Hijri Calendar (SH Calendar).
Iranian Calendar Vs. Muslim Calendar
It should be notified that the Solar Hijri Calendar should not be confused with Hijri Calendar, a lunar calendar, which is used in many Muslim countries. Both the solar hijri and hijri year count has been started with the Prophet Mohammad’s migration (Hijrat) to Medina in 622 CE. However, the difference between them is based on the movement of the Lunar and Earth around the Sun. For instance, 1398 in the Solar Hijri Calendar corresponds to the year 1441 in the Hijri calendar.
Information about Iranian Calendar
Persian New year starts with the beginning of the Spring and vernal equinox in Iran. In fact, the first day of the Spring (corresponds to March 20, 2020) is the first day of the year that is also the first day of the greatest festival of the year called Nowruz celebrated around the world by Iranians. This festival is held to welcome the spring and new year and runs a course of 13 days.
Persian Calendar or Iranian Calendar consists of 365 days in a year while a leap year has 366 days. There is not an exact mathematical rule to determine the leap years because the Persian calendar is an observational one. Indeed, the number of days between two vernal equinoxes assign if the last month of the year that is called Esfand is 29 or 30 days. However, several proposals have been made to approximate the accuracy of the Solar Hijri calendar.
The first six months that are in spring and summer (Farvardin, Ordibehesht, Khordad, Tir, Mordad, and Shahrivar) have 31 days; months seven through eleven that are in fall and winter (Mehr, Aban, Azar, Day, and Bahman) has 30 days; and the last month (Esfand), as mentioned, has 29 days in usual years and 30 days in leap years. The Persian and Gregorian months in 2020 are as follow:
|English Months||Persian Months|
|January||Day 11 – Bahman 11|
|February||Bahman 12– Esfand 10|
|March||Esfand 11- Farvardin 12|
|April||Farvardin 13- Ordibehesht 11|
|May||Ordibehesht 12- Khordad 11|
|June||Khordad 12- Tir 10|
|July||Tir 11- Mordad 10|
|Agust||Mordad 11 -Shahrivar 10|
|September||Shahrivar 11 – Mehr 9|
|October||Mehr 10- Aban 10|
|November||Aban 11- Azar 10|
|December||Azar 11 – Dey 11|
In the Solar Hijri calendar, every week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. Friday is the weekend and Saturday is the first day of the week in Iran. The name of the days of the week are as follow:
|Persian Name||English Name|
Omar Khayyam and Iranian Calendar
Although a number of different calendar systems were used in Iran through the centuries (e.g. Zoroastrian and Islamic calendar), the first version of the Iranian calendar was developed in the 11th century by Omar Khayyam and his fellowmen. In 1079 CE, the Islamic calendar was replaced by Khayyam’s calendar by Jala Al-Din Shah Seljuqi’s order. Khayyam’s calendar which was called Jalali Calendar was the result of 8-year efforts. According to Khayyam’s calendar, the first day of spring which is the first day of the New Year has been called Nowruz. In fact, before Khayyam’s calendar, Nowruz could fall in later winter and early spring; indeed, it was not a fixed day.
Iran’s Public Holidays
Iran’s public holidays commemorate both religious and secular events.
The biggest Iran secular event is the Persian New Year. It is 13 days. However, the public offices are off duty Farvardin 1-4 (March 21–24). The other festivals include Oil Nationalisation Day (March 20); victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran (February 11); Islamic Republic Day (April 1); Sizdah be Dar or Iran Nature Day (April 2); death of Ayatollah Khomeini, the Great Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran (June 4); and anniversary of the Arrest of Ayatollah Khomeini (June 5).
The most important Iran religious holidays (based on lunar calendar) include Tasua (Moharram 9); Ashura (Moharram 10); Arbaeen (Safar 20); Martyrdom of the Prophet Mohammed (Safar 28); Martyrdom of Imam Reza (Safar 30); Birth of the Prophet Mohammed (Rabi-ol-Aval 17); Martyrdom of Fatima (Jamadi-al-Okhra 3); Birth of Imam Ali (Rajab 13); Ascension of Holy Prophet (Rajab 27); Birthday of Imam Mahdi (Shaban 15); Martyrdom of Imam Ali (Ramazan 21); Eid al-Fitr (Shavval 1); Martyrdom of Imam Jafar Sadegh (Shavval 25); Eid-e Ghorban (Zu-l-Hejjeh 10); and Qadir-e Khom (Zu-l-Hejjeh 18).
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