Solar Hijri calendar

The Solar Hijri calendar (Persian: گاه‌شماری هجری خورشیدی‎, romanizedgāh-shomāri-ye hejri-ye khorshidi; Pashto: لمريز لېږدیز کلیز‎), also called the Solar Hejri calendar[1] or Shamsi Hijri calendar, and abbreviated as SH, is the official calendar of Iran and Afghanistan. It begins on the March equinox (Nowruz) as determined by astronomical calculation for the Iran Standard Time meridian (52.5°E, UTC+03:30) and has years of 365 or 366 days.

Its determination of the start of each year is astronomically accurate year-to-year as opposed to the more fixed Gregorian calendar or "Common Era calendar" which, averaged out, has the same year length, achieving the same accuracy (a more simply patterned calendar of 365 days for three consecutive years plus an extra day in the next year, save for exceptions to the latter in three out of every four centuries). The start of the year and its number of days remain fixed to one of the two equinoxes, the astronomically important days which have the same duration of day as night. It results in less variability of all celestial bodies when comparing a specific calendar date from one year to others.[2]

Each of the twelve months corresponds with a zodiac sign. The first six months have 31 days, the next five have 30 days, and the last month has 29 days in usual years but 30 days in leap years. The New Year's Day always falls on the March equinox.

In Iran

Landline installation contract for private buildings, Tehran - 14 April 1910 (Persian)
A Persian contract published in Tehran on April 14, 1910 which used Lunar Hijri calendar.

On 21 February 1911, the second Iranian parliament adopted as the official calendar of Iran the Jalālī sidereal calendar with months bearing the names of the twelve constellations of the zodiac and the years named for the animals of the duodecennial cycle; it remained in use until 1925.[1] The present Iranian calendar was legally adopted on 31 March 1925, under the early Pahlavi dynasty. The law said that the first day of the year should be the first day of spring in "the true solar year", "as it has been" ever so. It also fixed the number of days in each month, which previously varied by year with the sidereal zodiac. It revived the ancient Persian names, which are still used. It specified the origin of the calendar to be the Hegira of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE.[3] It also deprecated the 12-year cycles of the Chinese-Uighur calendar which were not officially sanctioned but were commonly used.

The first six months (Farvardin–Shahrivar) have 31 days, the next five (Mehr–Bahman) have 30 days, and the last month (Esfand) has 29 days or 30 days in leap years. This is a simplification of the Jalali calendar, in which the commencement of the month is tied to the sun's passage from one zodiacal sign to the next. The sun is travelling fastest through the signs in early January (Dey) and slowest in early July (Tir). The current time between the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox is about 186 days and 10 hours, the opposite duration about 178 days, 20 hours.

The Solar Hijri calendar produces a five-year leap year interval after about every seven four-year leap year intervals. It usually follows a 33-year subcycle with occasional interruptions by a single 29-year subcycle. The reason for this behaviour is (as explained above) that it tracks the observed vernal equinox. By contrast, some less accurate predictive algorithms are suggested based on confusion between the average tropical year (365.2422 days, approximated with 29 year, 33 year, and 37 year subcycles, 128-year and 132 year cycles, and 2820-year great cycles) and the mean interval between spring equinoxes (365.2424 days, approximated with a near 33-year cycle).

Earlier starting year (1976–1979)

In 1976, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi changed the origin of the calendar to the beginning of Cyrus the Great's reign as its first year, rather than the Hejra of Muhammad. Overnight, the year changed from 1355 to 2535. The change lasted until the revolution in 1979, at which time the calendar reverted to Solar Hijri.[4]

In Afghanistan

Afghanistan legally adopted the official Jalali calendar in 1922[1] but with different month names. Afghanistan uses Arabic names of the zodiacal signs; for example the 1978 Saur Revolution took place in the second month of the Solar Hijri calendar (Persian Ordibehesht; Saur is named after Taurus). The Solar Hijri calendar is the official calendar of the government of Afghanistan, and all national holidays and administrative issues are fixed according to the Solar Hijri calendar.

Details of the modern calendar

The Solar Hijri calendar year begins at the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere: on the midnight between the two consecutive solar noons, which include the instant of the March equinox, when the sun enters the Northern Hemisphere. Hence, the first noon is on the last day of one calendar year and the second noon is on the first day (Nowruz) of the next year.

