The first solar calendar for Nepal Sambat was inaugurated one year ago on Wednesday.
Newa activists Rukshana Kapali, Supriya Manandhar, Sanyukta Shrestha, and Subhash Ram Prajapati created and launched the calendar on October 20 last year.
Kapali is an ethnomusicologist and software engineer, Manandhar is a digital artist, Shrestha is a games developer, and Prajapati is a writer and activist.
The calendar was accepted by the non-governmental organization Queer Youth Group, the network of transgender men and women Trans Rights Collective, and the Campaign for Change Nepal in its inaugural year, according to Kapali.
Instead of lunar phases, the solar Nepal Sambat is based on a 365-day cycle with 12 set months (tithis).
“This makes it more regular and fit for official usage,” Kapali said, adding that it would also assist Nepal Sambat in creating a perpetual calendar (since the days and months are fixed, future calendars can be set in advance). The solar calendar was meant to complement, not replace, the lunar calendar, according to Kapali.