The Rumi calendar (Ottoman Turkish: رومی تقویم, Rumi takvim, lit. "Roman calendar"), a specific calendar based on the Julian calendar, was officially used by the Ottoman Empire after Tanzimat (1839) and by its successor, the Republic of Turkey until 1926. It was adopted for civic matters and is a solar based calendar, assigning a date to each solar day.


1911 multilingual Ottoman calendar page:
  • The upper left shows the Rumi date in Ottoman Turkish: year 1327, 7 Nisan (٧ نیسان ١٣٢٧)
  • The same Julian date (7 April, ΑΠΡΙΛΙΟΣ 7) and day (Thursday, Πέμπτη) appears below in Greek with the AD year 1911
  • Next to that is the Gregorian date (20 April, AVRIL 20) and day (Jeudi) in French
  • Above these two is 30 (twice), the number of days in the Julian and Gregorian months; the month (April, Априлий) and day (Thursday, Четвъртъкъ) in Bulgarian
  • Under the Greek is Armenian, reading April (ԱՊՐԻԼ) and Thursday (ՀԻՆԳՇԱԲԹԻ)
  • The upper right shows the Islamic date 21 Rebiülahir 1329 (٢١ ربيع الآخر ١٣٢٩)
  • The Hebrew date 22 Nisan 5671 (22 ניסן 5671) appears at the bottom.

In the Islamic state of the Ottoman Empire, the religious Islamic calendar (a lunar calendar) was in use. In this calendar, months coincide with lunar phases. Because a "lunar year" (the combined duration of twelve lunar phases) is shorter than the solar year, the seasons cycle through the lunar months as the solar years pass. "As a result," says the Astronomical Almanac, "the cycle of twelve lunar months regresses through the seasons over a period of about 33 [solar] years".[1][a]

1677 Introduction of the Fiscal calendar

In 1677, Head Treasurer (Ottoman Turkish: باش دفتردار, Baş Defterdar) Hasan Pasha under Sultan Mehmed IV proposed the correction of financial records by dropping one year (an escape year) every 33 years, resulting from the difference between the lunar Islamic calendar and the solar Julian calendar.[2]

In 1740 (1152 AH) during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I, March was adopted as the first month of the fiscal year for the payment of taxes and dealings with government officials instead of Muharram following Treasurer Atıf Efendi's proposal.[2]

Proposed by Treasurer Moralı Osman Efendi during the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid I, the range of the fiscal calendar applications was extended in 1794 to state expenditures and payments in order to prevent surplus cost arising from the time difference between the Islamic and Julian calendar.[2]

1840 Adoption of the Julian Calendar

The Julian calendar, used from 1677 AD on for fiscal matters only, was adopted on March 13, 1840 AD (March 1, 1256 AH), in the frame of Tanzimat reforms shortly after the accession to the throne of Sultan Abdülmecid I, as the official calendar for all civic matters and named "Rumi calendar" (literally Roman calendar).[2] The counting of years began with the year 622 AD, when Muhammad and his followers emigrated from Mecca to Medina, the same event marking the start of the Islamic calendar. The months and days of the Julian calendar were used, the year starting in March.[3] However, in 1256 AH the difference between the Hijri and the Gregorian calendars amounted to 584 years. With the change from lunar calendar to solar calendar, the difference between the Rumi calendar and the Julian or Gregorian calendar remained a constant 584 years.

1917 Adoption of the Gregorian calendar

Since the Julian to Gregorian calendar changeover was finally being adopted in neighboring countries, the Rumi calendar was realigned to the Gregorian calendar in February 1917, leaving the difference of 584 years unchanged, however. Thus, after February 15, 1332 AH (February 1917 AD), the next day instead of being February 16 suddenly became March 1, 1333 AH (March 1, 1917 AD).[4] The year 1333 AH (1917 AD) was made into a year with only ten months, running from March 1 to December 31. January 1, AD 1918 thus became January 1, AH 1334.[5] The Rumi calendar remained in use after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire into the first years of the succeeding Republic of Turkey.

1925 Discontinuation of the Rumi calendar

The use of the AH era was abandoned as part of Atatürk's reforms by an act of December 26, 1341 AH (1925 AD) and was replaced by the Gregorian year from 1926.[6]

Calendar months

The names of four months that occur in pairs in the Semitic/Arabic naming system (Teşrin-i Evvel, Teşrin-i Sânî and Kânûn-ı Evvel, Kânûn-ı Sânî) were changed on January 10, 1945 to Turkish language names, Ekim, Kasım, Aralık and Ocak, for simplicity. From 1918 the fiscal year has commenced on 1 January. The other months' names were from the Syriac language, except for Mart, Mayıs, and Ağustos, which were derived from Latin.

