Happy New Year

March 21st is naw ruz, نوروز, new year on the shamsi (solar) calendar used in Afghanistan, and the spring equinox.

May the year 1387 be a peaceful one for you.

1387 A.H. – After Hijra, or the year The Prophet migrated from Mecca to Medina, 622 A.D on the Gregorian calendar.

The other calendar used is the qamari (lunar) one. Which I think is pretty much the same as the shamsi one but I get a bit confused at this point. The solar calendar is secular and corresponds to the signs of the zodiac while the lunar calendar corresponds to the, errr, moon.

I happened to be walking home late one night two days ago and though I had a torch I didn’t need it, the full moon lighting my way with stunning luminescence  – the benefits of high altitude and no light or air pollution.  

With the qamari calendar, each month is 11 days earlier than the proceeding one. So Ramazan for instance gets a little earlier in the cycle each year.

In the margin of the book I’ve just been looking at to actually figure this out, next to the lunar/Islamic/qamari calendar, I’ve scrawled the words ‘Taliban months!’ When last I looked at it, trying to learn the names of the months, someone told me how since the ‘fall’ of the Taliban, people have gone back to using the shamsi names (at least in polite society) so I shouldn’t bother learning the qamari calendar. Apart from the obvious month of Ramazan anyway.

Turns out I haven’t learnt either calendar or the names of the months yet. But then with another new year, I get to make another new year’s resolution to improve my Dari.

And probably another opportunity to fail in it, though yesterday I did finally figure out how to conjugate past, present and future verb tenses. Which I’ll be quite chuffed with if I can remember them.


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