Month names

Order Days Iranian Persian Afghan Persian Kurdish Pashto
Native Script Romanized Native Script Romanized Sorani Script Kurmanji Script Native Script Romanized
1 31 فروردین Farvardin حمل Hamal (Aries) خاکەلێوە Xakelêwe وری Wray (Aries)
2 31 اردیبهشت Ordibehesht ثور Sawr (Taurus) گوڵان Gullan (Banemer) غويی Ǧwayay (Taurus)
3 31 خرداد Khordad جوزا Jawzā (Gemini) جۆزەردان Cozerdan غبرګولی Ǧbargolay (Gemini)
4 31 تیر Tir سرطان Saraṭān (Cancer) پووشپەڕ Pûşper چنګاښ Čungāx̌ (Cancer)
5 31 مرداد / امرداد Mordad / Amordad اسد Asad (Leo) گەلاوێژ Gelawêj زمری Zmaray (Leo)
6 31 شهریور Shahrivar سنبله Sonbola (Virgo) خەرمانان Xermanan وږی Waǵay (Virgo)
7 30 مهر Mehr میزان Mizān (Libra) ڕەزبەر Rezber تله Təla (Libra)
8 30 آبان Aban عقرب ʿAqrab (Scorpio) گەڵاڕێزان Xezellwer (Gelarêzan) لړم Laṛam (Scorpio)
9 30 آذر Azar قوس Qaws (Sagittarius) سەرماوەز Sermawez ليندۍ Līndəi (Sagittarius)
10 30 دی Dey جدی Jadi (Capricorn) بەفرانبار Befranbar مرغومی Marǧūmay (Capricorn)
11 30 بهمن Bahman دلو Dalvæ (Aquarius) ڕێبەندان Rêbendan سلواغه Salwāǧa (Aquarius)
12 29/30 اسفند / اسپند Esfand / Espand حوت Hūt (Pisces) ڕەشەمە Reşeme كب Kab (Pisces)

The first day of the calendar year, Nowruz ("New Day"), is the greatest festival of the year in Iran, Afghanistan and surrounding regions . The celebration is filled with many festivities and runs a course of 13 days, the last day of which is called siz-dah bedar ("13 to outdoor").

The Afghan Persian month names are the signs of Zodiac. They were used in Iran in early 20th century when the solar calendar was being used. The names are in fact the Arabic names for signs of Zodiac, please see دائرة البروج.

Days of the week

In the Iranian calendar, every week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. The names of the days of the week are as follows: shambe (natively spelled "shanbeh", شنبه), yekshambe, doshambe, seshambe, chæharshambe, panjshambe and jom'e (yek, do, se, chæhar, and panj are the Persian words for the numbers one through five). The name for Friday, jom'e, is Arabic (جمعه). Jom'e is sometimes referred to by the native Persian name, adineh [ɒːdiːne] (آدینه). In some Islamic countries, Friday is the weekly holiday.

Calculating the day of the week is easy, using an anchor date. One good such date is Sunday, 1 Farvardin 1372, which equals 21 March 1993. Assuming the 33-year cycle approximation, move back by one weekday to jump ahead by one 33-year cycle. Similarly, to jump back by one 33-year cycle, move ahead by one weekday.

As in the Gregorian calendar, dates move forward exactly one day of the week with each passing year, except if there is an intervening leap day when they move two days. The anchor date 1 Farvardin 1372 is chosen so that its 4th, 8th, ..., 32nd anniversaries come immediately after leap days, yet the anchor date itself does not immediately follow a leap day.

Solar Hijri and Gregorian calendars

The Solar Hijri year begins about 21 March of each Gregorian year and ends about 20 March of the next year. To convert the Solar Hijri year into the equivalent Gregorian year add 621 or 622 years to the Solar Hijri year depending on whether the Solar Hijri year has or has not begun.

Correspondence of Solar Hijri and Gregorian calendars (Solar Hijri leap years are marked *)[5]

