Tibetan calendar

Tibetan calendar

The Tibetan calendar is a lunisolar calendar, that is, the Tibetan year is composed of either 12 or 13 lunar months, each beginning and ending with a new moon. A thirteenth month is added approximately every three years, so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year. The months have no names, but are referred to by their numbers.

The Tibetan New Year celebration is Losar.

Each year is associated with an animal and an element. This is similar to the Chinese zodiac. The animals alternate in the following order:

Nyima "Sun", Dawa "Moon" and Lhagpa "Mercury" are common personal names for people born on Sunday, Monday or Wednesday respectively.


In the 7th century, Princess Wencheng brought Tang Dynasty's calendar to Tibet. Later Princess Jincheng (Tibetan: Kyimshang Kongjo) did the same thing. However, after the down fall of the Tubo Dynasty, Tibet became chaotic, and the transmissions of the Han Chinese calendars stopped.

Around 9th century, Islam expanded to India and many Indian Buddhists escaped to Tibet with `Kala (time) Wheel' as part of the Indian Astronomy. However, the Indian calendar was not up to bar with the early Tang's astronomical achievement. Tibetans integrated the Indian Astronomy and the Han calendars (rgya-rtsis) to form their own calendars. Later they adopted more from the Han calendars to form the present Tibetan calendars.



External links

* [http://www.fpmt.org/resources/dates_explain.asp Explanations of Dharma Practice Days - 2008]
* [http://www.rabten.eu/calendar.pdf PDF calendar for the Earth Mouse Year 2135]

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