Sikh Calender

Editor’s Note: In 2015, the Akal Takhat and the SGPC released a completely new calendar for Sikh celebrations. Please see the following news article for more information.

Calendar ~ 2017-2018

For Calendar 2017-2018 – Sanmat 549 in Punjabi/Gurmukhi Click Here and Here
* Text marked with asterisks are Gurpurab Days

2016 – 2017



Chet 1 March 14
Vaisakh 1 April 13
Jeth 1 May 14
Harh 1 June 14
Sawan 1 July 16
Bhadon 1 August 16
Asu 1 September 16
Katak 1 October 16
Maghar 1 November 15
Poh 1 December 15
Magh 1 January 14
Phagan 1 February 12


Dark Moon
(Lunar Phase)

Chet 25 April 7
Vaisakh 24 May 6
Jeth 23 June 5
Harh 21 July 4
Sawan 18 August 2
Bhadon 17 September 1
Asu 15 September 30
Katak 15 October 30
Maghar 15 November 29
Poh 15 December 29
Magh 14 January 27
Phagan 17 February 28


Full Moon
Chet 10 March 23
Vaisakh 10 April 22
Jeth 8 May 21
Harh 7 June 20
Sawan 4 July 19
Bhadon 3 August 18
Asu 1 September 16
Katak 1 October 16
Katak 30 November 14
Maghar 29 December 13
Poh 29 January 12
Magh 28 February 10
Phagan 29 March 12

Historical Information

Until the 13th of March, 1998, the Sikhs used a lunar calendar to determine their feast days. From 1998 until 2013, Sikhs have used their own Nanakshahi calendar which started on 14 March 1999 Gregorian (1 Chet, year 531 Nanakshahi ) and aligns with the Gregorian calendar as follows. The era (1 Chet 1 Nanakshahi) is the date of the birth of the 1st Guru, Nanak Dev, in the Punjab in 1469. Although there is an obvious relationship with the Hindu Solar Calendar, the Sikh Organisation states that these dates are fixed relative to the Gregorian Calendar. The calendar issue came back into question in 2013.

The Nanakshahi calendar is used for all the Gurupurabs (festivals marking events in the lives of the Gurus) except the birthday of Guru Nanak which continues to be celebrated according to the Hindu Lunar calendar on Katik Poornamashi. Events such as Maghi and Hola Mohalla continue to be celebrated according to the relevant calendars. Some Gurupurabs are considered more significant that others. These are the ones that commonly appear as holidays.

Gurpurabs mark the culmination of Prabhat Pheris, the early morning religious procession which goes around the localities singing shabads (hymns). These pheris generally start three weeks before the festival. Devotees offer sweets and tea when the procession passes their homes. The celebrations start with the three-day akhand path, in which the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of the Sikhs) is read continuously from beginning to end without a break. The conclusion of the reading coincides with the day of the festival. The Granth Sahib is also carried in procession on a float decorated with flowers throughout the village or city. Five armed guards, who represent the Panj Pyares, head the procession carrying Nishan Sahibs (the Sikh flag). Local bands play religious music and marching schoolchildren form a special part of the procession. Free sweets and langar (community lunches) are also offered to everyone irrespective of religious faith. Local volunteers serve it with a spirit of seva (service) and bhakti (devotion). Sikhs visit gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where special programmes are arranged and kirtans (religious songs) sung. Houses and gurdwaras are lit up to add to the festivities.