Solar Hijri year Gregorian year Solar Hijri year Gregorian year
1 1354* 21 March 1975 – 20 March 1976 1387* 20 March 2008 – 20 March 2009
2 1355 21 March 1976 – 20 March 1977 1388 21 March 2009 – 20 March 2010
3 1356 21 March 1977 – 20 March 1978 1389 21 March 2010 – 20 March 2011
4 1357 21 March 1978 – 20 March 1979 1390 21 March 2011 – 19 March 2012
5 1358* 21 March 1979 – 20 March 1980 1391* 20 March 2012 – 20 March 2013
6 1359 21 March 1980 – 20 March 1981 1392 21 March 2013 – 20 March 2014
7 1360 21 March 1981 – 20 March 1982 1393 21 March 2014 – 20 March 2015
8 1361 21 March 1982 – 20 March 1983 1394 21 March 2015 – 19 March 2016
9 1362* 21 March 1983 – 20 March 1984 1395* 20 March 2016 – 20 March 2017
10 1363 21 March 1984 – 20 March 1985 1396 21 March 2017 – 20 March 2018
11 1364 21 March 1985 – 20 March 1986 1397 21 March 2018 – 20 March 2019
12 1365 21 March 1986 – 20 March 1987 1398 21 March 2019 – 19 March 2020
13 1366* 21 March 1987 – 20 March 1988 1399* 20 March 2020 – 20 March 2021
14 1367 21 March 1988 – 20 March 1989 1400 21 March 2021 – 20 March 2022
15 1368 21 March 1989 – 20 March 1990 1401 21 March 2022 – 20 March 2023
16 1369 21 March 1990 – 20 March 1991 1402 21 March 2023 – 19 March 2024
17 1370* 21 March 1991 – 20 March 1992 1403* 20 March 2024 – 20 March 2025
18 1371 21 March 1992 – 20 March 1993 1404 21 March 2025 – 20 March 2026
19 1372 21 March 1993 – 20 March 1994 1405 21 March 2026 – 20 March 2027
20 1373 21 March 1994 – 20 March 1995 1406 21 March 2027 – 19 March 2028
21 1374 21 March 1995 – 19 March 1996 1407 20 March 2028 – 19 March 2029
22 1375* 20 March 1996 – 20 March 1997 1408* 20 March 2029 – 20 March 2030
23 1376 21 March 1997 – 20 March 1998 1409 21 March 2030 – 20 March 2031
24 1377 21 March 1998 – 20 March 1999 1410 21 March 2031 – 19 March 2032
25 1378 21 March 1999 – 19 March 2000 1411 20 March 2032 – 19 March 2033
26 1379* 20 March 2000 – 20 March 2001 1412* 20 March 2033 – 20 March 2034
27 1380 21 March 2001 – 20 March 2002 1413 21 March 2034 – 20 March 2035
28 1381 21 March 2002 – 20 March 2003 1414 21 March 2035 – 19 March 2036
29 1382 21 March 2003 – 19 March 2004 1415 20 March 2036 – 19 March 2037
30 1383* 20 March 2004 – 20 March 2005 1416* 20 March 2037 – 20 March 2038
31 1384 21 March 2005 – 20 March 2006 1417 21 March 2038 – 20 March 2039
32 1385 21 March 2006 – 20 March 2007 1418 21 March 2039 – 19 March 2040
33 1386 21 March 2007 – 19 March 2008 1419 20 March 2040 – 19 March 2041

Solar Hijri algorithmic calendar

The Solar Hijri (Persian) calendar is one of the oldest calendars in the world, as well as the most accurate solar calendar in use today. Since the calendar uses astronomical calculation for determining the vernal equinox, it has no intrinsic error, but this makes it an observation based calendar.[7][8][9][10] Ahmad Birashk proposed an alternative means of determining leap years. His technique avoids the need to determine the moment of the astronomical equinox, replacing it with a very complex leap year structure. Years are grouped into cycles which begin with four normal years after which every fourth subsequent year in the cycle is a leap year. Cycles are grouped into grand cycles of either 128 years (composed of cycles of 29, 33, 33, and 33 years) or 132 years, containing cycles of 29, 33, 33, and 37 years. A great grand cycle is composed of 21 consecutive 128-year grand cycles and a final 132 grand cycle, for a total of 2820 years. The pattern of normal and leap years which began in 1925 will not repeat until the year 4745.


Each 2820 year great grand cycle contains 2137 normal years of 365 days and 683 leap years of 366 days, with the average year length over the great grand cycle of 365.24219852. This average is just 0.00000026 (2.6×10−7) of a day shorter than Newcomb's value for the mean tropical year of 365.24219878 days, but differs considerably more from the mean vernal equinox year of 365.242362 days, which means that the new year, intended to fall on the vernal equinox, would drift by half a day over the course of a cycle.[2]

Jalaali Leap Year

Jalaali Leap Year

See also


  1. ^ a b c ""Calendars" in ''Encyclopaedia Iranica''". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b M. Heydari-Malayeri, A concise review of the Iranian calendar, Paris Observatory.
  3. ^ Fazlur Rehman Shaikh, Chronology of Prophetic Events (London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd., 2001), p. 157.
  4. ^ Persian Pilgrimages by Afshin Molavi. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  5. ^ Holger Oertel (30 May 2009). "Persian calendar by Holger Oertel". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  6. ^ The Persian calendar for 3000 years, (Kazimierz M Borkowski), Earth, Moon, and Planets, 74 (1996), No. 3, pp 223–230. Available at [1].
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  8. ^ "". Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  9. ^ "پژوهش‌های ایرانی | پاسداشت گاهشماری ایرانی". Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  10. ^ "پژوهش‌های ایرانی | گاهشماری تقویم جلالی". Retrieved 6 July 2013.


