Most people usually rely on the weather channel and on their mobile phones to check on the weather, wind, seasons and the temperature.

But did you know that the Balinese have their very own ancient system which lets them track weather changes and natural occurrences that take place every month throughout the year? Examples would include changes in the weather, rain or drought, planting and harvest seasons, wind movements and even animal behavior!

They call this the “Balinese Saka calendar” – a system based on the positions of the sun and the moon.

There are 12 months in the Balinese Saka calendar and each month begins the day after a new moon and has 15 days until the full moon (Purnama), then 15 days of waning, ending on the new moon (Tilem).

The names of the twelve months are taken from a mixture of Old Balinese and Sanskrit words for 1 to 12. Every new year in the Balinese Saka calendar begins right after Nyepi. We thought that this was an interesting concept and wanted to share this ancient calendar with you!

According to this Balinese website, the following events usually take place in the following months:

Sasih Kasa (Month 1)

41 days

Dry season

Trees are bare without leaves and flowers

Crop planting season begins

The grasshopper lays its eggs

The sun moves south

The wind blows Northeast to Southwest


Sasih Karo (Month 2)

23 days

Dry season and drought

The earth splits from dryness

Crops and plants must receive water

The kapok tree and the mango tree begins to flower

The sun moves from North to South

Wind blows Northwest to Southwest

Sasih KaTiga (Month 3)

23 Days

Dry season and drought

Crops, potatoes and other plants begin to grow

The sun move North towards the Equator

The wind blows from North to South

 

Sasih Kapat (Month 4)

25 days

Pumpkin season, entering into the rainy season

The water well is dry

The Cotton Silk Tree produces fruit

The Manyar bird begins to nest

The sun moves from the equator towards the south

Wind blows from Northwest to Southeast

 

Sasih KaLima (Month 5)

27 days

Pumpkin season, entering into the rainy season

The water well is dry

The Cotton Silk Tree produces fruit

The Manyar bird begins to nest

The sun moves south from the equator

Wind blows from Northwest to Southeast

 

Sasih KaEnam (Month 6)

43 days

Rainy season

Mango and rambutan season

Time to plow the ricefields

The sun moves south

Strong winds blow from west to east

 

Sasih KaPitu (Month 7)

43 days

Disease season

Floods and strong winds

Rice planting begins

The sun sits on the southern line

Strong winds blowing from the west in all directions

 

Sasih KaUlu (Month 8)

27 days

Rainy season begins

Rice starts to grow

Worms appear in the ground

The sun moves from south to north

Strong wind blows from northwest to east in all directions

 

Sasih Kasangga (Month 9)

25 days

Rainy season

The cicada sings

Dogs begin to mate

Rice paddies bend with age

The sun moves from south to north

Strong winds blows from south in all directions

 

Sasih KaDasa (Month 10)

24 days

Transition begins from rainy season to dry season

Female animals are with child

Birds begin to nest

Rice paddies are ready for harvest

Fishermen go out to sea

The sun moves north

Strong winds blow from the northeast

 

Sasih KaJestha (Month 11)

24 days

Dry season

Birds lay eggs that hatch

The peak of rice harvest season

The sun moves north

Wind blows southeast to northeast

 

Sasih KaSadha (Month 12)

41 days

Cold weather

Harvest season for apples, oranges and pineapples begin

Harvest season for rice paddies end

Planting of crops begin

The sun moves north

Gentle breeze blows from east to west

 

What do you think of the Balinese Saka calendar and this wonderful ancient system? If you’d like to read more about this, check out this Wikipedia page for more information.

Wikipedia explains it best:

“The Balinese Saka calendar is based on a lunar calendar – a year comprises twelve months, or sasih, of 30 days each. However, because the lunar cycle is slightly shorter than 30 days, and the lunar year has a length of 354 or 355 days, the calendar is adjusted to prevent it losing synchronization with the lunar or solar cycles. The months are adjusted by allocating two lunar days to one solar day every 9 weeks. This day is called ngunalatri, Sanskrit for “minus one night”. To stop the Saka from lagging behind the Gregorian calendar – as happens with the Islamic calendar, an extra month, known as an intercalary month, is added after the 11th month (when it is known as Mala Jiyestha), or after the 12th month (Mala Sadha). The length of these months is calculated according to the normal 63-day cycle. An intercalary month is added whenever necessary to prevent the final day of the 7th month, known as Tilem Kapitu, from falling in the Gregorian month of December.”

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