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How to Talk About Days, Weeks, Months, and More!

If you are learning Bengali, you’ll definitely want to know about how to talk about time and dates! Learning about the unique Bengali calendar is a must.

Some aspects may be familiar to you. For example, there are seven days in a Bengali week, just like in English. But did you know there are not four, but six seasons in the Bengali calendar?

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Bengalis use both the Western calendar and their own twelve-month calendar, but they don’t match each other. Keep reading to learn all about them!

Days of the Month in Bengali

Numbers can be complicated in Bengali. This is because each number from 0 to 100 is a completely unique word. But don’t worry about that too much right now. For talking about days, we only need to learn 1-31. I’ll show you how!

Numbers 1-31 in Bengali

Let’s first learn how to count 1-31 in Bengali. This will be our foundation to saying days of the month, such as the tenth of March.

Note that words ending in an “o” ( ো) sound may be written with or without the vowel in Bengali. Therefore, “eleven” (ægaro) may be written as এগারো or এগার. For a comprehensive guide to how to pronounce Bengali words, check out our article on the Bengali alphabet.

  • 1:এক (æk)
  • 2: দুই (dui)
  • 3: তিন (tin)
  • 4: চার (char)
  • 5: পাঁচ (pãch)
  • 6: ছয় (cchoy)
  • 7: সাত (shat)
  • 8: আট ()
  • 9: নয় (noy)
  • 10: দশ (dosh)
  • 11: এগারো (ægaro)
  • 12: বারো (baro)
  • 13: তেরো (tero)
  • 14: চৌদ্দ (chouddo)
  • 15: পনেরো (ponero)
  • 16: ষোলো (sholo)
  • 17: সতেরো (shotero)
  • 18: আঠারো (aʈharo)
  • 19: উনিশ (unish)
  • 20: বিশ (bish) or কুড়ি (kuɽi) *Note 1
  • 21: একুশ (ækush)
  • 22: বাইশ (baish)
  • 23: তেইশ (teish)
  • 24: চব্বিশ (chobbish)
  • 25: পঁচিশ (pãchish)
  • 26: ছাব্বিশ (chhabbish)
  • 27: সাতাশ (shatash)
  • 28: আটাশ (aʈash)
  • 29: ঊনত্রিশ (unotrish)
  • 30: তিরিশ (tirish) or ত্রিশ (trish) *Note 2
  • 31: একত্রিশ (æktrish)

*Note 1: কুড়ি (kuɽi) is usually used in West Bengal, while it is considered formal in Bangladesh. Bangladeshis colloquially use বিশ (bish) more often, but will still use the former in formal writing, such as literature or government documents.

*Note 2: Similar as with 20, West Bengalis will say তিরিশ (tirish), and Bangladeshis will use this in formal writing. However, in normal speech, Bangladeshis prefer ত্রিশ (trish).

Ordinal Numbers for Days of the Month in Bengali: 1st-31st

Now that we have our foundation of cardinal numbers 1-31, we can use almost all of these to count the days of the month. The first four are irregular, but after that, there are easy patterns, so don’t worry!

  • 1st: পয়লা (pɔela) (a colloquial form of the more official পহেলা pɔhela)
  • 2nd: দোসরা (doshora)
  • 3rd: তেসরা (teshora)
  • 4th: চৌঠা (chouʈha)

Alternatively, you could use the simple number 1-4 and add the word for “date,” or তারিখ (tarikh) after. Therefore, you could also say: এক তারিখ (æk tharik, the 1st), দুই তারিখ (dui tarikh, the 2nd), তিন তারিখ (tin tarikh, the 3rd), and চার তারিখ (char tarikh, the 4th).

