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Shire Calendar

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The '''Shire Calendar''' was used by the [[Hobbits]] of the [[Shire]]. It was different from that used by the [[Men]], [[Dwarves]] and [[Elves]]. Use of this calendar in Middle-earth is referred to as '''Shire-reckoning'''.
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The '''Shire Calendar''' was used by the [[Hobbits]] of [[the Shire]]. It was different from that used by the [[Men]], [[Dwarves]] and [[Elves]]. Use of this calendar in Middle-earth is referred to as '''[[Shire-reckoning]]'''.
  
It is highly based on the Germanic calendar.
+
The calendar featured 12 months, all 30 days long, plus 5 or 6 named days added to round out 365 days (or 366 for leap years).  Two of the named days were [[Yuledays]]; one was the first day of the year and the other was the last day of the year.  Between June and July were the Lithedays.  In regular years (not leap years) there were three: 1 Lithe, [[Mid-year's Day]], and 2 Lithe.  In leap years (every fourth year except in the last year of a century) an extra [[Overlithe]] Day was added after Mid-year's Day.  All of the named days were major holidays (and a reason for feasting) with Overlithe being a day of special merrymaking.  The two Yuledays were actually a portion of Yuletide, which included the last three and first three days of each year.
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==History==
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When the [[Hobbits]] were still a [[Wandering Days|wandering]] people, their calendaric unit was not a 'week' , but a 'month', governed more or less by the [[Moon]]. However, through contact with alien peoples (perhaps the [[Dúnedain of Arnor]]) they adopted the notion of weeks which formed the [[Shire Reckoning]]. It was based on the [[King's Reckoning]] but with several minor alterations to fit their customs.<ref>{{HM|AD}}</ref>
  
Year 1 of the Shire Calendar corresponded when the Shire was founded by the [[Bree (Middle-earth)|Bree]] Hobbits Marcho and Blanco in the year 1601 of the [[Third Age]]. Therefore, years of the Third Age can be converted to Shire-years by subtracting 1600.
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One innovation introduced by the [[Shire-hobbits]] was the '''Shire-reform'''.  In the time of Thain [[Isengrim Took II|Isengrim II]] they arranged that Mid-year’s Day (and the Overlithe) would not have a weekday name, which stopped the shifting of weekday names in relation to dates.  This change made the first day of the year always correspond to the first day of the week, and the last day of the year always correspond to the last day of the week.  Over time, since the same date in any year had the same weekday name as in any other year, the Shire-folk ceased to record the weekday in letters and diaries.  Since no month began on a Friday this arrangement also birthed a jesting idiom in the Shire: "On Friday the first" referred to a non-existent day or one on which impossible things would occur (the full expression was "on Friday the first of [[Summerfilth]]").
  
The last year of the Third Age was year 1421 on the Shire calendar.
 
  
 
==Months of the year and special days==
 
==Months of the year and special days==
 
 
The Shire calendar's year was divided into 12 months of 30 days. Five additional days were added to create a 365-day year. The months followed the lunar cycle.
 
The Shire calendar's year was divided into 12 months of 30 days. Five additional days were added to create a 365-day year. The months followed the lunar cycle.
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The twelve months of the [[Shire Calendar]] were: [[Afteryule]], [[Solmath]], [[Rethe]], [[Astron]], [[Thrimidge]], [[Forelithe]], [[Afterlithe]], [[Wedmath]], [[Halimath]], [[Winterfilth]], [[Blotmath]], and [[Foreyule]].  Solmath was usually pronounced and sometimes written as Somath.  Thrimidge was often written Thrimich and Blotmath was pronounced as Blodmath or Blommath.
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In the [[Eastfarthing]] the names of Afteryule, Astron, and Foreyule, were [[Frery]], [[Chithing]], and [[Yulemath]], respectively. These correspond for the names used in [[Bree]] for those months.<ref>{{App|Calendars}}</ref>
  
 
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
 
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
 
<tr style="background:#EFEFEF;"><th>Month number</th><th>Name</th><th>Approximate relationship to Gregorian calendar</th></tr>
 
