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Home » Arts & Culture

Welcome to 2011. Or 1932?  

by on Thursday, 6 January 2011No Comment | 340 views

Everybody in the world is familiar with the solar based Gregorian Calendar system. It consists of 365 (usually) days, 52 weeks of seven days and 12 months of 28, 30, and 31 days. In Bali, the people accept and use that Gregorian system. But it is accompanied with their calendar system named Sasih Lunar calendar and the 210-day Pawukon Calendar.

The Saka or Sasih Lunar Calendar is derived from one calculated in India in 79 AD featuring 12 months (sasih) of 30 days. The beginning of the month is marked by the new moon (tilem) and the middle of the month or 15 days before and after new moon is marked by full moon (purnama). To synchronize with the solar calendar, every 30 months an intercalary “leap month” is added. Because of this synchronization and because 79 AD constitutes its year zero, according to Balinese lunar calendar we are living in 1932.

On March one day after new moon, Balinese celebrates Nyepi Day (silent day) as the marks of new year. The new year in Sasih Lunar Calendar falls in Sasih Kadasa (10th). Each Sasih (month) has its own description whether it is good or not to conduct something. For example Sasih Kadasa (10th) and Kapat (4th) are the best moment to hold wedding celebration.

This calendar is accompanied by Pawukon calendar featuring 30 weeks (wuku), each consist of 7 days. This system determines the schedule of rituals and celebration in the temples and also identifying the auspicious and inauspicious days to do something like: constructing home, to plough, to marry someone and many things.

So, once you come to Bali and see ‘uncommon’ calendar that is Balinese unique calendar in which the solar-based Gregorian system, Sasih lunar system, and pawukon system is accompanied each other.  Balinese calendar is printed on very thin-cheap paper and boasts many predictions (Dewasa Ayu) and the schedule of celebration in the temples.

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