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Calendar, Era and New Year

Updated on June 9, 2019

Calendar types

  • Solar calendar
  • Lunar calendar
  • Luni-solar calendar
  • Religious calendar
  • Civil calendar
  • Fiscal calendar
  • Academic calendar
  • Early Roman calendar (with 10 months)
  • Julian calendar (revised calendar with 12 months)
  • Gregorian calendar (Julian calendar with “leap year” correction for century years)
  • Mayan calendar
  • Other calendars (of historical interest)

Era

  • Burmese/Myanmar Era (e.g. 1375 BE)
    Started off with Sasana Era, but now differs by 1182 due to “Thet ka rit phyo” (adjustment by two Kings who believed in the astrological “kain khan” sayings)
  • Sasana Era (e.g. 2557 = 1375 + 1182)
    reckoned from the Maha Parinibbana (Death of Lord Buddha)
  • AD (Anno Domini) : “In the year of our Lord”
    also known as CE (Christian Era or Common Era)
    differs from the Burmese Era by 638 (e.g. 2013 = 1375 + 638)

New Year

  • Universal : January 1
  • Vernal equinox or First Day of Spring
    e.g. Persian New Year
  • Lunar New Year falls around end of January or beginning of February
    e.g. Chinese New Year, Tet (Vietnamese)
  • Entry into “Meiktha yatha” in the Eastern Zodiac : in mid-April
    e.g. Burmese/Myanmar New Year, Songkran (Thai), Cambodian, Laos, .
  • Thingyan means change. Maha Thingyan means Great change (from one year to the next). Cula Thingyan means Small change (from one month/yathi to another month/yathi).
  • Burmese/Myanmar New Year follows 3 or 4 days of Thingyan and the Water Throwing Festival.
  • New Year of the indigenous people
    e.g. Karen New Year

Adjustments

  • Leap year
    Year divisible by 4 (for non century years)
    and Year divisible by 400 (for century years)
  • Leap month
    Common solar year contains 365 days and Common lunar year contains 355 days. The difference becomes 30 days (or so) after three years; to keep the two calendars in sync, the lunar calendars introduce a 13th month. Burmese/Myanmar calendar calls that month “Second Waso”.
  • Leap second
    A second or two is added to synchronize the atomic clock with the earth’s [slowing] revolution. Can affect some software that uses 60 seconds for a minute.

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