The Islamic Solar Calendars of Saudi Arabia

In addition with the official lunar calendar, Saudi Arabia also employs several Islamic solar calendars which are closely tied with the Western or Gregorian calendar.

The Zodiacal Calendar

The main Islamic solar calendar employed in Saudi Arabia is the zodiacal calendar in which each month corresponds with a zodiacal sign. The first day of the solar year corresponds with 23 September in the Gregorian calendar. Each month is 30 or 31 days in length, except for the sixth month which is 29 days in a common year and 30 days in a leap year. Years are counted from the year of the hijra (622 CE).

Nr. Solar month First day Month
  Nr. Solar month First day Month
1 Libra [al-Mīzān] 23 September 30 7 Aries [al-Ḥamal] 21 March 31
2 Scorpio [al-ʿAqrab] 23 October 30 8 Taurus [al-Thawr] 21 April 31
3 Sagittarius [al-Qaws] 22 November 30 9 Gemini [al-Jawzāʾ] 22 May 31
4 Capricorn [al-Jady] 22 December 30 10 Cancer [al-Saraṭān] 22 June 31
5 Aquarius [al-Dalw] 21 January 30 11 Leo [al-Asad] 23 July 31
6 Pisces [al-Ḥūt] 20 February 29 (30*) 12 Virgo [al-Sunbula] 23 August 31

* in a Gregorian leap year

This calendar is commonly used in Saudi Arabia for fiscal reckoning. Before 1987, the fiscal year in Saudi Arabia was based on the lunar calendar and was reckoned from the first day of Rajab until the last day of Jumādā ʾl-Ākhira in the next year. After 1987, the fiscal year began on 10 Capricorn (i.e. 31 December) and, since 2004, on 11 Capricorn (i.e. 1 January). Also, since 1 Muḥarram 1438 AH (2 October 2016), salaries for workers in the public sector are paid on the 5th day of each solar month.

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