Rumî calendar months
Month Fiscal year Turkish Ottoman Days Notes
1 11th month Kânûn-ı Sânî كانون ثانی 31 İkinci Kânûn (2nd Kânûn)
2 12th month Şubat شباط 28 or 29  
3 1st month Mart مارت 31  
4 2nd month Nisan نیسان 30  
5 3rd month Mayıs مایس 31  
6 4th month Haziran حزیران 30  
7 5th month Temmuz تموز 31  
8 6th month Ağustos اغستوس 31  
9 7th month Eylül ایلول 30  
10 8th month Teşrin-i Evvel تشرین اول 31 Birinci Teşrin (1st Teşrin)
11 9th month Teşrin-i Sânî تشرین ثانی 30 İkinci Teşrin (2nd Teşrin)
12 10th month Kânûn-ı Evvel كانون اول 31 Birinci Kânûn (1st Kânûn)

1917 Conversion Table

In 1917 (1332-1333), a major calendar reform aligned the Rumi calendar with the Gregorian calendar. This table, adapted from the work of Richard B. Rose, lists the equivalent dates for that year.[7]

Ottoman Fiscal Calendar Gregorian Calendar Julian Calendar Hijri Calendar
Teşrin-i Sânî 1-30, 1332 Nov. 14-Dec. 13, 1916 Nov. 1-30, 1916 Muharram 18-Safar 17, 1335
Kânûn-ı Evvel 1-31 Dec. 14, 1916-Jan. 13, 1917 Dec. 1-31, 1916 Safar 18-Rabi' al-Awwal 19
Kânûn-ı Sânî 1-31 Jan. 14-Feb. 13, 1917 January 1-30, 1917 Rabi' al-Awwal 20-Rabi' al-Thani 19
Şubat 1-13 February 14-26 February 1-13 Rabi' al-Thani 20-Jumada al-Awwal 3
Şubat 14 February 27 February 14 Jumada al-Awwal 4
Şubat 15 February 28 February 15 Jumada al-Awwal 5
Mart 1, 1333 March 1 February 16 Jumada al-Awwal 6
Mart 2 March 2 February 17 Jumada al-Awwal 7
Mart 3 March 3 February 18 Jumada al-Awwal 8
Mart 4-13 March 4-13 February 19-28 Jumada al-Awwal 9-18
Mart 14-31 March 14-31 March 1-18 Jumada al-Awwal 19-Jumada al-Thani 6
Nisan 1-30 April 1-30 March 19-April 17 Jumada al-Thani 7-Rajab 7
Mayıs 1-31 May 1-31 April 18-May 18 Rajab 8-Sha'ban 8
Haziran 1-30 June 1-30 May 19-June 17 Sha'ban 9-Ramadan 9
Temmuz 1-31 July 1-31 June 18-July 18 Ramadan 10-Shawwal 10
Ağustos 1-31 August 1-31 July 19-August 18 Shawwal 11-Dhu al-Qa'dah 12
Eylül 1-30 September 1-30 August 19-Sept. 17 Dhu al-Qa'dah 13-Dhu al-Hijja 12
Teşrin-i Evvel 1-31 October 1-31 Sept. 18-Oct. 18 Dhu al-Hijja 13-Muharram 14, 1336
Teşrin-i Sânî 1-30 November 1-30 Oct. 19-Nov. 17 Muharram 15-Safar 14
Kânûn-ı Evvel 1-31 December 1-31 Nov. 18-Dec. 18 Safar 15-Rabi' al-Awwal 16
Kânûn-ı Sânî 1-31, 1334 January 1-31, 1918 Dec. 19, 1917 -Jan. 18, 1918 Rabi' al-Awwal 17-Rabi' al-Thani 17
Şubat 1-28 February 1-28 January 19-February 16 Rabi' al-Thani 18-Jumada al-Awwal 16

See also


  1. ^ This means that there are 34 Hijri years to 33 Gregorian years.


  1. ^ Richards, E. G. (2012). "Calendars" (PDF). In Urban, Sean E.; Seidelmann, P. Kenneth (eds.). Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac. Mill Valley, CA: University Science Books. p. 606. ISBN 978-1-891389-85-6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Takvimler ve Birbirlerine Dönüşümleri – Rumi Takvim". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  3. ^ "History of the Ottoman Empire – The Ottoman Empire 1839–1861". World History at KMLA. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
  4. ^ Revue du monde musulman 43 (1921) p. 47.
  5. ^ A. Birken, Handbook of Turkish Philately Part I – Ottoman Empire: The Calendar (Nicosia, 1995) 11.
  6. ^ Georgeon, François (Spring 2011). "Changes of time: An aspect of Ottoman modernization". New Perspectives on Turkey 44. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  7. ^ Rose, Richard B. (1991). "The Ottoman Fiscal Calendar". Middle East Studies Association Bulletin. 25 (2): 167.