Time Zone Localizations

Paul Eggert eggert at CS.UCLA.EDU
Fri Jun 11 06:13:12 UTC 2004

Guy Harris <guy at alum.mit.edu> writes:

> "Nobody uses solar time any more for civil time.  The last holdout was
> Saudi Arabia; they converted to UTC+3 in 1950."
> so I'm not sure why we even still have the "solar{87,88,89}" files any
> more, as that seems to imply that they *didn't* use solar time in
> 1987, 1988, or 1989.

I think those files are there more as of a proof-of-concept than
anything else.  As far as I can determine, the Saudis use UTC+3 for
all civil time, and have done so since 1950.  For religious purposes
they use direct astronomical observations to determine key times.  In
practice, many of these observations have turned out to be incorrect,
which adds to the fun.

The rest of this message isn't all that relevant to times, but it
is relevant to anybody wanting to internationalize for Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is different in many ways.  Their religious calendar
differs from their main civil calendar.  And their main civil calendar
not only differs from the Gregorian calendar: it also differs from the
calendars used by Muslims outside the Arabian peninsula.  To make
things even more interesting, they changed their civil calendrical
system in 1999 and again in 2002.

One more thing: the Saudis use a solar zodiacal calendar for some
civil purposes (the fiscal year, and their National Day holiday).


Robert Harry van Gent
The Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia (2003-09-11)

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