The Cham calendar (Cham: ꨧꨆꨥꨪ sakawi) is a lunisolar calendar used by the Cham people of Vietnam since ancient times. Its origins is based on Saka Raja calendar which was influenced by the Shaka era (78 CE) Indian Hindu calendar, with the current standard called Sakawi Cham likely instituted during the reign of Po Rome of the Champa kingdom.
The Cham calendar has a system of a set of revolving cycles of days, weeks, months ad years. The Cham month consists of two lunar phases of 15 days each. The 1st half denotes the full moon phase called Bingun, while the new moon phase is called Kanam. The 12 year cycle similar to Chinese zodiac is referred to as Nâthak. The Cham calendar known as Sakawi Cham is a term used to encompass two calendar variants.
The calendar is used as an agricultural almanac to ascertain the time of cultivation. The biggest Cham festival known as Kate festival falls on the 1st day of the seven Cham month.
The names of the days of the Cham week were derived from their Sanskrit names used in the traditional Hindu calendar.
|Gregorian Day||Cham day (Haray)||Akhar Cam (ꨨꨣꩈ)|
The length of the month: the full month (balan tapăk) has 30 days and the hollow month (balan u) has 29 days.
|Gregorian month||Cham month (Balan)|
|1st month||Balan sa|
|2nd month||Balan dua|
|3rd month||Balan klau|
|4th month||Balan pak|
|5th month||Balan lima|
|6th month||Balan nam|
|7th month||Balan tijuh|
|8th month||Balan dalapan|
|9th month||Balan salapan|
|10th month||Balan sa pluh|
|11th month||Balan sa plu sa|
|12th month||Balan sa plu dua|
Balan Mak [Māgha]
The Cham zodiac is similar to the Vietnamese zodiac in its usage and arrangement of animals, but replaces the Monkey with the turtle (kra); the cat with the rabbit (Tapay).
|Chinese zodiac||Cham zodiac (nâthak)|
This variant is influenced by of 12 Arabic lunar months system consisting of 29-30 days. It uses an 8 year cycle called Ikessarak. This variant is used for certain Islamic festivals observed by the Bani Chams.
|8||Jim Luic||Leap, Normal|
Important festivals in the Cham calendar: