in the Realms
following calendar is common enough to apply to all regions
within the Realms (especially the northern regions). The
year consists of 365 days: 12 months of exactly 30 days
each (due to the single moon and its followers), plus
five days that fall between months. These days are special
occasions. Leap year is retained purely for social convenience,
and provides a sixth special day that is used as the basis
for long-term agreements and such contracts and activities.
Months are subdivided into three ten-day periods. These
are known variously as eves, tendays, weeks, domen, hyrar,
or rides throughout the Forgotten Realms. While rides
is the standard term used in Cormyr and the Dalelands,
this text uses weeks to avoid confusion. However, in the
Realms, the phrase "a week to ten days" means
the same as "six of one, a half-dozen of the other."
Although the months that comprise a year are standardized,
the system of dating years varies from place to place.
Usually, years are numbered from an event of great political
or religious significance. Each nation or region has cultures
with unique histories, and thus, different reckonings.
The system of naming the months is named for its inventor,
the long-dead wizard Harptos of Kaalinth, and is in use
throughout the North.
The Calendar of Harptos
The Calendar of Harptos is summarized in the table below.
Each month's name is followed by a colloquial description
of that month, plus the roughly corresponding month of
the Gregorian calendar in parentheses. Special days are
listed when they occur between months, and appear in italic
type. Each special day is described in the Special Calendar
Days section, below.
Order Name Colloquial Description Gregorian Month
1 Hammer Deepwinter (January)
2 Alturiak The Claw of Winter, (February) or the
Claws of the Cold
3 Ches of the Sunsets(March)
4 Tarsakh of the Storms (April)
5 Mirtul The Melting(May)
6 KythornThe Time of Flowers (June)
7 Flamerule Summertide (July)
8 Eleasias Highsun (August)
9 Eleint The Fading (September)
10 Marpenoth Leafall (October)
11 Uktar The Rotting (November)
---The Feast of the Moon---
12 Nightal The Drawing Down (December)
Special Calendar Days
Midwinter: Midwinter is known officially in Cormyr
as the High Festival of Winter. It is a feast where, traditionally,
the local lords of <he land plan the year ahead, make
and renew alliances, and send fife of goodwill. To the
commonfolk throughout the Realms, this is Deadwinter Day,
the midpoint of the worst of the cold.
Greengrass: Greengrass is the official beginning
of spring, a day of relaxation. Flowers that have been
carefully grown in the inner rooms of the keeps and temples
during the winter are blessed and cast out upon the snow
to bring rich growth in the season ahead.
Midsummer: Midsummer, called Midsummer Night or
the Long Night, is a time of feasting and music and love.
In a ceremony performed in some lands, unwed maidens are
set free in the woods and "hunted" by their
would-be suitors throughout the night. Betrothals are
traditionally made upon this night. It is very rare indeed
for the weather to be bad during this night - such is
considered a very bad omen, usually thought to foretell
famine or plague.
Higharvestide: Higharvestide heralds the coming
of fall and the harvest. It is a feast that often continues
for the length of the harvest so that food is always on
hand for those coming in from the fields. There is much
traveling about on the heels of the feast, as merchants,
court emissaries, and pilgrims make speed before the worst
of the mud arrives and the rain freezes in the snow.
The Feast of the Moon: This festival, also called
Moonfest, is the last great festival of the year. It marks
the arrival of winter and is also the day when the dead
are honored. Graves are blessed, the Ritual of Remembrance
is performed, and tales of the doings of those now gone
are told far into the night. Much is said of heroes and
treasure and lost cities underground.
Wars, by the way, are often but not always fought after
the harvest is done, continuing as late as the weather
permits. The bulk of the fighting takes place in the month
of Uktar, and the ironic practicality of the Feast of
the Moon is readily apparent.
Shieldmeet: Once every four years, another day
is added to the year in the manner of February 29 in the
Gregorian calendar. This day is part of no month and follows
Midsummer Night. It is known as Shieldmeet. It is a day
of open council between nobles and people, a day for the
making and renewing of pacts, oaths, and agreements. It
is a day for tournaments, tests and trials for those wishing
to advance in battle fame or clerical standing, for entertainment
of all types, particularly theatrical, and for dueling.
Marking the Years
Years (winters) are referred to by names, each name consistent
across the Realms. Each kingdom or city-state numbers
years differently, usually to measure the reign of a dynasty
or the current monarch, or since the founding of the country.
The result is a hodgepodge of overlapping numbers that
serve to confuse the ordinary person and frustrate the
sage. The widespread differing year dates include the
Dalereckoning (DR): Dalereckoning is taken from
the year that humans were first permitted by the Elven
Court to settle in the more open regions of the forests.
The information within this text is accurate to the close
of 1367 DR. In some texts, primarily those which do not
have direct ties to Dales history, Dalereckoning is called
Freeman's Reckoning (FR).
Cormyr Reckoning (CR): Cormyr Reckoning begins
at the foundation of House Obarskyr, the dynasty that
still rules that land. The information in this text is
accurate to the close of 1342 CR. The 25-year gap between
Cormyr Reckoning and Dalereckoning has caused much of
the confusion regarding elder days. Timelines and calendars
of the period often use DR designators, but place the
founding of Cormyr at I DR instead of 26 DR. This is understandable,
given that the two reckonings are from two nearby parties
and spread by a third (the merchants of Sembia), but it
causes learned sages to slam their heads violently against
their desks trying to figure things out.
Northreckoning (NR): Used in the City of Waterdeep,
Northreckoning dates from the year Ahghairon became the
first Lord of Waterdeep. The information within this text
is accurate to 335 NR. A more archaic system called Waterdeep
Years (WY) dates from the supposed first use of Waterdeep
as a trading post. Now largely abandoned except in ancient
texts, the current year would be 2455 WY.
Dragon Years (DY): The use of Dragon Years is an
ancient form of counting in dragon generations of 200
years each. There are 10 cycles of 200 years to a color,
and each two-millenium color is named after a type of
dragon. This reckoning is long-since abandoned, such that
it is uncertain whether the current year is 145 or 147
of the Adult Red Dragon.
Mulhorand Calendar (MC): One of the oldest calendars
in use in the Realms, this ancient scheme of record-keeping
dates from the founding of Skuld, the City of Shadows,
reputedly by a Mulhorandi god. This tome is accurate to
the year 3501 MC.
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