Get to know Javanese Market Days and the Origins of the Javanese Calendar

Getting to Know Javanese Market Day and the Origins of the Javanese Calendar – Friends of Sinaumed’s, do you still remember about the Javanese market day during elementary school lessons? When we were still in elementary school, there used to be local language lessons which contained specifically Javanese language and culture. We don’t know whether in this millennial era there are still lessons to be learned about it, especially in the areas of Central Java, East Java and Yogyakarta.

In the current era, many national cultures are lost and not studied thoroughly, even though this culture is one of the assets of our ancestors or ancestors that should be preserved. Well, Friends of Sinaumed’s, this article will specifically discuss culture in Javanese society, namely the Javanese calendar system.

The Origins of the Javanese Calendar

Sultan Agung or Susuhunan Agung.

This calendar system was originally used officially by the Mataram Sultanate and various fractional kingdoms that were influenced by it. At that time, there were two calendar systems used by the Mataram Sultanate, namely the Gregorian calendar and the Javanese calendar. The Gregorian calendar is used so that royal administrative affairs can be aligned with the daily activities of the general public, while the Javanese calendar is used as a benchmark for holding royal traditional ceremonies.

The Javanese calendar is also referred to as the Sultan Agungan Calendar because it was created during the reign of Sultan Agung (1613–1645). Sultan Agung is the third king of the Mataram Sultanate. At that time, the Javanese people used the Saka calendar which came from India. The Saka calendar is based on the movement of the sun (solar), in contrast to the Hijri calendar or the Islamic calendar which is based on the movement of the moon (lunar). Therefore, the traditional celebrations held by the kingdom are not in harmony with the celebrations of Islamic holidays.

Sultan Agung wanted these celebrations to be held simultaneously. For this reason, a new calendar system was created which is a combination of the Saka calendar and the Hijri calendar. This calendar system became known as the Javanese calendar or the Sultan Agungan calendar.

This calendar continues the Saka year, but removes the old calculation system and replaces it with a calculation based on the movement of the moon. Because these changes do not change and break the calculations of the old order, this shift in civilization does not cause chaos, both for society and for historical records.

This calendar has a feature because it combines several systems, namely the Islamic calendar system, the Hindu calendar system, and a bit of the Julian calendar system which is part of Western culture. So, the birth of the Javanese calendar system was a collaboration of these calendars.

Sultan Agung’s decree applies throughout the Mataram Sultanate, namely the entire island of Java and Madura, except for Banten, Batavia and Blambangan (Banyuwangi). The last three areas are not included in the territory of Sultan Agung. The islands of Bali and Palembang, which were influenced by Javanese culture, also did not take over the calendar written by Sultan Agung.

The calendar system pioneered by Sultan Agung is also called the Javanese Candrasangkala calendar or calendar calculations based on the circulation of the moon around the earth. Although adopting the Hijri calendar system, there is an essential difference between the Javanese calendar calculation system and the Hijri calendar.

The fundamental difference is when determining the change of day when the sasi (month) changes. The Javanese Candrasangkala stipulates that the change of day when the change of sasi time is fixed, namely at sunset ( fall between 17.00–18.00), while the change of day when the change of month in the Hijri calendar is determined by the new moon and sightings.


The Cycle of Market Days in the Javanese Calendar

Symbol of the market cycle in the Javanese calendar.

The Javanese in pre-Islamic times knew weeks that were not only seven days long, but from 2 to 10 days. These weeks are called by the names of dwiwara, triwara, chess, pancawara (pancawara), sadwara, saptawara, astawara and sangawara. The cycles that are still used today are saptawara (seven day cycle) and pancawara (five day cycle), while the others are still used on the island of Bali and in Tengger.

Saptawara or padanan consists of seven days connected with the lunar-earth system. This seven-day cycle coincides with the weekly cycle in the Christian calendar, namely Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The following solah (movement) of the moon towards the earth are the names of the seven days.

  • Radite • Ngahad , symbolizing meneng (silence);
  • Soma • Senen , symbolizing progress ;
  • Hangara • Tuesday , symbolizing retreat ;
  • Buda • Rebo , symbolizing mangiwa (moving to the left);
  • Respati • Kemis , symbolizing manengen (moving to the right);
  • Sukra • Jemuwah , symbolizing muntung (going up);
  • Stack • Setu , symbolizes descent (moving down).

