Exploring Time in Technicolor: The Rich Tapestry of the Bangla Calendar

Discover the Bangla Calendar, the solar Hindu calendar traditionally used in East India and Bangladesh, rich in cultural significance.

Exploring Time in Technicolor: The Rich Tapestry of the Bangla Calendar

The Bangla calendar, also known as the Bengali calendar, is an invaluable part of the cultural heritage of the Bengal region, which today encompasses both Bangladesh and West Bengal in India. The calendar has deep-rooted ties to the Hindu solar calendar and is a remarkable testament to the region's rich history and traditions.

Typically, the Bangla calendar starts from the epoch called 'Sri Krishna's Era' or the 'Sri Krishna Era', which is believed to have been started by King Shashanka in the 7th century. The months of the Bangla calendar closely match with the Gregorian calendar, despite the difference in the start of the year. The Bangla new year, known as 'Pohela Boishakh', is celebrated with much fervor and is an intrinsic part of the Bengali identity.

The Bangla calendar went through a major revision during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar. To streamline revenue collection, he ordered a reform of the calendar. This reform aligned the Bangla calendar with the Islamic Hijri calendar. Renowned astronomer and mathematician, Amir Fatehullah Shirazi took on the task and made an amalgamation of the lunar Islamic calendar and the solar Hindu calendar. The calendar was called as 'Fasholi shan' and it took into account the agricultural cycles in Bengal.

Despite the influence of the Islamic lunar calendar, the Bangla calendar remained fundamentally linked to Hindu traditions, maintaining its solar basis. The names of the months were also derived from the names of the stars and the time they are visible. For instance, the Bengali month of 'Baishakh' is named after the star 'Bishakha'.

The Bangla calendar is not merely a system of timekeeping. It is an integral part of the Bengali culture, an embodiment of its history, and a symbol of its unique identity. It links the region to its agrarian roots and serves as a constant reminder of its vibrant past. Even in present times, the calendar continues to dictate the timing of agricultural activities and cultural festivals, cementing its place in the lives of the people.