<tr style="background:#EFEFEF;"><th>Month number</th><th>Name</th><th>Approximate relationship to Gregorian calendar</th></tr>
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''2 Yule''</td><td>22nd of December</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''2 [[Yule]]''</td><td>22nd of December</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>1</td><td>''Afteryule''</td><td>23rd of December to the 21st of January</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>1</td><td>''[[Afteryule]]''</td><td>23rd of December to the 21st of January</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>2</td><td>''Solmath''</td><td>22nd of January to the 20th of February</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>2</td><td>''[[Solmath]]''</td><td>22nd of January to the 20th of February</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>3</td><td>''Rethe''</td><td>21st of February to the 22nd of March</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>3</td><td>''[[Rethe]]''</td><td>21st of February to the 22nd of March</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>4</td><td>''Astron''</td><td>23rd of March to 21st of April</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>4</td><td>''[[Astron]]''</td><td>23rd of March to 21st of April</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>5</td><td>''Thrimidge''</td><td>22nd of April to the 21st of May</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>5</td><td>''[[Thrimidge]]''</td><td>22nd of April to the 21st of May</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>6</td><td>''Forelithe''</td><td>22nd of May to the 20th of June</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>6</td><td>''[[Forelithe]]''</td><td>22nd of May to the 20th of June</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''1 Lithe''</td><td>21st of June</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''1 [[Lithe]]''</td><td>21st of June</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''Mid-year's Day''</td><td>22nd of June</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''[[Midyear's Day]]''</td><td>22nd of June</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''Overlithe''</td><td>Leap day</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''[[Overlithe]]''</td><td>Leap day</td></tr>
 
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''2 Lithe''</td><td>23rd of June</td></tr>
 
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''2 Lithe''</td><td>23rd of June</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>7</td><td>''Afterlithe''</td><td>24th of June to the 23rd of July</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>7</td><td>''[[Afterlithe]]''</td><td>24th of June to the 23rd of July</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>8</td><td>''Wedmath''</td><td>24th of July to the 22nd of August</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>8</td><td>''[[Wedmath]]''</td><td>24th of July to the 22nd of August</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>9</td><td>''Halimath''</td><td>23rd of August to the 21st of September</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>9</td><td>''[[Halimath]]''</td><td>23rd of August to the 21st of September</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>10</td><td>''Winterfilth''</td><td>22nd of September to 21st of October</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>10</td><td>''[[Winterfilth]]''</td><td>22nd of September to 21st of October</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>11</td><td>''Blotmath''</td><td>22nd of October to the 20th of November</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>11</td><td>''[[Blotmath]]''</td><td>22nd of October to the 20th of November</td></tr>
<tr><td align=center>12</td><td>''Foreyule''</td><td>21st of November to the 20th of December</td></tr>
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<tr><td align=center>12</td><td>''[[Foreyule]]''</td><td>21st of November to the 20th of December</td></tr>
 
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''1 Yule''</td><td>21st of December</td></tr>
 
<tr><td align=center>&nbsp;</td><td>''1 Yule''</td><td>21st of December</td></tr>
 
</table>
 
</table>
  
The ''Yuledays'' were the days that mark the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, so 2 Yule was the first day of the year. The ''Lithedays'' are the three days in the middle of the year, 1 Lithe, Mid-year's Day, and 2 Lithe. In leap years (every fourth year except centennial years) a day was added after Mid-year's Day called ''Overlithe''. All these days were placed outside of any month. These days were primarily holidays and feast days. ''Mid-year's Day'' is meant to correspond to the [[summer solstice]], which Tolkien describes as being 10 days earlier than the middle day of our year. However, since then the summer solstice has shifted slightly so it falls on a different date now, rendering the difference between ''Mid-year's Day'' and the middle day of our year eleven days, instead of ten.
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The ''[[Yuledays]]'' were the days that mark the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, so 2 Yule was the first day of the year. The ''Lithedays'' are the three days in the middle of the year, 1 Lithe, Mid-year's Day, and 2 Lithe. In leap years (every fourth year except centennial years) a day was added after Mid-year's Day called ''Overlithe''. All these days were placed outside of any month. These days were primarily holidays and feast days. ''Mid-year's Day'' is meant to correspond to the summer solstice, being 10 days earlier than the middle day of our year. However, since then the summer solstice has shifted slightly so it falls on a different date now, rendering the difference between ''Mid-year's Day'' and the middle day of our year eleven days, instead of ten.
  