External links

Online calendars and converters
Aries (astrology)

Aries (♈) (Latin for "ram") is the first astrological sign in the zodiac, spanning the first 30 degrees of celestial longitude (0°≤ λ <30°), and originates from the constellation of the same name. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this sign from approximately March 20 to April 21 each year. This time duration is exactly the first month of the Solar Hijri calendar (Hamal/Farvardin/Wray). According to the tropical system of astrology, the Sun enters the sign of Aries when it reaches the March equinox, which occurs on average on March 21 (by design). Because the Earth takes approximately 365.24 days to go around the Sun, the precise time of the equinox is not the same each year, and generally will occur about six hours later from one year to the next until reset by a leap year. February 29 of a leap year causes that year's vernal equinox to fall about eighteen hours earlier compared with the previous year. From 1800 to 2050 inclusive the vernal equinox date has (or will) range(d) from March 19 at 22:34 UT1 in 2048 to March 21 at 19:15 UT1 in 1903.Under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits Aries from April 15 to 14 May (approximately).

Iranian Islamic Republic Day

Iranian Islamic Republic Day (Persian: روز جمهوری اسلامی‎) is Farvardin 12, known as Ruz e Jomhuri ye Eslāmi. Thε day is a national and a public holiday in Iran. On the Iranian Solar Hijri calendar, this day is registered as the anniversary of the 1979 establishment of the Islamic Republic and as this ıs celebrated by some people. Two months after victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the new government held the Iranian Islamic Republic referendum on the 10th and 11th of Farvadin (30 and 31 March) proposing to change the Pahlavi dynasty into an Islamic Republic. On 12 Farvadin, the referendum results were announced, with 98.2 percent of the Iranians reportedly voting for an Islamic Republic.Before the referendum, some political groups suggested various names consonant with the ideology of the revolution, such as a Republic (without Islam) or democratic republic. But Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, asked the people to vote for an Islamic Republic, not a word more and not one less word.12 Farvardin is a book about events of Islamic Republic Day. Other books have also been published about this holiday.12 Farvardin is also the day of the Martyrdom of Imam Ali al-Najqi al-Hadī.The day usually falls on 1 April, however, as it is determined by the vernal equinox, the date can change if the equinox does not fall on 21 March. In 2016, it was on 31 March, and in 2017 and 2019 the date was back to 1 April.

Kab (month)

Kab (Pashto: كب‎) is the name of the twelfth and last month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the late winter season (from February 19/20 to March 19/20). It has 29 days in usual years but 30 days in leap years.

Kab corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Pisces. Kab literally means "fish" in Pashto.


Laṛam (Pashto: لړم‎) or Laram is the name of the eighth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the autumn season (from October 22/23 to November 20/21). It has 30 days.

Laṛam corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Scorpio. Laṛam literally means "scorpion" in Pashto.

List of observances set by the Solar Hijri calendar

Please note that this table is determined by when the March Equinox falls. It will fall on March 20 from 2018-2023.


Līndəi (Pashto: لیندۍ‎) or Leendai is the name of the ninth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the late autumn season (from November 21/22 to December 20/21). It has 30 days.

Līndəi corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Sagittarius. Līndəi literally means "bow" in Pashto.

Martyrs' Day (Afghanistan)

In May 2012, the National Assembly of Afghanistan is reported to have accepted September 9 (or September 8, variable per Solar Hijri calendar) as "a new national holiday to honour national hero Ahmad Shah Massoud and those who died fighting for the country." The date is set as a Shahrivar 18.

Ahmad Shah Massoud was an Afghan military leader from Panjshir Valley. He was a leader of the resistance against the Soviet invasion and the Taliban. He was assassinated on September 9, 2001 in a suicide attack. Massoud Day is a holiday in Afghanistan that occurs each year as a commemoration of his death.On September 8, 2012, Afghanistan celebrated Martyrs' Day.