The pancawara consists of Kliwon ( Kasih ), Legi Sweet ), Pahing ( Jenar ), Pon ( Palguna ), and Wage ( Cebony ) . Pancawara is also commonly referred to as a market . This cycle was previously used by traders to open markets according to existing market days. This is why many market names are now known that use that market name, such as Pasar Kliwon, Pasar Legi, Pasar Pahing, Pasar Pon, and Pasar Wage.

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The market days are the patrap (attitude) positions of the months as follows.

  • Kliwon • Kasih, symbolizing jumeneng (standing);
  • Legi • Manis, symbolizing mungkur (turning backwards);
  • Pahing • Jenar, symbolizing madep (facing);
  • Pon • Palguna, representing sare (sleep);
  • Wage • Gibbous , symbolizes lax (sitting).

Apart from pancawara and saptawara , there is also a six-day cycle called sadwara or paringkelan . Although sometimes it is still used in recording time, paringkelan is not used in calculating the falling time for traditional ceremonies at the palace. Paringkelan consists of Tungle , Aryang , Warungkung , Paningron , Uwas , and Mawulu.

Lunar Cycles in the Javanese Calendar

As in other calendars, the Javanese calendar also has 12 months. These months have borrowed names from Arabic adapted to the Javanese tongue, namely Sura , Sapar , Mulud , Bakdamulud , Jumadilawal , Jumadilakhir , Rejeb , Ruwah , Pasa , Sawal , Dulkangidah , and Besar . The lifespan of each month alternates between 30 and 29 days.

Here are presented the names of the Islamic Javanese months. Some of the month names are taken from the Hijri Calendar with Arabic names, but some of them use names in Sanskrit such as Pasa, Séla, and possibly also Sura, while the names Apit and Besar come from Javanese and Malay.

These names are the names of the lunar months or candra (lunar). The naming of the month is partly related to the big days in the Hijri month, such as Pasa which is related to Ramadan fasting, Mulud which is related to the Prophet’s Birthday in the month of Rabiulawal, and Ruwah which is related to Nisfu Sya’ban when the deeds of the spirit for a year are considered to be recorded. .

No Javanese calendar Day Length
1. Sura 30
2. Sapar 29
3. Mulud or Rabingulawal 30
4. Bakda Mulud or Rabingulakir 29
5. Early Friday 30
6. Jumadil finally 29
7. Regeb 30
8. Ruwah (Arwah, Saban) 29
9. Pasa (Puwasa, Siyam, Ramelan) 30
10. Early 29
11. Séla (Dulkangidah, Apit) *) 30
12. Big (Dulkahijjah) 29/30
  Total 354/355

The names of the months are as follows.

  • Warana • Sura, means rijal ;
  • Wadana • Sapar, means wiwit ;
  • Wijangga • Mulud, means brother ;
  • Wiyana • Bakda Mulud, meaning ambuka ;
  • Widada • Jumadilawal, means wiwara ;
  • Widarpa • Jumadilakir, means rahsa ;
  • Wilapa • Rejeb, meaning purwa ;
  • Wahana • Ruwah, means being ;
  • Wanana • Pasa, means middle ;
  • Wurana • Sawal, means form ;
  • Wujana • Séla, meaning wusana ;
  • Wujala • Big, means kothong .


The alternative name for the month Dulkangidah is Sela or Apit. These names are a relic of the Old Javanese names for the name of the 11th season which is called Apit Weak . Séla means rock; associated with weak which means “land”.

The appearance of the moon in the Javanese calendar is as follows.

  • The 1st of the Javanese month, the moon looks very small-just like a line, this is interpreted as a newborn baby, which gradually becomes bigger and brighter;
  • The 14th of the Javanese month is called the full moon sidhi , the full moon represents adults who are married or married;
  • The 15th of the Javanese month is called full moon , the moon still looks full, but there is already a sign of size and light is slightly reduced;
  • The 20th of the Javanese month is called panglong , this is interpreted as someone who has started to lose his memory;
  • The 25th of the Javanese month is called sumup , this is interpreted as someone who has started to be taken care of by other people or returns like a baby;
  • The 26th of the Javanese month is called Manjing , this means that humans return to their original place again.
  • The remaining four or five days symbolize the time when humans will begin to be reborn into a new worldly life.

The Year Cycle in the Javanese Calendar

One year in the Javanese calendar has an age of 354 3/8 days. For this reason, there is an eight-year cycle known as windu . In one windu there are eight years, each of which has its own name, namely Alip , Ehe , Jimawal , Je , Dal , Be , Wawu , and Jimakir . The years of Ehe , Dal , and Jimakir have a lifespan of 355 days and are known as long years ( Taun Wuntu ), while the remaining 354 days are known as short years ( Taun Wastu) .). In this long year, the big month as the last month has a life of 30 days.

