The Zoroastrian religious calendar

The religious calendar is a matter of some controversy among Zoroastrians. A whole nask ("Book") of the ancient Avesta (Nask 6: Pazag) was devoted to the subject of the reckoning of the seasons and religious calendar.

There are currently three main calendars in use: Fasli, Shahanshahi, and Qadimi. The oldest Zoroastrian calendar ('Old Avestan') was evidently a seasonal one, but it is not clear how it was kept in harmony with the seasons. In later years ('Younger Avesta' and Sasanian times) the prescribed method was to add a month every 120 years, but none of the three modern calendars follow this tradition. See Denkard 3, chapter 419, Denkard 8, chapter 7, and Bundahishn chapter 25.

Each month and each day of the religious calendar is presided over by a spiritual being; special prayers (from the Khorda Avesta) are observed in honor of that spiritual being. Days where the same spiritual being presides over both month and day (marked with * in the table below) are particularly sacred.

See also Adarbad Mahraspandan's advice on activities for each day of the month.

Names of the days and corresponding dates of observance per Fasli calculations:

Mah (Month)
Roz (day) FrawardinArdwahishtHordadTirAmurdadShahrewar
Ohrmazd Mar21Apr20May20Jun19Jul19Aug18
Vohuman Mar22Apr21May21Jun20Jul20Aug19
Ardwahisht Mar23 rApr22 *May22Jun21Jul21Aug20
Shahrewar Mar24Apr23May23Jun22Jul22Aug21 *
Spandarmad Mar25Apr24May24Jun23Jul23Aug22
Hordad Mar26Apr25May25 *Jun24Jul24Aug23
Amurdad Mar27Apr26May26Jun25Jul25 *Aug24
Adar Mar29Apr28May28Jun27Jul27Aug26
Aban Mar30Apr29May29Jun28Jul28Aug27
Khwarshed Mar31Apr30 gMay30Jun29 gJul29Aug28
Mah Apr1May1May31Jun30Jul30Aug29
Tir/TishtarApr2 May2Jun1Jul1 *Jul31Aug30
Goshorun Apr3May3Jun2Jul2Aug1Aug31
Mihr Apr5May5Jun4Jul4Aug3Sep2
Srosh Apr6May6Jun5Jul5Aug4Sep3
Rashnu Apr7May7Jun6Jul6Aug5Sep4
Frawardin Apr8 *May8Jun7Jul7Aug6Sep5
Warharan Apr9May9Jun8Jul8Aug7Sep6
Ram Apr10May10Jun9Jul9Aug8Sep7
Wad, Gowad Apr11May11Jun10Jul10Aug9Sep8
Day-pa-Den Apr12May12Jun11Jul11Aug10Sep9
Den Apr13May13Jun12Jul12Aug11Sep10
Ard Apr14May14Jun13Jul13Aug12Sep11
Ashtad Apr15May15Jun14Jul14Aug13Sep12 g
Asman Apr16May16Jun15Jul15Aug14Sep13
Zam Apr17May17Jun16Jul16Aug15Sep14
Mahraspand Apr18May18Jun17Jul17Aug16Sep15
Anagran Apr19May19Jun18Jul18Aug17Sep16

Mah (Month)
Roz (day) MihrAbanAdarDayVohumanSpandarmad
Ohrmazd Sep17Oct17Nov16Dec16 *Jan15Feb14
Vohuman Sep18Oct18Nov17Dec17Jan16 *Feb15
Ardwahisht Sep19Oct19Nov18Dec18Jan17Feb16
Shahrewar Sep20Oct20Nov19Dec19Jan18Feb17
Spandarmad Sep21Oct21Nov20Dec20Jan19Feb18 *
Hordad Sep22Oct22Nov21Dec21Jan20Feb19
Amurdad Sep23Oct23Nov22Dec22Jan21Feb20
Day-pa-AdarSep24Oct24Nov23Dec23 *Jan22Feb21
Adar Sep25Oct25Nov24 *Dec24Jan23Feb22
Aban Sep26Oct26 *Nov25Dec25Jan24 sFeb23
Khwarshed Sep27Oct27Nov26Dec26Jan25Feb24
Mah Sep28Oct28Nov27Dec27Jan26Feb25
Goshorun Sep30Oct30Nov29Dec29Jan28Feb27
Day-pa-MihrOct1Oct31Nov30Dec30 *Jan29Feb28
Mihr Oct2 *Nov1Dec1Dec31 gJan30Mar1
Srosh Oct3Nov2Dec2Jan1Jan31Mar2
Rashnu Oct4Nov3Dec3Jan2Feb1Mar3
Frawardin Oct5Nov4Dec4Jan3Feb2Mar4
Warharan Oct6Nov5Dec5Jan4Feb3Mar5
Ram Oct7Nov6Dec6Jan5Feb4Mar6
Wad, Gowad Oct8Nov7Dec7Jan6Feb5Mar7
Day-pa-Den Oct9Nov8Dec8Jan7 *Feb6Mar8
Den Oct10Nov9Dec9Jan8Feb7Mar9
Ard Oct11Nov10Dec10Jan9Feb8Mar10
Ashtad Oct12 gNov11Dec11Jan10Feb9Mar11
Asman Oct13Nov12Dec12Jan11Feb10Mar12
Zam Oct14Nov13Dec13Jan12Feb11Mar13
Mahraspand Oct15Nov14Dec14Jan13Feb12Mar14
Anagran Oct16 rNov15Dec15Jan14Feb13Mar15


