Calendars Used In Bali

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A number of different calendars in Indonesia  are used for different purposes depending on what region you live in and what your religious beliefs are.
In addition to the traditional Javanese and Balinese calendars there’s  the Gregorian, Hindu, and Muslim Calendars to—Each calendar having different lengths of  months and years. On top of that they have two names for weeks, months, years and so on, ending up with a system that is very confusing to outsiders. The Gregorian calendar is the official calendar of the Republic of Indonesia and civil society, while the Islamic calendar is used by Muslims and Indonesian government for religious worship and deciding relevant Islamic holidays.

A Quick Breakdown of Indonesian Calendars

Muslim Calendar – Hijriah– is a lunar calendar, 10-11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar. The calendar begins in the year that Mohammad took flight from Mecca to Medina. Each lunar month has 29 days.

Gregorian or Roman Calendar is the throughout the world, this calendar marks its beginning with the birth of Christ. The year is divided into 12 months, consisting of 30 or 31 days, except for the month of February.

Balinese Calendar — Saka-Wuku — is a combination of Saka, the Hindu solar-lunar year of 12 moons, and the Javanese-Balinese Wuku calendar of 210 days which is divided into weeks. The combination of these two calendars and the many names for the different weeks and days make the Balinese calendar a complicated puzzle to solve. Experts in the field consult special charts and tables to determine days for the various religious festivals and other important days.

The Balinese calendar is used to determine birthdays (oton), anniversaries of temples (odalan), and the many festivals and days for things that are so important in the everyday life of the Balinese. It is also used by rural Balinese to determine good days for the planting of crops. The calendar is determined by the phases of the moon, the most important days being each full moon (purnama) and new moon (tilem).

Saka Calendar used in Bali is a Hindu calendar, which is divided into 12 lunar months of 29 to 30 days. This calendar determines when harvest festivals, some temple festivals and the Balinese New Year are celebrated. Every 30 months an additional month is added to keep the saka calendar in sync with the solar year. For the year 2019 New Year’s Day was on March 7th. For 2020, it will fall on March 25th

 

Pawukon (210-Day Balinese-Hindu Calendar)

The Balinese Pawukon is complicated calendar used in Bali and elsewhere in Indonesia. Though most associated with Bali, it is still used in Java for special purposes. “In essence, it is a 210-day market calendar, that combines market weeks of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 days. As 4, 8, and 9 don’t divide evenly into 210, there are special rules to make it all work. Also, the 1-day market “week” is irregular, and follows a special schedule. got all that? good. One 210 day cycle began on June 17, 2012 the next began on January 13, 2013. This calendar doesn’t align itself to other calendars, and as far as I’ve been able to gather, runs 210-days consecutively over and over, without a leap year or similar consideration

The seven-day week is not the same as the seven-day week on the pawukon. Each day is given a different name with different significance. So it appears that there are two cycles of 7-days, one of which has two names. The 7-day week runs concurrently with a 5-day week (not the same as the one on the pawukon either), and the two form a 35-day cycle of days. The seven days are: Minggu – Sunday; Senin – Monday; Selasa – Tuesday; Rebo – Wednesday; Kemis – Thursday; Jemuah – Friday; Setu – Saturday. The five days are: 1) Kliwon, 2) Legi, 3) Paing, 4) Pon and 5) Wage. Each of these days has two names, here is only the informal name.

Weekday Significance: Each of the seven weekdays is associated with the motion of the moon toward the earth: 1) Sunday – standstill: 2) Monday – forward; 3) Tuesday – backward; 4) Wednesday – left; 5) Thursday – right; 6) Friday – up; 7) Saturday – down. Each of the five days of the other market week represent the positions of the moon: 1) Kliwon – stand-up; 3) Legi – retreat; 3) Paing – in front of; 4) Pon – sleep; 5) Wage – sit down.

Pranata Mangsa Calendar

The Pranata Mangsa is an annual calendar that has divisions of uneven but symmetrical duration which align with the seasons in Indonesia (more or less). It is unlike any other calendar system in the world. The Pranata Mangsa is particular to the island of Java, as it doesn’t fit with the climate in other parts of the archipelago. There are 12 divisions in the year, beginning on June 23, then clockwise, 41 days to August 2, 23 days to  August 25 and so on. The one anomaly is Kawolu VIII, which occurs after February 3. It can be either 26 or 27 days, depending on whether it is a leap year or not. Mangsa Significance: 1) Kaso – dry season; 2) Karo – middle of dry season; 3) Katelu – end of dry season; 4) Kapat – rain begins; 5) Kalima – rain can lead to strong winds and flooding; 6) Kanem – rain leads to lightning

The seven-day week is not the same as the seven-day week on the pawukon. Each day is given a different name with different significance. So it appears that there are two cycles of 7-days, one of which has two names. The 7-day week runs concurrently with a 5-day week (not the same as the one on the pawukon either), and the two form a 35-day cycle of days. The seven days are: Minggu – Sunday; Senin – Monday; Selasa – Tuesday; Rebo – Wednesday; Kemis – Thursday; Jemuah – Friday; Setu – Saturday. The five days are: 1) Kliwon, 2) Legi, 3) Paing, 4) Pon and 5) Wage. Each of these days has two names, here is only the informal name.

Weekday Significance: Each of the seven weekdays is associated with the motion of the moon toward the earth: 1) Sunday – standstill: 2) Monday – forward; 3) Tuesday – backward; 4) Wednesday – left; 5) Thursday – right; 6) Friday – up; 7) Saturday – down. Each of the five days of the other market week represent the positions of the moon: 1) Kliwon – stand-up; 3) Legi – retreat; 3) Paing – in front of; 4) Pon – sleep; 5) Wage – sit down.

Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Times of London, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Compton’s Encyclopedia, The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Reuters, AP, AFP, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Global Viewpoint (Christian Science Monitor), Foreign Policy, Wikipedia, BBC, CNN, NBC News, Fox News and various books and other publications.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Brianinows

    Extremely educational….look ahead to coming back.

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