In addition, there is a 32 year cycle of four windu, namely the names of the days, markets, dates and months which repeat exactly or are called mash . The four windu in the cycle are named Kuntara , Sangara , Sancaya , and Adi . Each of these windu has its own symbol, namely Kulawu and Langkir . Each symbol is eight years old, so the total cycle of the signs is 16 years old.

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Even so, there are still differences in calculations between the Javanese year and the Hijri year. Every 120 years, there will be a difference of one day in the two calendar systems. This is what made at that time the Javanese year was given an additional day. This 120 year period is called khurup .

Until the early 21st century, there were four khurup, namely Khurup Jumuwah Legi/Amahgi (1555 J–1627 J/1633 AD–1703 AD), Khurup Kemis Kliwon/Amiswon (1627 J–1747 J/1703 AD–1819 AD), Khurup Rebo Wage/Aboge (1867 J–1987 J/1819 M–1963 AD), and Khurup Selasa Pon/Asapon (1867 J–1987 J/1936 AD–2053 AD).

The current khurup name refers to the day that falls on the 1st month of Sura in the year Alip . On Khurup Asapon , the 1st of the month Sura of the year Alip will always fall on the Tuesday of Pon for a period of 120 years.


Wuku and Neptu

Related to the Javanese calendar, it is also known that the time period is considered to determine the character of the child being born, just as astrology is related to the Gregorian calendar. This period is called Wuku and the science of calculation is called Pawukon . There are 30 Wuku , each of which has a lifespan of 7 days, so that one Wuku cycle has a lifespan of 210 days which is called the Wuku Kitchen .

Besides Wuku , there is also Neptu which is used to see the value of a day. There are two kinds of Neptu , namely Neptu Dina and Neptu Pasaran . Neptu Dina is a number used to mark the value of days in saptawara , while Neptu Pasaran is used to mark the value of days in pancawara . These values ​​are used to calculate the pros and cons of a day related to certain activities and the character of someone born on that day.

The Sultan Agungan calendar begins on Friday Legi on 1 Sura in the year Alip 1555 J, or 1 Muharram 1043 H, or 8 July 1633. This event occurs on Windu Kuntara, the Kulawu symbol and is marked by a sengkala moon which reads Jemparingen Buta Galak Iku (arrows of wild giants That).

Since then, the Mataram Sultanate and its successors have been able to hold traditional celebrations in tune with Islamic holidays. Traditional ceremonies such as the Garebeg are not an obstacle to the development of Islam, but instead are used as symbols of the religion itself.

This new calendar system was an attempt by a far-sighted leader to combine the two currents of civilization at that time, a reconciliation between the waves of Islamic culture and pre-Islamic civilizations. The new civilization which is now known as Mataram Islam.

Implementation of the Javanese Calendar

Currently, the Javanese calendar is used to determine various important activities, such as activities to determine auspicious days for marriage, activities to determine days for circumcision, activities to determine events for death, activities to determine the construction of houses, and activities to determine good days for traveling.

The general public, especially the Javanese, think that they must determine an auspicious day in advance to carry out various activities, for example wedding activities must be determined in advance on an auspicious day so that future couples who are to be married will not experience bad events, either before marriage or after marriage.

The community views that the Javanese calendar has a sacred value. As for the characteristics of the sacred, it is respected by humans, creates fear, is held in high esteem, is characterized by ambiguity, its benefits are unreasonable, gives strength, and emphasizes the guidance and obligations for its adherents and worshippers.

Related to the existence of belief and also belief in something in the Javanese calendar, it all depends on the views of each individual community who judges. We as editors can only take the positive side of the Javanese Islamic calendar in this contemporary life.

Various social actions carried out by the community in announcing the existence of the Javanese calendar are a folkways (habits) related to problems in social life, a mores (code of conduct) related to social life, and also a tradition (adat).

So, that’s a brief explanation of the Origins, Cycles, and Implementation of the Javanese Calendar System. Sinaumed’s can also visit sinaumedia’s book collection at to obtain references about other cultures that are still being preserved in Indonesia. The following are recommendations for sinaumedia books that Sinaumed’s can read to study them in full. Happy reading.

Find other interesting things at . sinaumedia as #FriendsWithoutLimits will always present interesting articles and recommendations for the best books for Sinaumed’s.

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