Does the day start at sunrise or 12:00?

For fasting and other reasons when we need to do certain tasks for 1 day. When does the day start?

  • 9
    The day always starts with Sun rise. Only for Shraddha or Tarpanam we use noon time.
    – Rama27
    Oct 29, 2017 at 13:51
  • Also it is mentioned that sunrise is considered to occur when a full half of sun appears above horizon, and not when the sun's tip appears at horizon. I read this in a jyotish article.
    – user9392
    Oct 29, 2017 at 14:54
  • Sun rise is exactly 6 hours before noon i.e when Sun is exactly at your Meridian with reference to the equator. Calculation given by all softwares and Panchangs are with reference to ecliptic and your Latitude which is not as per by the ancient Siddhant.
    – Rama27
    Oct 30, 2017 at 4:18

4 Answers 4


In KrishnaBhaagwatam, Book 4, Chapter 31

यथैव सूर्यात्प्रभवन्ति वारः पुनश्च तस्मिन् प्रविशन्ति काले ।
भूतानि भूमौ स्थिरजङ्‌गमानि तथा हरावेव गुणप्रवाहः ॥ १५ ॥

Just like days start from Sun's appearance, and again after some time end within Sun. The same way all the existence, moving or not moving, on living dimension, are like flow of the Gunas(Sattva, Rajas, Tamas) in Hari.

This is a statement in Bhagawatam that says day start with Sun and end with Sun.

  • Sun appearing above horizon is a fallacy that most are following based on western customs. This means if someone is in the valley the sun will rise much later than when the person is on top of the mountain though both of them are in the same location. We must follow the technical definition of time as per Siddhantas. Poetry must be read with logic.
    – Rama27
    Oct 31, 2017 at 9:30
  • @Rama27 in fact sun never rises or set and our Scriptures say it clearly. But still days are said to start as soon as Sun rises.
    – user9392
    Oct 31, 2017 at 10:44
  • The word sun rise is the problem why there is so much confusion. As per Jyotish when Sun is at Lagna it is day beginning. Lagna is always 90degree east of your meridian. Lagna is a joining point of past and present and not what some westerners call Ascendant( horizon based). This is a travesty of kaliyug which we need to correct.
    – Rama27
    Oct 31, 2017 at 13:39

Day starts from sunrise. One day and night together makes an ahorAtra. For vrata and other auspicious occasion we have to consider sunrise as the.start of the day.

It is advised to get up about two muhurta before the sunrise in order to finish day to day chorus and get ready for rituals like sandhyA.

One muhurta as per Astrology is about 48 minutes. Let us see a passage from wikipedia to understand it better.

Brahma Muhūrta, approximately one and a half hours before sunrise or more precisely is 1Hr 36 Mins. i.e. 96 Minutes = 2 Muhūrta or 4 Ghaṭīkā, is recommended in all practices of yoga is traditionally considered most apt for meditation.


However, it is clear from the associations of the names with specific constellations that the present Brahma-Muhūrta starts just before 6:00AM during the Vernal Equinox. At present, Jīva-Amṛta and Viṣṇu comprise the two twilight muhūrtas prior to sunrise.

Sunrise and sunset times can be found in local panchAngam and newspapers


It is generally considered by Hindus now-a-days that the day begins with the sun rise. But in Vedic period the day began with dawn (Usha kal) exactly when redness appear in the sky indicating the rise of Sun. This is the period which was called then as Pratah Savan for worship. RigVeda describes three Savans of a day but I could find only two of them so far - (1) Pratah Savan (2) Madhyan Din Savan.

(1) Pratah Savan - it seems that the Pratah Savan was devoted exclusively to our ancient Mother Godess Aditi in earlier age as mentioned in RV. 5.69 (3) - " Pratah Devim Aditi johavimi Madhyan Din udita Suryasya" meaning - " we recall/ remember godess Aditi in the early morning and the rising Sun in the mid day ritual". (here ' the rising Sun may be indicative of Indra). But in another hymn RV.7.41 (1) of the verse addressed to Godess Usha mentions many gods for Pratah Savan - "Pratah Agnim Pratah Indram havamahe ....Pratah Somam ut Rudram huvem".

In order to affirm when this Pratah Savan begins, a reference to a verse addressed to Usha RV.7.77 (1) would suffice, where Godess Usha " shouting/making hassle like young girl awakes every lives of the inhabited world and directs to their respective work" ( Usho ruruche yuvatih na yosha visham jeevam prasuvanti charaye". This time corresponds with the Brahma Muhurt that later scriptures design.

  • Try to format your answer. Points (lines starting with numeric value) should be shown in next line. Use enter keys with free mind, no need to save space. Big answer in one paragraph looks weird :)
    – Vishvam
    Oct 31, 2017 at 8:24
  • @Rishabh You are right, but I am still unable to create paragraph. It appears in the edit mode but disappears when saved. Would you please help me here ? Oct 31, 2017 at 9:16
  • You can use enter key twice. If it still don't work then you can use br tag to create empty line by putting this tag.. <br>. One <br> tag will create one empty line after save and 2 will create 2 lines :)
    – Vishvam
    Oct 31, 2017 at 9:20
  • @Rishabh Wow! I learned just in the second attempt by using the enter button twice. But I still don't know how to highlight with yellow colour. Oct 31, 2017 at 9:22
  • Yellow color highlighted by putting this (>) symbol at beginning of paragraph. First letter of paragraph should be > to show yellow. To know more about edits read this.
    – Vishvam
    Oct 31, 2017 at 9:25

This sloka is from Pancha Siddhantika. Chapter 15. "Secrets of Astronomy".


"19. Simhaacharya has declared that reckoning day-total commences at sunrise in Lanka. "

Hindu Siddhantas suppose Lanka to be on the equator, at the junction of the Ujjain meridian. Simhaacharya's view is that of many later siddhantas.

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