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Using Calendars for Specific Cultures

A globalized application should be able to display and use calendars based on the current culture. The .NET Framework provides the Calendar class as well as the following class implementations:

The CultureInfo class has a Calendar property that specifies the default calendar for a culture. Some cultures support more than one calendar. The OptionalCalendars property specifies the optional calendars supported by this type of culture.

The following code example creates CultureInfo objects for the cultures Thai (Thailand), designated "th-TH", and Japanese (Japan), designated "ja-JP". The example displays the default and optional calendars for each culture. Note that the GregorianCalendar object is further divided into subtypes. The CalendarType property specifies the subtype of the Gregorian calendar. In this example, each time the calendar is determined to be Gregorian, the CalendarType value is retrieved and displayed. For a list and explanation of the possible values for CalendarType, see GregorianCalendarTypes.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class TestClass
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      // Creates a CultureInfo for Thai in Thailand.
      CultureInfo th= new CultureInfo("th-TH");
      DisplayCalendars(th);
      
      // Creates a CultureInfo for Japanese in Japan.
      CultureInfo ja= new CultureInfo("ja-JP");
      DisplayCalendars(ja);
      
   }

   protected static void DisplayCalendars(CultureInfo cultureinfo)
   {
      CultureInfo ci = new CultureInfo(cultureinfo.ToString());
      
      // Displays the default calendar for the culture.
      if (ci.Calendar is GregorianCalendar)   
         Console.WriteLine ("\n\nThe default calendar for the {0} culture 
            is:\n {1}\n\n", ci.DisplayName.ToString(), 
            ci.Calendar.ToString() + " subtype " + 
            ((GregorianCalendar)ci.Calendar).CalendarType.ToString());
      else
         Console.WriteLine ("\n\nThe default calendar for the {0} culture 
            is: \n{1}\n\n", ci.DisplayName.ToString(), 
            ci.Calendar.ToString());

      // Displays the optional calendars for the culture.
      Console.WriteLine ("The optional calendars for the {0} culture are: 
         ", ci.DisplayName.ToString());
         for (int i = ci.OptionalCalendars.GetLowerBound(0); i <= 
               ci.OptionalCalendars.GetUpperBound(0); i++ )
         {
            if (ci.OptionalCalendars[i] is GregorianCalendar)
            {
               // Displays the calendar subtype.
               String CalStr = (ci.OptionalCalendars[i].ToString() + " 
                  subtype " + ((GregorianCalendar)ci.OptionalCalendars[i]).CalendarType.ToString());
               Console.WriteLine(CalStr);
            }
            else 
               Console.WriteLine (ci.OptionalCalendars[i].ToString());
         }
   }
}

This code produces the following output:

The default calendar for the Thai (Thailand) culture is: 
System.Globalization.ThaiBuddhistCalendar

The optional calendars for the Thai (Thailand) culture are: 
System.Globalization.ThaiBuddhistCalendar
System.Globalization.GregorianCalendar subtype Localized

The default calendar for the Japanese (Japan) culture is:
System.Globalization.GregorianCalendar subtype Localized

The optional calendars for the Japanese (Japan) culture are: 
System.Globalization.JapaneseCalendar
System.Globalization.GregorianCalendar subtype USEnglish
System.Globalization.GregorianCalendar subtype Localized

The following code example illustrates how similar methods in the DateTime structure and Calendar class can retrieve different results for the same culture. The CurrentCulture for the thread is set to "he-IL" (Hebrew in Israel), and the current calendar is set to the Hebrew calendar. A DateTime type is created and initialized. Next, members of DateTime and Calendar are used to return the day, month, year, and number of months in the year, and these values are displayed. Only the Calendar class methods return the day, month, year, and number of months in the year based on the Hebrew calendar. DateTime methods always use the Gregorian calendar to perform the calculations, regardless of the current calendar.

using System;
using System.Threading;
using System.Globalization;

public class TestClass
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      // Creates a CultureInfo for Hebrew in Israel.
      CultureInfo he= new CultureInfo("he-IL");
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = he;
      he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new HebrewCalendar();
      Console.WriteLine ("\n\nThe current calendar set for the {0} culture 
         is:\n {1}", he.DisplayName.ToString(), 
         he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.ToString());
      DateTime dt = new DateTime(5760, 11, 4, he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar);
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe DateTime returns the day as: {0}", 
            dt.Day);
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe Calendar class returns the day as: {0}", 
            he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetDayOfMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe DateTime returns the month as: 
            {0}", dt.Month);
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe Calendar class returns the month as: 
            {0}", he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe DateTime returns the year as: {0}", 
            dt.Year);
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe Calendar class returns the year as: {0}", 
            he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetYear(dt));      
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe Calendar class returns the number of 
            months in the year {0} as: 
            {1}",he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetYear(dt), 
            he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetMonthsInYear
            (he.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetYear(dt)));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe DateTime does not return the number 
            of months in a year \nbecause it uses the Gregorian calendar, 
            which always has twelve months.");
   }
}

This code produces the following output:

The current calendar set for the Hebrew (Israel) culture is:
 System.Globalization.HebrewCalendar

The DateTime returns the day as: 7

The Calendar class returns the day as: 4

The DateTime returns the month as: 7

The Calendar class returns the month as: 11

The DateTime returns the year as: 2000

The Calendar class returns the year as: 5760

The Calendar class returns the number of months in the year 5760 as: 13

The DateTime does not return the number of months in a year 
because it uses the Gregorian calendar, which always has twelve months.

The following code example illustrates how the values retrieved for the current month, day, and year can differ, depending on the current calendar that is set for a specified culture. The CurrentCulture for the thread is set to "ja-JP" and the calendar is set to JapaneseCalendar. The day, month, and year are returned and displayed. Next, the calendar is set to GregorianCalendar and the day, month, and year are returned and displayed. Notice how the year differs, depending upon the current calendar. The Japanese calendar returns the year as 13, while the Gregorian calendar returns the year as 2001.

using System;
using System.Threading;
using System.Globalization;

public class TestClass
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      DateTime dt = DateTime.Now;

      // Creates a CultureInfo for Japanese in Japan.
      CultureInfo jp = new CultureInfo("ja-JP");
      Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture = jp;   

      jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new JapaneseCalendar();
      Console.WriteLine ("\n\nThe current calendar set for the {0} culture 
            is:\n {1}", jp.DisplayName.ToString(), 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.ToString());

      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe day is: {0}", 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetDayOfMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe month is: {0}", 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe year is: {0}",
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetYear(dt));

      jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar = new GregorianCalendar();
      Console.WriteLine ("\n\nThe current calendar set for the {0} culture 
            is:\n {1}", jp.DisplayName.ToString(), 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.ToString());

      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe day is: {0}", 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetDayOfMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe month is: {0}", 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetMonth(dt));
      Console.WriteLine ("\nThe year is: {0}", 
            jp.DateTimeFormat.Calendar.GetYear(dt));
   }
}

This code produces the following output:

The current calendar set for the Japanese (Japan) culture is:
System.Globalization.JapaneseCalendar
The day is: 3
The month is: 8
The year is: 13

The current calendar set for the Japanese (Japan) culture is:
System.Globalization.GregorianCalendar
The day is: 3
The month is: 8
The year is: 2001

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