TIME and the SEASONS in MYTHANDAR

In the World of Mythandar©, the passage of time and the seasons are marked much as they are in our world. The sun is observed to circle the world, shifting north and south during the course of the year to correspond with the seasons. The year is 364 days long, divided into 12 months (or moons), which correspond with the orbit and phases of the Moon. Western Mythandar (Anglamar and the West, Varalkia and the Inner Sea Lands) uses the old Imperial Calendar (called Imperial Reckoning in Anglamar), which numbers the years from the founding of the ancient Imperial city of Tharsis in the Inner Sea Lands, 2000 years ago.



For details on seasonal weather in Anglamar and the West, use the link in the right hand column.


There are four Seasons recognized in the North and West – Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Officially, each is 90 days in length. In addition, there are four primary festival days or Great Festivals, one per Season, with many others celebrated locally. This brings the total number of days to 364. There is no leap year in Mythandar's calender.

The Seasons correspond to our calender as follows:

Seasons              Months                                 Festivals                                   .
Spring                March-May                            The Ides
                                                             (spring equinox at end of March)
Summer           June-August                          High Summer
                                                              (summer solstice at end of June)
Autumn       September-November                     Harvestfall
                                                              (autumn equinox at end of Sept.)
Winter          December-February                     Mid-Winter
                                                                (winter solstice at end of Dec.)


GREAT FESTIVALS
The Ides of Spring, at the spring equinox, is celebrated as the beginning of planting
time throughout Anglamar. In Westhaven, Aragond and other places reliant on trade, the Ides mark the beginning of the travel season. After spending the Winter holed up against the cold, ships leave port and merchant caravans depart to begin
trading.

High Summer, on the summer solstice, is the grandest festival of the year in Anglamar. Fairs are conducted in all of the major cities and trade towns. Open air markets bring traders from all over the country and there are musicians, troops of players, clowns and jesters. Tournaments are held (particularly at Aragond), featuring jousting, swordsmanship and archery.
In the Storm Isles, the Druids meet at the Standing Stones, near the foot of Mount Kaerdon on Kinnaran. The solstice traditionally marks the beginning of their new year.

Harvestfall, at the autumn equinox, celebrates the end of the harvest and is marked in most farming communities with open banquets and dances. For the most part, the day is dedicated to the Great Mother and there are traditionally many weddings. Harvestfall is considered the last day of leisure in many places, after which the preparations for Winter begin.

Mid-Winter Festival, on the winter solstice, is celebrated over two days. Winterwane marks the end of the calender year and is occupied with family gatherings and remembrances of the past. Homes are decorated with evergreen bows, colored lanterns and hanging charms. Gifts are exchanged and, in Anglamar, a traditional roast goose is served. Following is New Year’s Night, marked by outdoor festivals with plenty of drink and dancing for the common folk – all at the expense of the nobility. In Gondaran, the Queen hosts a banquet in the Royal Castle for nobles and visiting dignitaries. The next day is New Sun in Anglamar, the holy day of the followers of Mythas. Priests conduct ceremonies throughout the kingdom to reaffirm the dedication of the Faithful to the New Faith and absolve them of their misdeeds. In Arandor, the Grand Cathedral is lit with thousands of candles, and bells toll all day as worshippers stream through its open doors for the blessings of the Archbishop.

OTHER HOLY DAYS and CELEBRATIONS

Eald
is celebrated by the Elves in the West on the night of the spring equinox (the Ides), heralding the beginning of the new year as they observe it. In Wildewood, the remaining lords of the Elder Race in the West gather at the Great Oak Valthoran (believed to be the oldest tree in Mythandar) to commune under the stars. No living human has ever witnessed this gathering.

Valkan’s Return is celebrated in Nordland in late Spring, marking the last melting of the sea ice and the first storms of Summer. After days of revelry in the greathalls of the chieftains', horns are sounded over the sea, warriors make ready to depart for raiding and trade, and dragonships sail out from Dragonsford and the other steadings.

The Kenlaw in late Summer (end of August), is Anglamar’s national holiday, commemorating the end of the War of the Crowns, 1403 IR. The King summons all of the Barons of Anglamar to Battle Down to reaffirm their oaths of fealty. Lords, their knights and retinues encamp there for two days to participate in oath-taking ceremonies, the granting and passing of titles, and the Lords’ Feast. Across the kingdom, the common folk traditionally gather together in town squares and to drink and socialize and burn the Rebel King in effigy. By custom, noted criminals convicted of treason are executed on the day of Kenlaw and their remains are burned that night.

King’s Day in mid-Autumn (after Harvestfall), marks the founding of The Dales in 1340 IR. A halfling delegation bearing the annual Dalegild tribute (traditionally, a wagonload of produce and halfling beer, two kinderkine and 100 silver pieces) arrives in Gondaran 10 days prior, and invitations are presented to the Royal Family. Since the founding of the Dales, no King’s Day has gone on without at least one member of the Royal family traveling to the Dales. Usually, the Queen and one of the Princes or Princesses attend. King’s Day actually lasts for five days of feasting, partying and speeches, presided over by the Warden of the Dales at Arbuckle Hill.

The Wintermeet Trade Fair, in the days leading up to and following Mid-Winter, is a great gathering of folk from across the North. The small town at the edge of Winterwood Forest swells in size, spilling along the King’s Road with camps, caravans, animal pens, and great tents serving as taverns and banquet halls. Fur traders, timberers and iron merchants from the North mingle with grain merchants, clothiers, blacksmiths and horse and ox sellers. Mercenaries and men-at-arms come in search work and many Northern Rangers often gather to exchange news. For as long as three weeks, the place is chaos until the merchants leave to prepare for Spring trading. Many of the northern folk remain in Wintermeet or travel back to Northinghall to wait out the rest of winter.