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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.

It is highly based on the Germanic calendar.

Year 1 of the Shire Calendar corresponded when the Shire was founded by the 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.

The last year of the Third Age was year 1421 on the Shire calendar.

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.

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
 Mid-year'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, 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.

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).

Day NameMeaningRelationship to Gregorian calendar
SterdayStars of VardaMonday
SundaySunTuesday
MondayMoonWednesday
TrewsdayTwo Trees of ValinorThursday
HevensdayHeavensFriday
MersdaySeaSaturday
HighdayValarSunday

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. Basis: A footnote in the Appendices says "I have...used Saturday and Sunday instead of Thursday and Friday."