Today Nepali Date is a digital Bikram Sambat calendar. Nepali calendar is considered as the Bikram Samvat calendar. The Bikram Sambat calendar is 56 years and 8 months ahead of the English Calendar, also known as the Gregorian Calendar. For timekeeping, the Nepali Calendar employs lunar months and sidereal years. The solar sidereal year is also used in the Nepali Bikram Sambat, which was created in 1901 AD.
The Nepali Calendar’s New Year begins with the month of Baisakh which coincides with the month of April or May of the English calendar. The Nepali calendar’s year ends at the month of chaitra which coincides with the month of March or April in the English Calendar.
History of Nepali Calendar or Bikram Samvat
The Vikram Samvat was employed in different ancient and medieval inscriptions. The Vikram Samvat calendar is said to be named after mythical ruler Vikramaditya. The name was then added with the word Samvatsara in short “samvat” which means “year” in Sanskrit. Vikram Samvat was started by Emperor Vikramaditya of Ujjain in 57 BC, and it is said that this calendar corresponds to his glorious victory over the Saka in 56 BC.
In 1901 AD, the Nepalese Rana monarchy established the Bikram Sambat, the official Hindu calendar. This calendar began with the year 1958 BS. Nepal has a public holiday on the first day of the new year. On Baishakh 1, the annual Bisket Jatra carnival in Bhaktapur is also held. Along with Bikram Sambat, Nepal Sambat was recognised as a national calendar in 2007.
Year Division in Nepali Calendar
The Nepali calendar uses Lunar month and solar sidereal years. A lunar year is divided into 12 months, each of which comprises two fortnights of varying lengths ranging from 29 to 32 days.
The days of the moon are referred to as tithis. There are 30 tithis in a month, ranging in length from 20 to 27 hours. Gaura or shukla paksha is the waxing phase that begins the day following the new moon (amavasya) (the bright or auspicious fortnight). The final stage is known as krishna or vadhya paksha (the dark fortnight, considered inauspicious).
Nepali Sambat : The Other preferred Nepali Calendar
Nepal Sambat is the lunisolar calendar. It is one of the Nepali calendar used along with Bikram Sambat Calendar. In Nepal Sambat 148 (1028 AD), the name Nepal Sambat was first used for the calendar.Coins, stone and copper plate inscriptions, royal decrees, chronicles, Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, legal documents, and communications all featured Nepal Sambat. Nepal Sambat has been proclaimed a national calendar and is extensively used in Nepal; it is mostly utilized by the Newar population, however Bikram Sambat (B.S) is also commonly used.