Calendars in the Empire

Now that our own (civil) calendar has turned, it seems like a good time to write about calendars in the world in which most of the Shine Cycle, my fantasy series in preparation, is set, more specifically in the Shine and Wild Empire.

There are several calendars worth investigating. First is the natural calendar. Each year is much longer than ours, over four hundred days long. Even though their world was created in hours rather than days, the calendar is organized into weeks of seven days each (for humans anyway; some other races may organize theirs differently). For non-lunar calendars each month is precisely four weeks, except for the last month of any (needed only vanishingly rarely) leap years.

Next is the civil calendar. Each nation celebrates its Independence, Charter, or Founding Day on the anniversary of its liberation or establishment as a formal nation, but also Unification Day on the anniversary of the establishment of the Empire. In addition, they celebrate the Emperor’s Birthday (like the British Commonwealth’s Queen’s Birthday, this is formally the Emperor’s Official Birthday and at a time of year suitable for celebration rather than his actual birthday, which is in the middle of winter), the birthday of the local monarch (except in the few nations of the Empire that are not monarchies), and occasionally the birthday of the local noble (in districts whose governors or representatives were elevated to the peerage). Beyond these, the anniversaries of various notable (though usually only locally notable) battles or other historical events are celebrated as holidays. And the Chosen have often introduced some of Earth’s civil holidays.

The religious calendar is an adaptation of the standard Christian liturgical calendar, organized into seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Trinity. But because the year is so much longer than ours, a few seasons are lengthened somewhat—Epiphany, Pentecost, and Trinity—and a season of “Patristide” is added after Pentecost and before Trinity. The effects on the calendar of the Great Schism do not survive here; all such issues were resolved at the Council of Capitol.

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