Badagas can boast with their own time-reckoning calendar. Once they followed their own full-fledged time-reckoning system and they practiced it even for their day to day life. But, it is to our dismay that at present most of the Badagas have only a little knowledge about that. Due to the easy accessibility of universally adopted Gregorian calendar and the arrival of panjaangam calendar at local market Badagas gradually disused their calendar system. However, it is to our surprise that still few have not forgotten the names of twelve months of the Badaga calendar. 1. kuuDalu, 2. haalaani, 3. nallaani, 4. aani, 5. aadire, 6. peeraaDi, 7. aavaaNi, 8. peraTTaadi, 9. doDDa diivige, 10. kiru diivige, 11. tay, and 12. hemmaaTTi are the twelve Badaga months.The basic unit of computation in a calendar is the day. Badagas used to dawn to dawn reckoning.
At the outset that the Badaga month begins always on a new moon day. For the Badagas the period between one new moon and the next new moon is a month. tinguva is the Badaga name for both moon and month and it expresses lunar month unequivocally, is roughly thirty days (Actually it consists 29. 5306 days). So, it is apparent that Badaga new year too begins on new moon day. It falls on different day every year because Badaga calendar is a lunisolar calendar. Every alternative year consists of thirteen new moon days . So one new moon day should be discarded without counting during every alternative year.
On which new moon day Badaga year begins? And which new moon day is be discarded without counting during alternative year? If we answer to these questions the doubt persists on Badaga calendar will disappear once for all.
“Exact time-reckoning is not a vital requirement for pastoral nomads. On the other hand, the correlation of lunar and solar time-reckoning was a necessary component of the urbanization process of the early agriculture societies. The solar year is roughly 365 days and lunar months make roughly 354 days, so a purely lunar time-reckoning is out of step with the season, which are determined by the yearly course of the sun. A lunisolar calendar was an essential instrument in administration and religion; it enabled the co-ordination of trade and agricultural activities (forecasting of seasonal yearly monsoons and floods) and the celebration of seasonal feasts at the proper time.”(Asko Parpolo). Badagas were pastorals comparatively for a longer period and they undertook the agriculture profession later on. Hence their time- reckoning consists of lunar months and solar year.
Badagas consider the bright half of the lunar month as auspicious and they prefer these days for religious activities. “muuru jena here” is considered as one of the most auspicious day in the Badaga religious beliefs. It falls on the third day after new moon. Considered as a holy day, it is the ideal day for conducting puujaas and celebrating festivals. It is believed that whatever new venture one makes on this day (or the waxing moon period days) will be tremendously successful. Badagas prefer marriage and other ceremonies on these days and they see even the milking the first time of a buffalo or cow on these days.
Badagas follow the south Indian lunisolar calendar. yugaadi or ugaadi festival marks the new year day for the south Indian people who follow the south Indian lunisolar calendar. It begins on the day after the first new moon after the sun crosses equator from south to north on spring equinox*, i.e. after March 21. meelsiime Badagas celebrate honneeru or doDDa habba (first ploughing) festival of a year on yugaadi day. With this one can assume that the first ploughing festival marks the new year day for the Badaga people too. On yugaadi new moon day the Badaga month aani begins. However most of the Badagas consider kuuDalu is the first month of a year. As yugaadi falls on the day after new moon day, it is easy to find the new moon on which kuuDalu month begins. We have to go back three new moon days from the yugaadi new moon. This year Badaga new year began on 1st January, 2014.
The yugaadi time- reckoning itself unaccounting a new moon during alternative years. So when we follow the yugaadi era the unaccounting an extra new moon day during alternative years goes along with it. For Badagas, the alternative year which bears thirteen new moon days is saribarusa. saribarusa goes along with an intercalary month i.e. an extra month ( or days) inserted in particular year. The intercalary month precedes the month that bears the same name. It is said that this calendar (yugaadi) reckons dates based on the Shalivahana era, which begins its count from the supposed date of the founding of the empire by the legendary hero Shalivahana.
- equinox = time or date at which sun crosses equator and day and night are equal (March 21, September 23). March 21st is spring equinox day .
The following pix shows part of a Badaga Calendar I had created, [click here for more info] based on the ‘idea’ that Badaga month starts on 10th of every English month. But, what Dr.Haldorai states above makes more sense. Hope to create a Badaga Calandar based on this ‘new idea’ soon. As said earlier in my other articles,
hope a Badaga Calendar adorns every Badaga House
– Wg Cdr JP
Click on the pic for enlargement
1) Koodalu, 2) Aalaani 3) Nallaani 4) Aani 5) Aadire 6) Aadi 7) Aavaani 8 ) Perattaadhi 9) Dhodda Devige 10) Kiru Devige 11) Thai 12) Hemmatti
Wishing you and your dear and near ones A HAPPY NEW YEAR !
Badaga Calendar 2008
….other months being added….
Click on the pix for enlargement
Like in any other calendar, there are 12 months and each month starts on the 10th of English Calendar month but for a few exceptions due to the fact that the month of Feb has 28/29 days [leap year].
I have attempted to make the Badaga Calendars for 2007 and 2008 keeping in mind that a Badaga month should start on the 10th of an English month as far as possible and also to ensure that the number of days in a month is either 30 or 31 days.
Since Badagas consider ‘Sovara’ (Monday) as the most auspicious and ‘holy’ day, they have attached a lot of importance to that day. Generaly, no non-vegetarian food is taken on Mondays. This is also the weekly holiday and hence shown on top in red colour. No ‘Hola Gelcha'[field work] is usually done on ‘sovara’s.
The biggest festival of Badagas is day-specific and not date-specific. That is to say that this festival – HETHE HABBA – always falls on a Monday [after twelve full moons and on the first Monday of the thirteenth fullmoon]. By the way,full Moon (‘Pournami’ in Tamil) is ‘HUNNAVE’ [pronounced similar to :- hunnu – wound, awai – mother] and New Moon is ‘MUTTU’ in Badaga. Hunnave and Muttu days have a white and black circle next to the date.
I must put on record my great appreciation to Mr.Sivaprakash. B.Sc.,B.Ed (Dhavane Village) and ‘Naakku Betta’ magazine [1979 Goodalu issue] for their pioneering effort on this subject.
For the year 2007
1)Koodalu – From 10th Jan to 8th Feb
2)Aalaani – From 9th Feb to 10th Mar
3)Nallaani – From 11th Mar to 9th Apr
4)Aani – From 10th Apr to 9th May
5)Aadire – From 10th May to 9th Jun
6)Aadi – From 10th Jun to 9th Jul
7)Aavaani – From 10th Jul to 9th Aug
8 )Perattaadhi – From 10th Aug to 9th Sep
9)Dhodda Devige – From 10th Sep to 9th Oct 9th Nov
10) Kiru Devige – from 10th Nov to 9th Dec
11)Thai – From 10th Nov to 9th Dec
12)Hemmatti – From 10th Dec to 9th Jan
I am aware that there is always a slip between the cup and the lip and some errors could have crept into this attempt. May I request all those interested to keep up our great traditions to write in their comments and suggestions so that improvements can be incorporated.
No articles, images and other material in this website can be reproduced without the written permission of
Wing Commander Bellie Jayaprakash B.E.(GCT,Madras Univ).,M.B.A (FMS, Delhi Univ)
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
My dream is that a Badaga Calendar should adorn every Badaga home
Wing commander Bellie Jayaprakash’s other website from the heart for some ‘light’ reading