Now, for the 5th to 18th, just add ই (i) to the end of the number. It goes like this:

  • 5th: পাঁচই (pãchi)
  • 6th: ছয়ই (chhoyi)
  • 7th: সাতই (shati)
  • 8th: আটই (aʈi)
  • 9th: নয়ই (noyi)
  • 10th: দশই (doshi)
  • 11th: এগারোই (ægaroi)
  • 12th: বারোই (baroi)
  • 13th: তেরোই (teroi)
  • 14th: চৌদ্দই (chouddoi)
  • 15th: পনেরোই (poneroi)
  • 16th: ষোলোই (sholoi)
  • 17th: সতেরোই (shoteroi)
  • 18th: আঠারোই (aʈharoi)

For the 19th to 31st, just add ে (e) to the end!

  • 19th: উনিশে (unishe)
  • 20th: বিশে (bishe) *Note 1
  • 21st: একুশে (ækushe)
  • 22nd: বাইশে (baishe)
  • 23rd: তেইশে (teishe)
  • 24th: চব্বিশে (chobbishe)
  • 25th: পঁচিশে (pãchishe)
  • 26th: ছাব্বিশে (chhabbishe)
  • 27th: সাতাশে (shatashe)
  • 28th: আটাশে (aʈashe)
  • 29th: ঊনত্রিশে (unotrishe)
  • 30th: তিরিশে (tirishe) or ত্রিশে (trishe) *Note 2
  • 31st: একত্রিশে (æktrishe)

*Note 1: Both West Bengalis and Bangladeshis use বিশে (bishe).

*Note 2: Bangladeshis will colloquially say ত্রিশে (trishe).

And there you have it! Now you know how to talk about any day of the month. But discussing dates would not be complete without talking about days of the week, so let’s learn that next.

Days of the Week in Bengali

Until the 17th century, the Bengali calendar may have had a different name for each day of the year.

Luckily, this changed, and now the Bengali calendar uses the 7-day Gregorian calendar (which is the standard calendar used in the West).

The week starts on Sunday, but Bengalis consider the start of the day to begin and end at sunrise, rather than midnight!

The names of the week for the Bengali calendar are based on Navagraha, or Hindu astrology. This is very similar many other languages, such as GermanSpanish, and Japanese!

  • Sunday রবিবার (robibar) or রব্বার (robbar) – literally “sun day” *Note 1
  • Monday সোমবার (shombar) – literally “moon day”
  • Tuesday মঙ্গলবার (mong’golbar) – literally “Mars day”
  • Wednesday বুধবার (budhbar) – literally “Mercury day”
  • Thursday বৃহস্পতিবার (brihoshpotibar) – literally “Jupiter day”
  • Friday শুক্রবার (shukrobar) – literally “Venus day”
  • Saturday শনিবার (shonibar) – literally “Saturn day”

*Note 1: In both West Bengal and Bangladesh, রবিবার (robibar) is often shortened to রব্বার (robbar) in colloquial speech.

Now, if you know astrology terms in Bengali, this is easy to remember. However, you probably will learn those much later! I personally used mnemonics to remember most of the days of the week.

For example, I imagined Tuesday is the day the Mongols invade, and Wednesday is Buddha’s day.

Months in Bengali

There are two ways of counting months in Bengali. You will often hear the English months pronounced in a Bengali way. These will be the easiest for you to remember first! They go like this:

  • “January”: জানুয়ারি (Januari)
  • “February”: ফেব্রুয়ারি (Februari)
  • “March”: মার্চ (March)
  • “April”: এপ্রিল (Epril)
  • “May”: মে (Me)
  • “June”: জুন (Jun)
  • “July”: জুলাই (Julai)
  • “August”: আগস্ট (Agosʈ)
  • “September”: সেপ্টেম্বার (Sepʈembar)
  • “October”: অক্টোবার (Okʈobar)
  • “November”: নভেম্বার (Nobhembar)
  • “December”: ডিসেম্বার (Ɖisembar)

You will also sometimes hear Bengalis talk about their 12 months using the traditional words. However, these don’t match the 12 months in the English calendar. Instead, they match the six Bengali seasons (more on that later!). In the Bengali calendar, the year starts in বৈশাখ (Boishak), or mid-April.

These months are:

  • বৈশাখ (Boishak): mid-April to mid-May
  • জ্যৈষ্ঠ (Joishʈho): mid-May to mid-June
  • আষাঢ় (Ashaɽh): mid-June to mid-July
  • শ্রাবণ (Shrabon): mid-July to mid-August
  • ভাদ্র (Bhadro): mid-August to mid-September
  • আশ্বিন (Ashhin): mid-September to mid-October
  • কার্তিক (Kartik): mid-October to mid-November
  • অগ্রহায়ণ (Ɔgrohayon): mid-November to mid-December
  • পৌষ (Poush): mid-December to mid-January
  • মাঘ (Magh): mid-January to mid-February
  • ফাল্গুন (Falgun): mid-February to mid-March
  • চৈত্র (Choitro): mid-March to mid-April

Like Western Gregorian months, traditional Bengali months all have 30-31 days in Bangladesh. This is except for Falgun, which since 2019 has 29 days, but 30 on leap years. Luckily, it overlaps with February, so it’s easy to remember!

However, things can get more complicated in India, with each month being between 29-32 days. This is because it is more connected with the traditional Hindu calendar system.

Years in Bengali

The Bengali calendar is 594 years behind the Gregorian calendar–although no one knows for sure how the Bengali calendar started! Therefore, as of mid-April 2023, it will be the year 1430 according to the traditional calendar. However, like months, the Gregorian year is commonly used.

For dates from the year 2000 and up, you will need to know the word for “thousand”: হাজার (hajar). So for example, to say the current year 2023, you would say “two thousand twenty-three,” or দুই হাজার তেইশ (dui hajar teish).

However, before the 2000’s, things were a little different. You break up the year into two parts, similar to how you would in English. For example, my birth year of 1993 would also be literally “nineteen ninety-three,” just adding শ (shɔ) after the first part. 1993 in Bengali is উনিশ-শ তিরানব্বই (unish-sho tiranobboi).

Unfortunately this means that for years before 2000, you need to learn the rest of the numbers from 32-99. But luckily you don’t need to do this to give the current date until 2032!

Finally, you should add সাল (shal) after the year if it is not clear by context.

Bengali Seasons

Let’s talk about seasons!

Even though to me, Bangladesh felt like it had only two seasons (“hot” and “cool”), Bangladeshis will tell you this is not true! The Bengali people are very sensitive to the changing seasons.

The six seasons to them in the Bengal region are:

  • বসন্ত (bɔshonto): “spring”, which is February to April
  • গ্রীষ্ম (grishho [formal] or grishmo [colloquial]): “summer”, which is April to June
  • বর্ষা (bɔrsha): “rainy/Monsoon season”, which is June to August
  • শরৎ (shɔrɔt): “fall/autumn”, which is August to October
  • হেমন্ত (hemɔnto): “dry/harvesting season”, which is October to December
  • শীত (shit): “winter”, which is December to February

For an American in Bangladesh, summer, the rainy season, and winter were very distinguishable. But I wasn’t very aware of the other three seasons coming and going. I often wondered how many seasons Bengalis would consider my hometown to have, since the temperature changed much more there!

Due to the location of the Bengal region, sometimes it feels like the seasons happen in different months as well. For example, in most of the US, July is the hottest month, but in Bangladesh, April usually is! However, January is often the coldest month in both countries.

Many Bangladeshis don’t dream about a spring or summer wedding like Americans do because it is so hot and humid. But instead, the winter months are a popular time to get married due to the dry, cooler weather.

Hardly a day went by in the winter months when I didn’t see a wedding party in Bangladesh!

Other Useful Words

Here are some other useful words to talk about dates and the calendar in Bengali.