 
== Days of the week ==
 
== Days of the week ==
  
There were seven days in the Shire week. The first day of the week was called ''Sterday'' and the last day of the week was called ''Highday''. The Mid-year's Day and, when present, Overlithe had no weekday assignments. This arrangement was used because it caused every day to have the same weekday designation from year to year (instead of changing as in the Gregorian calendar).
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The seven weekdays of the Shire Calendar (at the time of the [[War of the Ring]]) were [[Sterday]], [[Sunday]], [[Monday]], [[Trewsday]], [[Hevensday]] (or Hensday), [[Mersday]], and [[Highday]].  The last day of the week, Highday, was the chief day, a post-noon holiday and time for evening feasts.
 +
 
 +
The Mid-year's Day and, when present, Overlithe had no weekday assignments. This arrangement was used because it caused every day to have the same weekday designation from year to year (instead of changing as in the Gregorian calendar).
  
 
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
 
<table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0">
<tr style="background:#EFEFEF;"><th>Day Name</th><th>Meaning</th><th>Relationship to Gregorian calendar</th></tr>
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<tr style="background:#EFEFEF;"><th>Day Name</th><th>Meaning</th><th>Translation in ''The Lord of the Rings''</th><th>Relationship to Gregorian calendar</th></tr>
<tr><td >''Sterday''</td><td>Stars of [[Varda]]</td><td>Monday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Sterday]]''</td><td>Stars of [[Varda]]</td><td>Saturday</td><td>Monday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Sunday''</td><td>[[Sun (Middle-earth)|Sun]]</td><td>Tuesday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Sunday]]''</td><td>[[Sun]]</td><td>Sunday</td><td>Tuesday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Monday''</td><td>[[Moon (Middle-earth)|Moon]]</td><td>Wednesday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Monday]]''</td><td>[[Moon]]</td><td>Monday</td><td>Wednesday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Trewsday''</td><td>[[Two Trees]] of Valinor</td><td>Thursday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Trewsday]]''</td><td>[[Two Trees]] of Valinor</td><td>Tuesday</td><td>Thursday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Hevensday''</td><td>[[Ilmen|Heavens]]</td><td>Friday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Hevensday]]''</td><td>[[Ilmen|Heavens]]</td><td>Wednesday</td><td>Friday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Mersday''</td><td>[[Belegaer|Sea]]</td><td>Saturday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Mersday]]''</td><td>[[Belegaer|Sea]]</td><td>Thursday</td><td>Saturday</td></tr>
<tr><td >''Highday''</td><td>[[Valar]]</td><td>Sunday</td></tr>
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<tr><td >''[[Highday]]''</td><td>[[Valar]]</td><td>Friday</td><td>Sunday</td></tr>
 
</table>
 
</table>
  
 
Highday was a holiday with evening feasts.
 
Highday was a holiday with evening feasts.
  
In ''[[The Hobbit]]'' and ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', the names of months and days are given in modern equivalents. For instance, Afteryule is called ''January'' and Sterday is called ''Monday''.
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==Inspiration==
Basis: A footnote in the ''[[Appendices]]'' says "I have...used Saturday and Sunday instead of Thursday and Friday."
+
It is highly based on the Germanic calendar.
 +
 
 +
In ''[[The Hobbit]]'' and ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', the names of months and days are given in modern equivalents. For instance, Afteryule is called ''January'' and Sterday is called ''Saturday''.
 +
 
 +
Also, all days (except in Bilbo's Song) are translated according to the meaning of Sunday and Monday rather than according to position in the Gregorian calendar.
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{{references}}
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*{{App|Shire}}
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*{{App|Calendars}}
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==External links==
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*[http://shire-reckoning.com/ The Shire-reckoning] website, dedicated to detailed analysis of the Hobbit Calendar.
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[[Category:Hobbit Calendar]]
 +
 
 +
[[de:Auenland-Kalender]]
 +
[[fi:Konnun kalenteri]]

Latest revision as of 14:02, 21 February 2013

The Shire Calendar was used by the Hobbits of the Shire. It was different from that used by the Men, Dwarves and Elves. Use of this calendar in Middle-earth is referred to as Shire-reckoning.

The calendar featured 12 months, all 30 days long, plus 5 or 6 named days added to round out 365 days (or 366 for leap years). Two of the named days were Yuledays; one was the first day of the year and the other was the last day of the year. Between June and July were the Lithedays. In regular years (not leap years) there were three: 1 Lithe, Mid-year's Day, and 2 Lithe. In leap years (every fourth year except in the last year of a century) an extra Overlithe Day was added after Mid-year's Day. All of the named days were major holidays (and a reason for feasting) with Overlithe being a day of special merrymaking. The two Yuledays were actually a portion of Yuletide, which included the last three and first three days of each year.

