According to the Saka Calendar or the Indian National Calendar, 22 March, marks the start of the New Year in India. This new year marks the start of the year 1944 according to the Saka calendar.
The national calendar, which is based on the Saka era, was adopted, along with the Gregorian calendar, on 22 March 1957 by the government. The dates of the Saka calendar always correspond with the Gregorian calendar.
One year in the national calendar also consists 365 days, with Chaitra being the first month of the year. The new year starts on 22 March in a normal year, and 21 March in a leap year, according to the website of the government of India.
Here is all you need to know about the Saka calendar:
- The calendar is based on the ascension of King Shalivaahan to the throne in 78 AD, according to a report in The Quint. The Saka calendar started being used from the year 79 AD.
- Like the Gregorian calendar, it also consists of 12 months, with 30-31 days in each month.
- The calendar follows the tropical zodiac signs, which are also used by Western astrologers.
- The first month of the New Year is Chaitra, while the last is Phalguna. Chaitra lasts from 21/22 March (the day following the vernal equinox ) to 20 April.
- The Saka calendar was adopted as the national calendar in 1957 on the recommendation of a committee headed by Indian astrophysicist, and chairman of the Calendar Reform Committee, Meghnad Saha.
- The national calendar is used along with the Gregorian calendar for all communications and calendars issued by the Indian government. The Saka calendar is also used in the Gazette of India as well as the daily morning broadcast of All India Radio.
- The Saka calendar still in use in states like Maharashtra and Goa. It is also used countries such as Nepal and Indonesia.