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Bikram Samwat (Bikram Sambat, Devanagari:बिक्रम संवत, abbreviated "B.S.") is the calendar established by Indian emperor Vikramaditya. It is the official calendar of Nepal. In addition to Bikram Samwat, the Gregorian calendar and the Newari calendar, Nepal Sambat, are also used in Nepal.

It is a solar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition (see Hindu calendar and Vedic time keeping). The Bikram Sambat calendar is 56.7 years ahead (in count) of the solar Gregorian calendar. For example, the year 2056 BS began in AD 1999 and ended in AD 2000. The calendar starts with the first day of the month Baisakh, which usually falls on the 13th or 14th of April in the Gregorian calendar.

The basic formula of conversion:

Nepali Date to English: Subtract - 56 Years - 8 Months - 17 Days

English Date to Nepali Date: Add - 56 Years - 8 Months - 17 Days

MonthsEdit

No. Name Nepali [1] Days
1 Baishākh बैशाख 30 / 31
2 Jeṭha जेठ 31 / 32
3 Asār असार 31 / 32
4 Sāun साउन 31 / 32
5 Bhadau भदौ 31 / 32
6 Asoj असोज 30 / 31
7 Kāttik कात्तिक 29 / 30
8 Mangsir मंसिर 29 / 30
9 Push पुष 29 / 30
10 Magh माघ 29 / 30
11 Phāgun फागुन 29 / 30
12 Chait चैत 30 / 31

HistoryEdit

This calendar derives its name from king Vikramaditya of Ujjain, then an independent country in the Indian subcontinent. After the rise of the Rana oligarchs in Nepal, Bikram Sambat came into unofficial use along with the official Shaka Sambat (Shankhadhar Sakhwa) for quite some time. They discontinued Shaka Sambat in its 1823rd year and replaced it with Bikram Samwat for official use since then to date. Bikram Sambat came into official use in its 1958th year.

CultureEdit

The new year of Bikram Samwat is one of the many festivals of Nepal, marked by parties, family gatherings, the exchange of good wishes and participation in rituals to ensure good fortune in the coming year.

In addition to Nepal, elements of the Bikram Sambat calendar are also recognized in north India and West Bengal state. Structurally, it is similar to the Bangla Calendar used in Bangladesh, with the month names being the same and starting at the same time. In Bangladesh, the new year is celebrated as Pôhela Boishakh, a national holiday.

The Bangali Hindu communities in India, where the holiday is called Baisakhi, also celebrate the beginning of Spring and the end of the harvest season on Pahela Baishakh. The Sikh communities celebrate Vaisakhi because it is the birth of the Sikh order of the Khasla. Vaisakhi is also called Rongali Bihu in Assam, Puthandu in Tamil Nadu and Pooram Vishu in Kerala.

In Buddhist communities, the month of Baishakh is associated with Vesak, known as Visakah Puja or Buddha Purnima in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, Visakha Bucha in Thailand, Waisak in Indonesia and Wesak in Sri Lanka and Malaysia. It commemorates the birth, Enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha on the one historical day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. Although this festival is not held on the same day as Pahela Baishakh, the holidays typically fall in the same month (Baishakh) of the Bengali, Hindu, and Theravada Buddhist calendars, and are related historically through the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism in South Asia.

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