* = Name day feasts
r = Rapithwina begins Mar 23 ends Oct 16
s = Festival of Sadeh (Jashan-e Sadeh)
g = Gahambars ('feasts'):
                                            2016         2017         2018         2019         2020         2021
   Maidyozarem ('mid-spring' feast):     F: Apr30-May4   Apr30-May4   Apr30-May4   Apr30-May4   Apr30-May4   Apr30-May4
                                         S: Sep26-30     Sep26-30     Sep26-30     Sep26-30     Sep25-29     Sep25-29
                                         Q: Aug27-31     Aug27-31     Aug27-31     Aug27-31     Aug26-30     Aug26-30

   Maidyoshahem ('mid-summer' feast):    F: Jun29-Jul3   Jun29-Jul3   Jun29-Jul3   Jun29-Jul3   Jun29-Jul3   Jun29-Jul3
                                         S: Nov25-29     Nov25-29     Nov25-29     Nov25-29     Nov24-28     Nov24-28
                                         Q: Oct26-30     Oct26-30     Oct26-30     Oct26-30     Oct25-29     Oct25-29

   Paitishahem (feast of 'bringing in    F: Sep12-16     Sep12-16     Sep12-16     Sep12-16     Sep12-16     Sep12-16
      the harvest'):                     S: Feb9-13      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb7-11
                                         Q: Jan10-14     Jan9-13      Jan9-13      Jan9-13      Jan9-13      Jan8-12

   Ayathrem ('bringing home the herds'): F: Oct12-16     Oct12-16     Oct12-16     Oct12-16     Oct12-16     Oct12-16
                                         S: Mar10-14     Mar10-14     Mar10-14     Mar10-14     Mar9-13      Mar9-13
                                         Q: Feb9-13      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb8-12      Feb7-11

   Maidyarem ('mid-year'/winter feast):  F: Dec31-Jan4   Dec31-Jan4   Dec31-Jan4   Dec31-Jan4   Dec31-Jan4   Dec31-Jan4
                                         S: May29-Jun2   May29-Jun2   May29-Jun2   May29-Jun2   May28-Jun1   May28-Jun1
                                         Q: Apr29-May3   Apr29-May3   Apr29-May3   Apr29-May3   Apr28-May2   Apr28-May2

   Hamaspathmaidyem ('coming of the      F: Mar16-20     Mar16-20     Mar16-20     Mar16-20     Mar16-20     Mar16-20
      whole group [of farohars]',        S: Aug12-16     Aug12-16     Aug12-16     Aug12-16     Aug11-15     Aug11-15
      feast of All Souls):               Q: Jul13-17     Jul13-17     Jul13-17     Jul13-17     Jul12-16     Jul12-16
         - Ahunawad
         - Ushtawad
         - Spentomad
         - Wohukhshathra
         - Wahishtoisht
      (Parsi Mukhtad adds 5 days to beginning)

   Noruz ('New Year's Day')              F: Mar21         Mar21         Mar21         Mar21         Mar21       Mar21
                                         S: Aug17         Aug17         Aug17         Aug17         Aug16       Aug16
                                         Q: Jul18         Jul18         Jul18         Jul18         Jul17       Jul17

Watches (gahs) of the day:

Many prayers are altered according to the time of day.

Important festivals

Significance of the names

The first seven days celebrate Ahura Mazda and the Amesha Spentas, (lit. Beneficent Immortals) sometimes called the Archangels. They are the highest spiritual beings created by Ahura Mazda.

1. Ohrmazd (Av. Ahura Mazda)The Lord of Wisdom, Zarathushtra's name for God
2. Vohuman (Av. Vohu Mano)Good Mind or Purpose. Presides over animals.
3. Ardwahisht (Av. Asha Vahishta)Highest Asha. Presides over fire.
4. Shahrewar (Av. Khshathra Vairya)'Desirable Dominion'. Presides over metals.
5. Spandarmad (Av. Spenta Armaiti)Holy (or Beneficent) Devotion. Presides over the Earth.
6. Hordad (Av. Haurvatat)Wholeness (Perfection or Health). Presides over the waters.
7. Amurdad (Av. Ameretat)Immortality or Life. Presides over plants.

The second week celebrates LIGHT and NATURE:

8. Day-pa-Adar (Av. Dadvah)The Creator's day before Adar.
9. Adar (Av. Atar)Fire
10. Aban (Av. Aban)Waters
11. Khwarshed (Av. Hvar Khshaeta)The Shining Sun
12. Mah (Av. Mah)The Moon
13. Tishtar (Av. Tishtrya)The Star Sirius, brightest star in the heavens
14. Gosh (Av. Geush)Sentient Life or the Ox-Soul

The third week celebrates moral qualities:

15. Day-pa-Mihr (Av. Dadvah)The day of the Creator before Mithra
16. Mihr (Av. Mithra)Yazad of the Contract
17. Srosh (Av. Sraosha)Yazad of 'Hearkening', i.e. paying attention
18. Rashnu (Av. Rashnu)Yazad of Truth
19. Frawardin (Av. Fravashis)The Guardian Angels
20. Warharan (Av. Verethraghna)Victory, Triumph over evil
21. Ram (Av. Raman)Peace, Joy
22. Gowad (Av. Vata)Wind, atmosphere

The fourth week celebrates religious ideas:

23. Day-pa-Den (Av. Dadvah)The day of the Creator before Den
24. Den (Av. Daena)Religion, also Inner Self or Conscience
25. Ashi (Av. Ashi)Blessings or Rewards
26. Ashtad (Av. Arshtat)Rectitude, Justice
27. Asman (Av. Asman)Sky
28. Zam (Av. Zam)Earth
29. Mahraspand (Av. Mathra Spenta) Holy Word (Manthra), also specific sections of scripture with certain poetic and spiritual properties
30. Anagran (Av. Anaghra Raocha)Endless Light