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  Culture - Calendars

  • There are three different calendars used in Iran.

  • The most common calendar which is used on a daily basis is solar calendar. Nowruz - Persian New Year is a National Holiday and is based on solar calendar.

  • The solar calendar has 365 days divided into 12 months. There are similarity between Gregorian and solar calendar with the exception that the first 6 months of the year have 31 days, the next five have 30 days and the last month has 29 days (30 days in leap year). The start of this calendar is from the first day of spring of the Hegira (622 AD). Hegira or Hegrat is the flight of the Prophet Mohammad from Mecca in 622 AD. This is the starting point of Moslem lunar calendar and solar calendar. To convert this calendar to the approximate date in Gregorian calendar simply add 621 to the Iranian year.

  • The months of the solar calendar are as follows: Farvardin (March 21- April 20), Ordibehesht (April 21-May 21), Khordad (May 22-June 21), Tir (June 22-July 22), Mordad (July 23-August 22), Shahrivar (August 23-September 22), Mehr (September 23-October 22), Aban (October 23-November 21), Azar (November 22-December 21), Dey (December 22- January 20), Bahman (January 21-February 19), and Esfand (February 20-March 20).

  • Lunar calendar is also in use for religious purposes and holidays. This calendar also has 12 months but only has 354 days. Because of this difference, the gap between the solar and lunar calendar is constantly growing (33 lunar years are equal to 32 solar years). Presently, there is about 42 year difference between the two calendar although both have the same year of origin.

  • The months of lunar calendar are as follows: Moharram, Safar, Rabi-ol-Av val, Rabi-ol-Akhar or Rabi-ol-sani, Jamadi-ol-Av val, Jamadi-ol-Akhar, Rajab, Shaban, Ramadan (Ramezan), Shav val , Zi-Ghadeh, and Zi-Hajjeh. Since the lunar calendar is based on the visibility of the new moon, there is a one day difference between the big religious festivals in Iran and in other Islamic countries. The new moon usually appears a day later in Iran.

  • Western or Gregorian calendar is used for dealing with western travelers. Some history books may also use this calendar.


  • In Islamic calendar which is based on lunar calendar, there are 3 holy months.

  • One is month of Ramadan (Ramezan). During this month, muslims fast from dawn to dusk. This is an opportunity to cleanse body and mind. Muslims who are exempt from fasting are pregnant women, sick people, people who feel are unable to keep the fast, elderly, young children, and travelers.

  • If you do not fast during this month, for respect of others you refrain from eating, drinking, smoking in front of others who fast.

  • Eid-E-Fitr is a religious holiday which is the day after end of Ramadan. On this day you break your fasting and celebrate.

  • The other two holy months are Moharram and Safar. The 10th day of Moharram is called Ashura, the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hossein, the third Shiite Saint.

Mosque in Vakil Bazaar (Shiraz) During Moharram

  • 20th and 21st of Safar is Arbaeen which is the 40th day after death of Imam Hossein. Muslims mourn during these two months in memory of Imam Hossein. People wear black during these times.
Pocket Islam
for Windows and Pocket PC - has Islamic holidays

tells prayer time Islamic - Western calendars, for Apple Macintosh

Noruz-Persian New Year