Zoroastrian calendar

The Zoroastrian calendar is a solar calendar with 12 months of 30 days each, plus five extra days at the end of the year that are assigned to any month.

There are three different versions of this calendar, which differ in that they refer to another year as year 1.

  • The Qadimi calendar (old calendar) is used in Iran.
  • The Shenshai calendar (Royal Calendar ) is used by the Parsees in India and runs the Qadimi calendar by 30 days afterwards.
  • The newer Fasli Calendar ( seasonal calendar) has leap years of 366 days, the new year always starts on the day of the vernal day and night are equally long. The leap years coincide with those of the Gregorian calendar.


The oldest Persian month names are known from the trilingual inscription of Behistun, is reported in the victory of King Darius I ( 522-486 BC) over downed insurgents. The oldest names of the 30 days of the month can be found in Bundahischn.

The ancient Persian year was probably originally a year of 12 months of 30 days each. In order to keep the calendar with the seasons in line, an entire month has been pushed in from time to time. About the 6th or 5th century BC the calendar was reformed, and instead of inserting every 6 years a full month each year have been added to 5 days, so that a change in year of 365 days was that every four years to get an shifted day against the tropical year.

So the beginning of the year from mid-March wandered in the 6th century BC to July in the 5th century AD

Under the Sassanid Kavad I. then the New Year were each placed on those months around 500 AD, which began near the vernal equinox; every 120 years should then be inserted an additional leap month. The insertion of an intercalary month but was done very irregular and remained after the conquest of Persia by the Arabs in 641 AD completely, so that the beginning of the year moved again.

After Islamization of Persia, Zoroastrianism was gradually superseded by Islam, and the Islamic calendar was spread. But especially those Persians who fled from the persecution of the Arabs retained the Persian calendar. While they again pasted a leap month in 1131 AD, did the Zoroastrians in Persia not, making the two calendars differed by one month. However, later a leap month was never inserted.

Found this deviation in the 18th century as parsing in Gujarat, they returned as " Qadimi " back to the supposedly correct calendar. The " traditionalists" retained its own calendar and called themselves Shenshais

Under the Grand Sultan Malik Shah Dschalaleddin the Persian calendar in 1079 was fundamentally reformed (see Iranian Calendar ). The beginning of the year was fixed at the astronomical vernal equinox. The exact insertion of the leap day is unknown, but probably a switching period of 33 or 37 years was introduced. This calendar was later the basis for the reform of the calendar in 1940, by the Zoroastrian communities in some of the Fasli calendar ( in India) or Bastani calendar was introduced ( in Iran ).

The year

  • The year has twelve months with 30 days each and five additional days ( Epagomenen ).
  • The year has Qadimi ( = old) calendar and the calendar always Shenshai 365 days.
  • The year has in Fasli ( = seasonal, seasons ) calendar in the common year 365 days in a leap year has 366 days.

The annual count

The years are counted consecutively. There are different eras. An era is counted from the accession of the last Sassanid Yazdgard III. with the epoch June 16th 632 AD Another era is counted from the assassination of the king end 651 AD A third era begins with the year 1738 BC, the legendary birth of Zoroaster.

The beginning of the year

The year currently begins in the calendar of Qadimi in July, in the calendar of Shenshai in August. In the Fasli calendar, the year begins with the vernal equinox.

The beginnings of the year for the period 2010 to 2020 AD are summarized in the following table:

The circuit

The change of the year Qadimi ( = old) - and the Shenshai ( = shahanshahi, 2500 -year-old dynasty ) calendar knows no circuit; so that the calendar year compared to the Gregorian calendar every four years shifted one day. In the Fasli ( = seasonal, seasons ) calendar every four years - inserts a day, so the beginning of the year always falls on the spring equinox - as in the Gregorian calendar.

The accuracy

With a length of 365 days of Qadimi and the Shenshai calendar soft annually to 0.24219052 days of the tropical year or by 1 day in about 4 years from. The accuracy of the Fasli calendar corresponds to the Gregorian calendar.

The month

The month has no relationship to the moon run. The year is divided into twelve equal months of 30 days each, join them five in a leap year of the Fasli calendar six additional days.

The twelve months have the following names:

The 30 day of the month also have names:

The five or six additional days have the following names:

The week

Today, the seven-day week is in use, but only on Fridays and Saturdays have their own names, the remaining days are counted as days after the Saturday: