The Pawukon Calendar: Bali

The other day I put up an article about the Balinese Calendar, but there is another calendar that is used and one that was imposed on the Balinese after the Majapahit invasion occurred, the Pawukon Calendar.

Again, I consider Bill Dalton’s version to the simplest in explanations:

‘Based on the so-called Javano-Balinese Uku year which has 30 weeks of seven days each, totalling 210 days in all. Although the dates of festivals can’t be predetermined precisely, they all tend to fall at the same time each year.

The calendar is used when scheduling all the most important island-wide mass rituals and feasts like Kuningan and Galungan as well as the temple birthdays, or Odalan. The uku year is divided into six periods of 35 days each (tumpek), ie. Five seven day weeks. Based on the movements of the seven visible planets and on the three-day market week, particularly powerful days fall on coincidental or intersecting dates.

Also significant are those days which fall on the night of the full moon (Purnama) and those days at the end of the month with no moon (Tilem). Details of the Chinese, Bhuddist, Christian, and Islamic calendars are also included so that the Balinese is truly international’

There is another calendar system based on the Indian saka year which determines events in non-Javanised parts of the island. This Sanskrit-based Calendar, calculated from new moon to new moon, is divided into 12 months of 29-30 days each. We can synchronise this lunar calendar to our Western calendar by inserting a month every 30 months.