The Thaean Calendar

The Thaean Calendar differs from our own in a number of curious ways.  They have almost the same number of days in a year (~364), and months make up most of those years, but not all days fall in months.  Each of the 8 main sequence months is 48 days (6 weeks) and begins on the day of the Sun.  Solstice and Equinox weeks mark the quarters of the year every two months.  The day of the week is always the same for any day in any month in any year – in spite of leap years (discussed later.)

Months, Equinoxes, & Solstices:
Laeur (~ Dec 25 – Feb 4)
Vhalun (~ Feb 4 – Mar 18)
Vernum Vernal Equinox
Coria (~Mar 26 – May 6)
Estae (~ May 7 – June 17)
Rhast Summer Solstice
Rhaeus (~ June 25 – Aug 5)
Jovan (~ Aug 6 – Sept 16)
Aunum Autumnal Equinox
Harfast (~ Sept 24 – Nov 4)
Styver (~ Nov 5 – Dec 16)
Hivern Winter Solstice

Seasons and Weekdays:

The months have been color coded above by season according to Thaean reckoning.  They selected to consider their seasons by the sun, rather than the weather as the Empire atempted to move away from agrarian society, and placed each season with an Equinox or Solstice at it’s center.  Though most of the world reverted to an agrarian age after the fall of the Empire the new seasons stuck.  Such that what we would consider late summer is for them Autumn, with the waning of the sun from its longest period.

The Queensday of each of the holiday weeks is considered the high day of its Solstice or Equinox, and sees the greatest celebrations, though these vary regionally.  Hivern is an oddity, as it is a week that sometimes has 8 days.  For clarity the days of the week are:

Day of the Sun (Sunday)
Day of the Moon (Monday)
Kingsday (Kinsday in some regions)
Queansday (Cwensday, or the degraded Wensday in some regions)

On leap years in Hivern there is an Ashday as the final day of the festival.

Though the naming of these days is widely known, and fairly consistent, they are used much less than we tend to.  This is partly because they do not center around the weekend.  To those who do keep track the Day of the Sun is a day of activity, befitting the energy of it’s name sake.  The Day of the Moon often a day of rest, and the Queen’s Day is the day of choice for celebrations as the central day of the Solstice and Equinox weeks, and the most auspicious day for weddings.

Leap Year Procession:

The Thaean year is roughly 1/6th of a day longer than 354.  Leap years happen every 7th year adding Ashday to the winter’s solstice to prevent calendar drift for the extra day.  Every 49th year this day is absent as a further correction except for every 343rd year where it is still present.

The Empire Split:

Modern dates are given the affix E.R. standing for of Empire Record.  More ancient dates are given the affix B.E. for Before Empire.  The oldest written records are estimated at roughly 1800 B.E. during the end of the Shamanistic age.  Most of these documents are preserved manuscripts belonging to the early Maji.

Further Authors Notes (rambling warning!):

One of the odder tasks I undertook in crafting the world of O&E was to scrap the calendar of our world.  I did this for several reasons, but the two at the top of the list are; our month names are loaded with earthly mythology and historical figures, and honestly almost everything about our calendar bugs the living heck out of me.  It’s a total wreck of forgotten political nonsense, and willful corruption for ‘reasons.’  It makes no sense, it starts turning into numbers, but the numbers don’t match the actual months!  September is 9 (rather than 7,) October 10, and so on.

So once I’d decided to take on the task, the first thing up was the math.  7 Remains an important number in Thaean culture, so I liked the 7 day week just fine.  7 Days is actually painfully close to perfect for our own year, we just have 1 extra day, and some change.  So I dropped a day from Thaean year, but kept some of the change.  I didn’t want to create that clockwork perfect of a solar system.

I aimed for a 7 year cycle instead of a 4, with a counter correction every 49 (7 to the 2nd,) and a further counter counter correction at 7 to the 3rd years.

52 is still a bit of an odd number, it stops dividing equally after only 4, and I suppose making seasons and months interchangeable would be alright-ish (13 weeks,) but it is nice to have another measure in between a season, and a week.  I knew I hated our climate based season system (Fall, and Winter always seem the most awkwardly mismatched to me.)  So I went for something far more reliable than the weather (because that varies.)  The equinoxes and solstices are much more stable.

Taking 4 weeks out of the year, to surround these important astronomical dates creates a nice solution.  48 divides much nicer than 52, too nice in fact.  I had my pick of 6 week months, or 3 week months, (two weeks would have been comical.)  I went with 6.  8 months gave me less things to re-name, and I could still use fortnights effectively if I wanted, but I don’t think I ever will.  Maybe they are fashionable somewhere out east.

I could have kept the 365 days easily enough, made the winter solstice 8 days long, and 9 on a leap year.  This would have been in line with the Egyptian inspirations for some of where I wound up.  The leap year progression is by the by inspired by Hebrew Jubilees.  Still I felt like this was a good breaking point to clearly settle this is not Earth.  Well, you would really only need to slow the Earth’s rotation about 4 minutes per day, and given the level of catastrophe I have in mind for the history of Thaea that’s pretty small potatoes.  It’s still not Earth, just something very Earth adjacent.  There are details in Book 2 that spell out the composition of the solar system, and while it’s very familiar, it is very not ours.

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