Contents

[edit] History

When the Hobbits were still a wandering people, their calendaric unit was not a 'week' , but a 'month', governed more or less by the Moon. However, through contact with alien peoples (perhaps the Dúnedain of Arnor) they adopted the notion of weeks which formed the Shire Reckoning. It was based on the King's Reckoning but with several minor alterations to fit their customs.[1]

One innovation introduced by the Shire-hobbits was the Shire-reform. In the time of Thain Isengrim II they arranged that Mid-year’s Day (and the Overlithe) would not have a weekday name, which stopped the shifting of weekday names in relation to dates. This change made the first day of the year always correspond to the first day of the week, and the last day of the year always correspond to the last day of the week. Over time, since the same date in any year had the same weekday name as in any other year, the Shire-folk ceased to record the weekday in letters and diaries. Since no month began on a Friday this arrangement also birthed a jesting idiom in the Shire: "On Friday the first" referred to a non-existent day or one on which impossible things would occur (the full expression was "on Friday the first of Summerfilth").


[edit] Months of the year and special days

The Shire calendar's year was divided into 12 months of 30 days. Five additional days were added to create a 365-day year. The months followed the lunar cycle.

The twelve months of the Shire Calendar were: Afteryule, Solmath, Rethe, Astron, Thrimidge, Forelithe, Afterlithe, Wedmath, Halimath, Winterfilth, Blotmath, and Foreyule. Solmath was usually pronounced and sometimes written as Somath. Thrimidge was often written Thrimich and Blotmath was pronounced as Blodmath or Blommath.

In the Eastfarthing the names of Afteryule, Astron, and Foreyule, were Frery, Chithing, and Yulemath, respectively. These correspond for the names used in Bree for those months.[2]

Month numberNameApproximate relationship to Gregorian calendar
 2 Yule22nd of December
1Afteryule23rd of December to the 21st of January
2Solmath22nd of January to the 20th of February
3Rethe21st of February to the 22nd of March
4Astron23rd of March to 21st of April
5Thrimidge22nd of April to the 21st of May
6Forelithe22nd of May to the 20th of June
 1 Lithe21st of June
 Midyear's Day22nd of June
 OverlitheLeap day
 2 Lithe23rd of June
7Afterlithe24th of June to the 23rd of July
8Wedmath24th of July to the 22nd of August
9Halimath23rd of August to the 21st of September
10Winterfilth22nd of September to 21st of October
11Blotmath22nd of October to the 20th of November
12Foreyule21st of November to the 20th of December
 1 Yule21st of December

The Yuledays were the days that mark the end of an old year and the beginning of a new one, so 2 Yule was the first day of the year. The Lithedays are the three days in the middle of the year, 1 Lithe, Mid-year's Day, and 2 Lithe. In leap years (every fourth year except centennial years) a day was added after Mid-year's Day called Overlithe. All these days were placed outside of any month. These days were primarily holidays and feast days. Mid-year's Day is meant to correspond to the summer solstice, being 10 days earlier than the middle day of our year. However, since then the summer solstice has shifted slightly so it falls on a different date now, rendering the difference between Mid-year's Day and the middle day of our year eleven days, instead of ten.

[edit] Days of the week

The seven weekdays of the Shire Calendar (at the time of the War of the Ring) were Sterday, Sunday, Monday, Trewsday, Hevensday (or Hensday), Mersday, and Highday. The last day of the week, Highday, was the chief day, a post-noon holiday and time for evening feasts.

The Mid-year's Day and, when present, Overlithe had no weekday assignments. This arrangement was used because it caused every day to have the same weekday designation from year to year (instead of changing as in the Gregorian calendar).

Day NameMeaningTranslation in The Lord of the RingsRelationship to Gregorian calendar
SterdayStars of VardaSaturdayMonday
SundaySunSundayTuesday
MondayMoonMondayWednesday
TrewsdayTwo Trees of ValinorTuesdayThursday
HevensdayHeavensWednesdayFriday
MersdaySeaThursdaySaturday
HighdayValarFridaySunday

Highday was a holiday with evening feasts.

[edit] Inspiration

It is highly based on the Germanic calendar.

In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the names of months and days are given in modern equivalents. For instance, Afteryule is called January and Sterday is called Saturday.

Also, all days (except in Bilbo's Song) are translated according to the meaning of Sunday and Monday rather than according to position in the Gregorian calendar.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars"

[edit] External links