Celestial Matters, part 1
Time and Calendar
Devanand has a solar cycle of 368 days. On the continent of Bhaskara, this is divided into thirteen months of twenty-eight days, and four Days of Transition. Each month has four weeks of seven days. This cycle corresponds to the movement of the Devanandi moon.
The Days of Transition are significant. They mark the passage of the seasons and the years. In most places they are holy days. They are also days of great magic. Any magic worked on a Transition Day is much stronger, and more durable. Great projects are often timed to begin and end on a Transition Day. The last Day, called Turning Day, marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next, yet it belongs to neither. Sometimes called the Day of the Dead, it is the most powerful day of the year.
In most places, the day begins at sunset, and the year begins with autumn. Turning Day is the autumnal equinox. In this way, the calendar is reset every year.
The first month is often called the Reaping Moon, or Harvest Moon. Most of the year’s harvesting is done during this time.
A Mahdavian Calendar:
1) The Reaping Moon. On the north shore it’s called the Hoarding Moon.
2) Moon of Color, when the trees turn, and hills are ablaze with their colors.
3) The Dying Down, when the world begins to sleep.
A) Feasting Day, the Transition Day between autumn and winter. The harvest and the butchering are done. Any food that can’t be preserved or stored for winter is eaten. This is the Winter Solstice.
4) Nightfall, when the nights are longest, or at least seem so.
5) Howling Winds
7) The Moon of Hunger, or the Wailing Moon. Most winter deaths happen during this time, when supplies have grown short, the snows are deepest, and the air is coldest.
B) Waking Day, or SunWake, marks the transition between winter and spring. The first flowers have peeked through the melting snow, and the world is beginning to wake. This is the vernal equinox.
8) The Softening, when the bitter winds have become gentle breezes.
9) First Bud, when the trees and shrubs have budded out.
10) Greening Time, when the grass and trees turn green and soft.
C) Feast of the Sun. This is usually a birthday celebration for the ruling dragon, so the name of the Day varies widely. This Day marks the transition between spring and summer. This is the summer solstice.
11) Sun Wings, when the days are longest
12) The Drying Time, when grasses begin to brown
13) Brittlegrass. Drought is most common during the Drying Time and Brittlegrass. So are wild fires.
D) Turning Day, the autumnal equinox.
Different regions experience different seasonal events, and regional calendars reflect this. For example, the melting snow packs in spring cause flooding in both Lalika and Jarayu. This is a significant event, and their calendars have a Moon of Floods, instead of First Bud. In Jarayu, the Hunger Moon is called Sandflow, the Drying Time is known as the Moon of Thirst, and Brittlegrass is called Firesands.
However different regional calendars may be, the four Transition Days are the same throughout the world. This provides a point of commonality for the people of Devanand, however different they may be in other respects.
This work by Jean Headley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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