Some Hindus celebrate ‘Mesha Shankaranti’ as New Year’s Day, while Tamils celebrate Thai Pongal as New Year.
However, the Gregorian Year is recognised as the ‘Real Year,’ which runs according to the change of seasons.
The first Vedic Year (Kali Yuga) probably began on January 23, 3102 BC. In other words, the ‘Nanthana’ Year, which began last month, is Kali Yuga 5113, delayed 80 days from January 23 to April 13. The first Mahara month of ‘Shankaranti’ was at the end of October.
Hence, the so-called ‘Harvest Festival’ (Thai) Pongal at that time was 80 days away from the present day.
Is it not wrong to call it the ‘Harvest Festival?’
The Earth rotates and revolves around the Sun, wobbling at the same time.
Each wobble takes nearly 25,000 years.
In the Gregorian method, a year is calculated by the movement of the Sun from North to South and South to North. (December 21 Capricorn, March 21 Equator, June 21 Cancer, September 20 again Equator and back to Capricorn).
In this manner, the year abides by the seasons accurately because it is not affected anyway by the wobbling.
In the Vedic Year, the movement of the Sun is calculated from 0 degree (beginning of Mesha Rasi) to 360 degrees (end of Meena Rasi).
Due to the wobbling of the Earth, the Sun has to travel 20 minutes more.
Each year, there is a difference of 20 minutes and hence the Vedic Year falls behind one day in 72 years. After 1000 years, the ‘Mesha Year’ will be at the end of April.
V Sivasupramaniam is a former employee of Education Service in his native Sri Lanka. He has also worked in Nigeria and Seychelles. He is a freelance writer resident in Auckland.