The Calendar of Harptos

The following calendar is specifically tailored for the kingdom of Cormyr. The year consists of 365 days: 12 months of exactly 30 days each (due to the single moon and its followers), plus 5 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.

Months are subdivided into three tenday periods. These are known variously as “eves”, “tendays”, “domen”, “hyrar”, or “rides” throughout the Forgotten Realms. Rides is the standard term used in Cormyr and the Dalelands.

The system in naming the months is named for its inventor, the long-dead wizard Harptos of Kaalinth, and is in use throughout the North. The name of each month in the Calendar of Harptos is listed below, from the beginning of a calendar year to the end. Each month’s name is followed by a colloquial description of that month, plus the corresponding month of the Gregorian calendar in parentheses.

Harptos Month Colloquial Name Gregorian Month
Hammer Deepwinter (January)
Special Day: Midwinter
Alturiak The Claw of Winter, or The Claws of the Cold (February)
Ches The Claw of the Sunsets (March)
Tarsakh The Claw of the Storms (April)
Special Day: Greengrass
Mirtul The Melting (May)
Kythorn The Time of Flowers (June)
Flamerule Summertide (July)
Special Day: Midsummer
Special Day: Shieldmeet (once every 4 years)
Eleasias Highsun (August)
Eleint The Fading (September)
Special Day: Higharvestide
Marpenoth Leafall (October)
Uktar The Rotting (November)
Special Day: The Feast of the Moon
Nightal The Drawing Down (December)

Special Calendar Days

Midwinter is known officially as the High Festival of Winter. It is a feast where, traditionally, the lords of the land plan the year ahead, make and renew alliances, and send gifts of goodwill. To the commonfolk, this is Deadwinter Day, the midpoint of the worst of the cold.

Greengrass is the official beginning of spring, a day of relaxation. Flowers that have been carefully grown in 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, 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 the night—such is considered a very bad omen, usually thought to foretell famine or plague.

Higharvestide heralds the coming of fall and the harvest. It is a feast that often continues for the length of the harvest, so that there is always food 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 ere the worst of the mud arrives and the rain freezes in the snow.

The Feast of the Moon 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 performed, and tales of the doing of those now gone are told far into the night. Much is said of heroes and treasure and lost cities underground.

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 the Shieldmeet. It is a day of open council between nobles and people; a day for the making and renewing of pacts, oaths, and agreements; 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.

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.

Years (“winters”) are referred to by names, each one consistent across the Realms, because each kingdom or citystate numbers years differently, usually to measure the reign of a dynasty or the current monarch, or since the founding of the country. The current year is 1331 in Cormyr, and 1356 in the Dales (Dalereckoning, or DR). The Cormyr Reckoning derives from the foundation of House Obarskyr, the dynasty which still rules that land. Dalereckoning is taken from the year that men were first permitted by the Elven Court to settle in the more open regions of the forests. Dates given within Forgotten Realms source books and this website use Dalereckoning for the sake of convenience, though other regions will have their own methods of reckoning the passage of the years.

Names for the years are known as the Roll of Years, as they are drawn from predictions written down under that title by the famous Lost Sage, Augathra the Mad, with a few additions by the seer Alaundo.

The Roll is a long one; here is the relevant portion of it.

YEAR OF THE DRAGON (1352 DR)
YEAR OF THE ARCH (1353 DR)
YEAR OF THE BOW (1354 DR)
YEAR OF THE HARP (1355 DR)
YEAR OF THE WORM (The current year) (1356 DR)
YEAR OF THE PRINCE (1357 DR)
YEAR OF THE SHADOWS (1358 DR)
YEAR OF THE SERPENT (1359 DR)
YEAR OF THE TURRENT (1360 DR)
YEAR OF THE MAIDENS (1361 DR)
YEAR OF THE HELM (1362 DR)
YEAR OF THE WYVERN (1363 DR)
YEAR OF THE WAVE (1364 DR)
YEAR OF THE SWORD (1365 DR)
YEAR OF THE STAFF (1366 DR)
YEAR OF THE SHIELD (1367 DR)
YEAR OF THE BANNER (1368 DR)

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The Calendar of Harptos

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