MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, YOGYAKARTA – The Javanese calendar combines elements from the Saka and Hijri calendars, reflecting cultural heritage and identity. A member of the Muhammadiyah Council for Islamic Thought and Judgment, Ghoffar Ismail, mentioned the Javanese calendar has profound values.
During the transition to the new Saka year of 1555, coinciding with the new Hijri year of 1 Muharram 1043 H and July 8, 1633 AD, Sultan Agung significantly changed the Javanese Calendar. From that moment on, the Javanese year has been counted as 1957, replacing the previous system used by the Islamic Mataram Kingdom.
Sultan Agung had a visionary goal of synchronizing the traditional royal ceremonies with significant Islamic dates, which necessitated some adaptations. The main adjustments involved shifting the Javanese Calendar from the solar-based Saka calendar to the lunar-based Hijri calendar to synchronize the two systems of time calculation.
The Javanese calendar’s appeal goes beyond its time calculation—it also features distinct month names like Suro, Sapar, Mulud, Bakda Mulud, Jumadil Awal, Jumadil Akhir, Rejeb, Ruwah, Poso, Sawal, Dulkangidah, and Besar, each derived from the Hijri months.
Moreover, the Javanese calendar applies dual cycles, incorporating both the traditional seven-day week and the distinct five-day pancawara cycle. The first cycle comprises seven days, similar to the widely recognized Gregorian calendar.
It also employs Arabic day names, such as Ahad (Sunday), Isnain (Monday), Tsalasa (Tuesday), Arba’a (Wednesday), Khamisi (Thursday), Jum‘ah (Friday), and Sab’ah (Saturday), establishing historical ties across various geographic regions. The other cycle, known as “pancawara,” is unique to the Javanese calendar and consists of five days: Legi, Pahing, Pon, Wage, and Kliwon.
The pancawara cycle provides a deeper understanding of time, as each day has distinct characteristics and energy, contributing to a unique rhythm of life.
Beneath the harmonious blend of these elements lies a thought-provoking historical journey. Sultan Agung’s wisdom in creating this calendar demonstrates a spirit of unity in diversity. The Javanese calendar extends its influence to cover the Java and Madura islands, strengthening cultural bonds among their inhabitants.
Nevertheless, Banten, with its unique characteristics, does not adopt this timekeeping system. While it may appear as a minor historical detail, it reminds us of the intricate complexities and dynamic nature of cultural exchange.