  • “Day”: দিন (din)
  • “Week”: সপ্তাহ (shɔpta)
  • “Month”: মাস (mash)
  • “Year”: বছর (bɔchhor)
  • “Morning”: সকাল (shɔkal)
  • “Afternoon/Midday”: দুপুর (dupur)
  • “Evening”: বিকাল (bikal)
  • “Night”: রাত (rat)
  • “From/Since”: থেকে (theke)
  • “Until”: পর্যন্ত (porjonto)
  • “Yesterday”: গতকাল (gɔtokal)
  • “Today”: আজকে (ajke)
  • “Tomorrow”: আগামীকাল (agamikal)
  • “Yesterday…” / “Last…”: গত (gɔto) – Ex. গত দুপুর (gɔto dupur, “yesterday noon”), গত মাস (gɔto mash, “last month”)
  • “This…”: আজ (aj) or এই (ei) – You use আজ (aj) if something takes place within the day (ex. আজ দুপুর – aj dupur or “this afternoon”), but এই (ei) if something takes place beyond the day (ex. এই সপ্তাহ – ei shɔpta, “this week”).
  • “Tomorrow…” / “Next…”: আগামী (agami) – Ex. আগামী বিকাল (agami bikal, “tomorrow evening”), আগামী বছর (agami bochhor, “next year”)

Phrases to Talk about Bengali Dates and the Calendar

Now, let’s try putting it all together! Here are some common phrases in Bengali using your new knowledge about days and the calendar.

“What date is today?”: আজ কত তারিখ? (Aj kɔto tarikh?)
“It’s January 30.”: আজ জানুয়ারি ত্রিশে। (Aj Januari trishe.)

“The Bengali new year is the first day of Boishakh.”: বাংলা নববর্ষ পহেলা বৈশাখ। (*Bangla nɔboborsho pɔhela Boishakh.”)

Celebrating the Bengali New Year (1426) in Bangladesh

“When is your birthday?” (honorific): আপনার জন্মদিন কবে? (Apnar jɔnmodin kɔbe?)
“When is your birthday?” (casual): তোমার জন্মদিন কবে? (Tomar jɔnmodin kɔbe?)
“I was born on June 1, 1993.”: আমার জন্ম হয়েছিল উনিশ-শ তিরানব্বই সালে। (Amar jɔnmo hɔechhilo unish-shɔ tiranobboi shale.)

“What is your favorite season?” (honorific): আপনার প্রিয় ঋতু কি? (Apnar priyo ritu ki?)
“What is your favorite season?” (casual): তোমার প্রিয় ঋতু কি? (Tomar priyo ritu ki?)
“My favorite season is winter.”: আমার প্রিয় ঋতু শীতকাল। (Amar priyo ritu shitkal.)

“I work from Monday to Friday.”: আমি সোমবার থেকে শুক্রবার কাজ করি। (Ami shombar theke shukroba kaj kori.)
“I will study until September.”: সেপ্টেম্বার পর্যন্ত পড়াশোনা করব। (Sepʈembar porjonto pɔrashona korbo.)
“I am in Bangladesh until April.”: আমি এপ্রিল পর্যন্ত বাংলাদেশে আছি।(Ami Epril porjonto Bangladeshe achhi.)
“I have lived in Kolkata since July.”: আমি জুলাই মাস থেকে কলকাতায় থাকি। (Ami Julai theke Kolkatae thaki.)

How to Add the Bengali Calendar to Your Phone

There are third-party apps that let you view the Bengali calendar on your phone. You can find these by searching “Bengali calendar” or “Bangla calendar” in your app store of choice.

Google Calendar also has many options for adding Bengali holidays to your existing calendar. You find them this way:

Click on the three lines, and choose “Settings.” Under “Holidays,” you can add public and other holidays for certain countries, including Bangladesh and India. You might also wish to click on “Add religious holidays,” as many Bangladeshis follow Muslim holidays, and many West Bengalis follow Hindu holidays.

For iOS, your options are more limited in the Calendar app. Within the app, click “Calendars,” and choose “Add Calendar.” Under “Add Holiday Calendar,” you can add a holiday calendar for India.

These are of course not specific to the Bengali calendar, but the good news is, there is some overlap!

Now You Know All about the Bengali Calendar!

There’s a lot to learn about the Bengali calendar, but it’s not that hard. Most Bengalis are familiar with the Gregorian calendar, so you can learn theirs to dive into their culture more. You will for sure experience time and a sense of holidays in a whole new way.

Maybe your favorite season will even change!

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