The holiday is celebrated as Haftai Shahid, or "Martyr Week". It is also observed as Massoud Day.


Marǧūmay (Pashto: مرغومی‎) or Marghomai is the name of the tenth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the winter season, from December 21/22 to January 19/20. It has 30 days.

Marǧūmay corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Capricorn. Marǧūmay literally means markhor or a wild goat in Pashto.

Public holidays in Iran

Iran uses three official calendar systems, including the Solar Hijri calendar as the main and national calendar, the Gregorian calendar for international events and Christian holidays, and the Islamic calendar (Lunar calendar) for Islamic holidays.

The surfeit of public holidays has been a subject of concern for almost 30 years. A substantial number of unofficial holidays are added each year to the national holidays that further aggravate the situation.Iran has the most public holidays in the world with around 25 holidays. The holidays in Iran may differ regarding the Arabic Calendar.[1][2]


Salwāǧa (Pashto: سلواغه‎) or Salwagha is the name of the eleventh month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the winter season, from January 20/21 to February 18/19. It has 30 days.

Salwāǧa corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Aquarius. Salwāǧa literally means "pail of water" in Pashto.


Tirgan (Persian: تیرگان‎, Tirgān), is a mid summer Iranian festival, celebrated annually on Tir 13 (July 2, 3, or 4).

It is celebrated by splashing water, dancing, reciting poetry, and serving traditional foods such as spinach soup and sholezard. The custom of tying rainbow-colored bands on wrists, which are worn for ten days and then thrown into a stream, is also a way to rejoice for children.


Təla (Pashto: تله‎) or Tala is the name of the seventh month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the autumn season (from September 22/23 to October 21/22) and contains 30 days.

Təla corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Libra. Təla literally means "weighing scale" in Pashto.


Waǵay (Pashto: وږی‎), also Wagai or Wazhai, is the name of the sixth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the late summer season (from August 22/23 to September 21/22) and contains 31 days.

Waǵay corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Virgo. Waǵay literally means "virgin" in Pashto.

Wray (month)

Wray (Pashto: وری‎) or Worai is the first month of the Afghan calendar. It has 31 days and starts with the beginning of the spring season (Gregorian March 21, but sometimes March 20).

Wray corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Aries. Wray literally means "lamb" in Pashto.

Zartosht No-Diso

Zartosht no-diso, or Zarthost no deeso, is an important day of remembrance in the Zoroastrian religion. It is a commemoration of the death anniversary of the prophet Zoroaster. It is observed on the 11th day (Khorshed) of the 10th month (Dae). In the seasonal calendar, Zarthost No-Diso falls on December 26.

It is an occasion of remembrance with lectures and discussions held on the life and works of the prophet. Special prayers are recited, and attendance at the fire temple is very high. A much higher number of mobeds are brought to pray at the Atash Behrams and Atash Adarans. There is no mourning in the Zoroastrian religion, only remembrance and worship of the Farohars of the departed.

However, Zoroaster’s death is not mentioned in the Avesta. Nonetheless, in the Shahnama 5.92, he is said to have been murdered at the altar by the Turanians in the storming of Balkh.


Zmaray (Pashto: زمری‎) or Zmarai is the name of the fifth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs within the summer season (from July 22/23 to August 21/22) and contains 31 days.

Zmaray corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Leo. Zmaray literally means "lion" in Pashto.


Čungāx̌ (Pashto: چنګاښ‎), also Choongakh or Choongash, is the name of the fourth month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs in the summer season (from June 21/22 to July 21/22) and it has 31 days.

Čungāx̌ corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Cancer. Čungāx̌ literally means "crab" in Pashto.


Ǧbargolay (Pashto: غبرګولی‎) or Ghbargolai is the third month of the Afghan calendar. It occurs from May 21/22 to June 20/21, and it has 31 days.

Ǧbargolay associates with the tropical Zodiac sign Gemini. Ǧbargolay literally means "twin" in Pashto.


Ǧwayay (Pashto: غویی‎) or Ghwayai is the second month of the Afghan calendar. It has 31 days and falls within the spring season (from April 20/21 to May 20/21).

Ǧwayay corresponds with the tropical Zodiac sign Taurus. Ǧwayay literally means "bull" in Pashto.

Months of the Iranian calendar (SH)
Months of the Afghan calendar (SH)
Nearly universal
In wide use
In more
limited use
By specialty
Displays and
Year naming

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