Hari ini hari apa (what day is it today)?

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In Java, calendar dates are a tricky business. This is because the Javanese recognize no less than 5 calendar systems. While the Gregorian or Western calendar is used for official business, the other calendars (and their intersections) hold spiritual significance. The calendars are as follows:

1) Gregorian, a 12-month solar calendar with 7-day weeks
2) Islamic, a 12-month lunar calendar with 7-day weeks
3) Javanese, a 12-month lunar calendar with 5-day weeks
4) Chinese, a 12-month lunar-solar calendar with 7-day weeks
5) Hindu-Balinese, a 210-day calendar based on concurrent cycles of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9-day “weeks”

The greatest attention is paid to the relationship between the Islamic and Javanese calendar. The days of the Islamic week, as they are known in Java, are:

Minggu (or Ahad) = Sunday
Senin = Monday
Selasa = Tuesday
Rabu = Wednesday
Kamis = Thursday
Jumat = Friday
Sabtu = Saturday

Officially, these day names are used along with the Gregorian day number and month. For example, today is Senin 11 April, 2016 AD. But on the Islamic calendar, today would be read as Senin 3 Rejeb, 1437 H. Jelas (clear)? Now onto the days of the Javanese or Pasaran week:

Kliwon
Legi
Pahing
Pon
Wage

Because the Islamic (7-day week) and Javanese (5-day week) calendars both belong to the same lunar system, they intersect consistently every 35 days. This period is called a Wetonan. Today’s Wetonan date is Senin Legi. The next Senin Legi, 35 days from now, is 16 Mei (May). The Wetonan date is important for planning rituals, events, business transactions, and for performing birth divination. For instance, one particular gamelan group in Yogya meets the Rabu (Wednesday) before every Jumat Kliwon. They would meet on the actual Jumat Kliwon, but there is some scheduling conflict. It is the thought that counts, anyways.

Additionally, 8-year cycles known as Windu and 120-year cycles (15 Windu) known as Kurup, contribute to the perception of particular dates as being especially important. While there is much less focus given to the Chinese and Hindu-Balinese calendar, rare intersections between these and the Islamic-Javanese calendar are noted.

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