Months of the Year

If you ask an Iranian what date it is, please be compassionate if it takes them a minute to process the question. They may be trying to figure out which calendar to use out of the three that they regularly encounter. The official Iranian calendar is the “Solar Hijri calendar,” which takes our Gregorian year 622 as year 1, as the lunar Hijri calendar does, but is a solar, 365-day calendar like our Gregorian calendar, with the New Year (“Nowruz“) being celebrated on the Spring Equinox. Iranians also use the lunar Hijri calendar for determining purely religious holidays, and the Gregorian calendar purely for international dealings. I have talked at some bewildering length about the lunar Hijri calendar on my Arabic blog, so I won’t repeat that here. Instead, I’ll list the names of the Solar hijri months (bearing in mind that the first month of the Iranian year begins at the start of spring, so these don’t align with Gregorian months), and the Persian versions of the Gregorian months.

Solar Hijri months:

  • فَروَردین (farvardīn)
  • اردیبِهِشت (urdbihisht, “ord-be-hesht”)
  • خُرداد (khurdād, “khor-daad”)
  • تیر (tīr)
  • مُرداد (murdād, “mor-daad”)
  • شَهریوَر (shahrīvar)
  • مِهر (mihr, “mehr”)
  • آبان (ābān, “aa-baan”)
  • آذَر (āẕar, “aa-zar”)
  • دَی (day)
  • بَهمَن (bahman)
  • اِسفَند (isfand, “es-fand”)

Converting between the Solar Hijri calendar and the Gregorian calendar is certainly easier than converting between the lunar Hijri calendar and Gregorian; subtract 621 from the Spring Equinox through December 31st to get the Solar Hijri Year, and 622 for dates from January 1st through the first day of Spring. If you need the specific date rather than just a month or year, you may want to employ an online converter just to be sure, given that the Solar Hijri calendar reckons the first day of spring, and thus of the new year, by astronomical observation rather than fixed dating.

Gregorian months rendered in Persian (there is an unmistakeable French influence here for anybody familiar with French):

  • January = ژانوِیه (zhānviyah, “zhaan-vee-ye”)
  • February = فِورِیه (fivriyah, “fev-ree-ye”)
  • March = مارس (mārs)
  • April = آوریل (āvrīl)
  • May = مه (mah, “meh”)
  • June = ژوئن (zhūʾin, “zhoo-in”)
  • July = ژوئیه (zhūʾiyah, “zhoo-ee-ye”)
  • August = اوت (ūt)
  • September = سِپتامبر (siptāmbr, “sep-taam-br”)
  • October = اُکتُبر (uktubr, “ok-tow-br”)
  • November = نُوامبر (nuvāmbr, “no-vaam-br”)
  • December = دِسامبر (disāmbr, “des-aam-br”)
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One thought on “Months of the Year

  1. Pingback: ملاد پیامبر اکرم | Persian Word a Day

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