Friday, 26 February 2016

Tamil New Year - What Year Is It?

Picture Credit: huffingtonpost

In my previous two articles on Tamil New Year, I wrote about the two types of solar calendar, the myth of Tamil calendar starting in Thai instead of Chitra, the 60 years cycle and the science of the calendar itself. I even explained in detailed why the Tamil Calendar starts on 1 Chitra. You can read both articles at the following links.

Tamil New Year Date
The Science Behind Tamil Calendar

Today I will explain about another important matter. The Dravidian ideologist claim that the present calendar followed by Tamils is not suitable because the years do not have a numeric value. They claim that only the Tiruvalluvar Calendar has a numeric value.

So according to them, the Gregorian Year 2016 AD is Tiruvalluvar Year 2047 because they claim that Tiruvalluvar was born in 31 BC. But as explained in my previous articles, there is no evidence to show that Tiruvalluvar was born in 31 BC. So we cannot assume. 

Furthermore, Tamil civilization existed for thousands of years even before Tiruvalluvar was born. So it is a great insult to our Tamil society if we cut down the age of our calendar to just 2047 years.

There are 4 Yugas and we are currently in the 4th one known as Kali Yuga. Yugas are a period of time which we call as Epoch in English. The present Yuga or Epoch began somewhere around 18 February 3102 BC. This is equivalent to 1 Chitra Kali Yuga 0.

But at present, 1 Chitra starts somewhere around 13-14 April and not February like how it was 5118 years ago!

The Tamil Calendar is based on Constellation. Constellations are the Zodiacs. They are a coordinates of stars and their position in space is fixed. 

The speed of Earth's own rotation and its orbit around the Sun is not fixed. The speed changes. It can go faster or even slower. This means that a year can be 365 days or 365 days (+ or -) a few minutes/hours. 

To understand this, imagine yourself driving your car in a circle around the roundabout. You need to make complete circles.

1st round 1 minute
2nd round 1 minute + 3 seconds

3rd round 56 seconds

The actual 1 year of Earth is when Earth moves from Point A, orbits around the Sun until it re-enters Point A. It has to make a full circle.

The Westerners invented the Gregorian calendar and they made a rule that once every 4 years, there will be an extra day. This is why our February is either 28 days or 29 days. It is done to accommodate the different length of time of Earth's orbit.

But this Gregorian Calendar is not accurate because although the time is fixed, it will not reflect the actual year or the moment Earth enters Point A.

The ancient Tamils knew the exact moment because their science of astronomy was better than the Westerners. So they made Constellation as the referral point. 

In our calendar, 1 Chitra starts the moment Earth enters into Aries as per the Sidereal system. The Earth then orbits the Sun and the next moment it returns to Point A is taken as the next new year. Point A is the starting point of Aries.

Since the speed changes, the Earth will not always return to Point A at the same time. This is why when Tamil New Year date is announced by temples, they will mention the exact time it starts. This shows that we calculate it so accurately to the exact moment Earth completes the full circle.

Say for example, this year it starts at 5:43 am. Next year it could be 7:15 am. The following year could be 8:23 am. For 3 years, it will be on the same day because minutes of differences will not be noticeable. 

But if we plus or minus minutes for each year for about 5000 years, the difference of the starting point will be so wide that it could be falling on different Gregorian months.

This is why the new year and the new epoch 1 Chitra Kali Yuga 0 started on 18 February 3102 BC. The speed of Earth's orbit around the Sun since then has been changing.

So in 2016 AD, Tamil New Year will start on 14 April which is equivalent to 1 Chitra Kali Yuga 5118.
- Comments


  1. Bro are u sure? Its bcoz of speed of earth is not constant? Actually the earth doesn take exactly 365 days to rotate around the sun. Its around 365 quarter i... so thats why we hv leap years.
    Kali Yuga started when Krishna dissappear frm Kali Yuga this is evident in Bhagavata Purana.
    As per vedic calender we adjust the lunar calendar so that it will correlate with solar by adding 1 extra month in every 3-5 changes every time.
    And ya we do correct the lunar thats why our festival is almost always constant unlike muslim calendar... the festival will come forward every year as they dont adjust their calendar accordingly..
    Ur explanation is kinda doubtful..hv to cross check with more reliable source. Plus u didnt state any sourec for ur would be best if u can do so. Tq .. dont take me wrong.. Hari OM.

    1. Tropical year, which is from equinox to equinox, that is from the time the Sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north to the next time 365.24219 days

      Sidereal year, from one time a particular star is in a given position to the next time 365.25636 days

      Anomalistic year, from the time the Earth is at its closest to the Sun to the next time 365.25964 days

      Tamil Calendar follows Sidereal system. Telugu Calendar follow Tropical system. This is why for the Tamil Calendar, New Year begins only when it enters Aries as per Sidereal system. The Earth does not always move on the same speed. There could be minute difference which is not easily noticed.

      There are 3 main motions of the planet. Own wobble, rotation on its own and orbit around the Sun.

      Whenever there is a very strong earthquake, the Earth's wobbling slows down its own rotation and this then affects its movement in orbit. It is just that we don't notice it.

      So sometimes, there could be difference like 0.0001 second in rotation or 0.00001 minute in orbit. Over 5000 years, the added up differences will be visible when we compare the new year date with Gregorian calendar.

      The date of festivals in Gregorian format looks constant because we only see it for this lifetime. When we compare it for over 5000 years, we will see some differences.

  2. Average difference between Telugu Calendar and Tamil Calendar = 0.01417 day = 20.4048 minutes.

    This is just the average orbit difference. Now imagine if the wobbling is affected and there are added differences in the two years. Compare this with the Gregorian system and you will understand what I wrote.