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Question on Calendars

I'm currently writing a fic in diary form set during the Fourth Age in Gondor. I've having trouble with what calendar they used. I want to date each entry, but seeing as I don't know what they called the days of the week and the names of the month, it's setting up a giant roadblock in its progress. I've been scouring sites, but if there's any information, I just get more confused. Anyone please enlighten me? Thanks! Namarie! Loremaster

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

Squee! A calendar question! Bring it on! According to Appendix D of RoTK, the weekdays are named by the Dúnedain the following names in Quenya: Monday = Elenya ("Star Day") Tuesday = Anarya ("Sun Day") Wednesday = Isilya ("Moon Day") Thursday = Aldëa ("Tree Day") Friday = Menelya ("Heavens Day") Saturday = Eärenya ("Sea Day") Sunday = Valanya ("Valar Day") In Sindarin, these become: Orgilion Oranor Orithil Orgaladh Ormenel Oraearon Orbelain As to which form would be used, the appendix doesn't seem to say, so I guess you're free to pick. As for month names, here's what the appendix gives with the Quenya name being first followed by its Sindarin equivilant. Narvinyë = Narwain Nénimë = Nínui Súlimë = Gwaeron Víressë = Gwirith Lótessë = Lothron Nárië = Nórui Cermië = Cerveth Urimë = Urui Yavannië = Ivanneth Narquelië = Narbeleth Hísimë = Hithui Ringarë = Girithron I didn't give Gregorian calendar equivilants because the months don't begin in the same places. By the time of the War of the Ring, Gondor was on the calendar known as Steward's Reckoning (so named because Mardil Voronwë revised the King's Reckoning to fix a deficit that grew by about 6 hours each millenium). Here's how it works. Each of the twelve months has 30 days for a total of 360 days. The remaining 5 days are not counted as being a part of any of the months. One is effectively new year's day and is placed before the first of Narvinyë, called yestarë. Another is inserted between the third and fourth months, called tuilérë. Another is placed at mid-year, between the sixth and seventh month, called loëndë (in particular, this day is supposed to fall as close to the summer solstice as possible). Still another is put between the ninth and tenth months, called yáviérë. And the last is effectively new year's eve and is placed after the twelfth month, called mettarë. Unfortunately, Tolkien doesn't give Sindarin names for these Quenya-named days. So, that's the way things work up until the beginning of the fourth age. Of course, after the fall of Sauron, things get a shake-up again. @_@ Here's the stuff you'll be wanting... The new year after that fall on the day of the Ring's destruction and actually began in third age 3019 with new year's day becoming the old 3/25. The months kept their old names, but the first month was shifted to Víressë and referred to days five days earlier than they had before. Mid-year was expanded to three days, the second of which kept the name of loëndë, and tuilérë and yáviérë were taken out. The whole of mid-year was then moved to after Yavannië. Frodo's birthday (now known as Yavannië 30) became a festival and on leap-years this was doubled by the addition of Cormarë, or ring day. Hope that was clear. It's a complicated business, coming up with a calendar. Did you know that during the Rennaissence, they actually threw out ten days to put the Gregorian calendar back on track to the right time of year? Craziness having to do with getting us off the lunar calendar which was causing us so much grief. Bado na sídh! Berz.

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

Ugh... reading through that, I'm not satisfied with how it's written and I can't think of a good way to edit it to make it more clear. So I'm going to put the days in order in a list real quick as an aid. So, here it is, the New Reckoning, as it appears in the fourth age. yestarë (new year's day, Steward's Reckoning 3/25 in T.A. 3019) Víressë 1-30 Lótessë 1-30 Nárië 1-30 Cermië 1-30 Urimë 1-30 Yavannië 1-30 Cormarë (only occurs on leap years, once every four years) Endiri 1 Endiri 2 (loëndë, mid-year's day, no longer bound to the Summer Solstice) Endiri 3 Narquelië 1-30 Hísimë 1-30 Ringarë 1-30 Narvinyë 1-30 Nénimë 1-30 Súlimë 1-30 mettarë (new year's eve, 365 days after previous yestarë) Hope that's a bit clearer. ^_^ Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

Berz has given a very full answer, but I thought other people might like to know for future reference that there's a useful research article on Calendars of Middle Earth by Celandine Brandybuck which covers the Shire Calendar and Elven Calendar of Rivendell, as well as the Steward's Reckoning used in Gondor. (I don't think it specifically answers Loremaster's question as it doesn't specifically cover the New Reckoning.) HTH Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

It would be very useful if during the redesign of Resources the presentation of the calendars could be revised. I would love to have the months and the days of the week in separate, easily accesible tables. When I am writing, I often need the day of the week or a month quickly and it is a pain to click through many pages of explanations (no matter how excellent they are - which they definitely *are* - I did read that essay more than once...) until I get what I want... That would be a really neat tool to have in the "one-click and you have what you need - tools-for-writers-section. Just an idea. Yours Juno

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

Thank you! I understand it better. One more question, though: would they number the days in a month like we do with Gregorian calendar? Arrgggh, who knew a little thing like calendars would stop the progress of my fic so much? Thank you! Namarie! Loremaster

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

I suppose they could, although there's no precedent for it. I would think that at the beginning of the fourth age, though, they wouldn't do it as much, seeing as how the first month of the year suddenly became the month that used to be the fourth. They didn't move the month names, just which one was counted first. For clairity's sake, I'd think people would take to saying the month names rather than month numbers for a while. In fact, depending on how far into the fourth age your piece is set, it could be a source of confusion for the characters. ^_^; Bado na sídh. Berz.

 

 

Re: Question on Calendars

Thank you for all the helpful information clearly presented. However, I think Tolkein basically contradicts himself and I'm not sure it makes sense that March 25, 3019 was the first day of the new year. Two reasons:

1) ROTK appendix D says that "the New Reckoning was begun in the Restored Kingdom in T.A. 3019," so that only means that the New Reckoning was adopted some time that year and

2) On March 25, 3019 the battle is raging outside the Black Gate. Who is going to declare it a new year?

*Big edit of my earlier comment*

So it is possible they started celebrating the mid-year days in September, 3019, but that does not really seem logical (because they would celebrate the New Year on March 24/35 3020 even though the year actually changed in December...), though it seems supported by the earlier quote. Here is what makes more sense:

In Appendix D it says "for purposes of record in the Kingdom Fourth Age 1 was the year that began according to the New Reckoning in March 25, 3021 old style." I interpret this to mean that 3021 was a short year, and probably that Mettare/Yestare were celebrated at the end of 3020, and three months later in March 3021 T.A./1 F.A (unless Elessar saw changing the mid-year and calendar reform in general as essential to establishing his legitimacy or the stability of the realm, which I doubt, but is not without precedence, e.g. French or Russian revolutions.)

So, unless anyone wants to talk me out of it, I am going to assume that the calendar reform did not actually go into effect until 3021.

-Raihon

 

 

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