The Book of Time, one of the five sacred books of Iber, says “Number neither your days nor your hours, lest they pass by you quickly while you count them. Instead, treat them as friends, and bid them tarry a while, and you will know long life and happiness.” For this reason, the calendars of the people of Ibera use names alone—never numbers—and the stations of the day (of irregular length and constantly changing with the seasons) are also named.
Hours, Properly called Stations
The Stations of Morning
Between sunrise and sun at 30 One alto bell
Sun between 30 and 60 Two alto bells of different tones
Sun between 60 and 90 Three alto bells of different tones
The Stations of Aftering
Sun between 90 and 120 The bell melody Invocation of Moss
Sun between 120 and 180 The bell melody Invocation of Nerin
Time from sun below horizon to last gleam of twilight The bell melody Invocation of Paldin
The Stations of Night
First Darkness to the rise of The White Lady (a southern star always in the same place in the sky) One bass bell
The White Lady alone until she is joined by The Red Hunter Two bass bells of different tones
From the time The Red Hunter rises until the moment of sunrise Three bass bells of different tones
Each month is divided into a triad of triads, three weeks of nine days. Each week triad and each day has a name and character.
First of the three Fates, the spinner
Second of the three Fates, the weaver
Third of the three Fates, the cutter
- Beginning Triad
- Garitsday (Bright)
- Bronirsday (Joyous)
- Throalsday (Hopeful)
- Middle Triad
- Meiersday (Knowledgeable)
- Makuldsday (Courageous)
- Ardsday (Determined)
- Ending Triad
- Hamulsday (Steadfast)
- Kagaisday (Weary)
- Meurnsday (Mournful)
The months are divided into month-pairs, and alternate between male and female. There are fourteen months in the 378-day year, and twenty-seven days in each month. Every month has a celebration in honor of the god of the month, for whom the month is named. In each pair, male months are named first and female months second.
Maraxis and Drastu—The Childbearers
The first months of spring, the month of the birth of the new year, and the months of blessings on fertility and pregnancy, and of delivery.
(God of Sperm, Seed, and Fertility) The holidays of Maraxis are:
- First day of Spring (1 Maraxis, or Amial Garitsday) —Maraxis Equinox
- Borning Day (also called Angadonday) (Between 1 and 9 Maraxis, or Amial Garitsday through Amial Meurnsday) The day of the birth of the new year. The date and exact time for the birth of each new year is determined by oracle, and the day and hour of birth indicate something of the temperament and character of the year to come.
- Naming Day (also called Theramisday) (13 Maraxis, or Duria Meiersday) Celebrated by the christening ceremony for the newborn year, which follows the naming ceremony. In the twelve days prior to the Naming Day, everyone in the city and in the outlying regions has taken the time to come up with a name for the new year. They have written their suggested names on one side of a sheet of paper, and their own names and addresses on the other side.Between Duria Garitsday and Duria Throalsday (10-12 Maraxis), they have taken in their names to their local parnissas, had the names entered into the Book of Years, and placed their slips of paper into the “sacred well”. On the thirteenth day, the carais of the dead year reaches into the sacred well and draws out the name of the new year. The namer of the year becomes the new carais, or lover of the year.
(Goddess of the Womb, of Eggs, and of Fertility)
- Parents’ Day (also called Drastuday) (24 Drastu, or Maelefa Ardsday) A day to honor all parents, grandparents, etc., with feasting, a gift, and in the country, with ritual sacrifice. It is a day of great solemnity, attuned to reminding parents of their responsibilities not only to their children and to their own parents, but also to their city and their people.
Ajban and Fielle—The Tenders
Ajban and Fielle are the Tenders, who care for the newborn year, feed it, nurture it in its infancy, keep it warm and protected. They are also the fierce guardians of the health of their people, and the strength of youth.
(God of Fathers)
- The Day of Infants ( also called Gaerwanday) (9 Ajban, or Amial Meurnsday) All infants and children under the age of five are presented for public inspection by the parnissas. Those children free of congenital disease or deformity are certified. Children with mild congenital disorders are sterilized. Children who have severe congenital abnormalities, including Karnee and other curses, are killed.
(Goddess of Mothers)
- First day of Summer (13 Fielle or Duria Meiersday) —Fielle Solstice
- The Children’s Parade (also called Ganjaday) (20 Fielle or Maelefa Bronirsday) All children who have attained their fifth year and final certificate of Graewan are celebrated with a parade and feast. Gifts traditionally given to children on this day.
Caerlan and Shompti—The Teachers
Caerlan and Shompti are The Teachers, instructing the year in the arts of love and war, in appreciation of art and science and technology and magic
(God of Beginnings, New Endeavors, and Challenges)
- Gon-Shon (13 Caerlan or Duria Meiersday) Certified children who turn eight before Gon-Shon begin their general education. This will continue until they are twelve, when they will be old enough to apprentice to a trade.
(Goddess of Knowledge, Craft, and Books)
- Gon-Ganta (1 Shompti through 10 Shompti Amial Garitsday through Duria Garitsday) Children old enough to seek apprenticeship attend a trade fair in their city or a sponsor city to find a master willing to take them on.
Stolpan and Weddyan—The Craftmasters
The months of Stolpan and Weddyan are named after the paired gods who are The Craftmasters, who take the year as apprentice to a craft and teach it the secrets of that craft. A lottery is held in the month of Stolpan to determine the craft of the year, and for the rest of the year, that craft and its practitioners enjoy special status.
(God of Work and Workmanship
- First day of Autumn (1 Stolpan) —Stolpan Equinox
- Fan-Shon (5 Stolpan, or Amial Makuldsday) The Day of Apprenticeship Children chosen as apprentices during Gon-Ganta take their vows and accept their charges and duties for the next seven years.
(Goddess of Wisdom)
- Fan-Ganta (10 Weddyan through 19 Weddyan, or Duria Garitsday through Maelefa Garitsday) The Graduation of apprentices and the Apprentices’ Trade Fair, where new craftsmen show their wares and seek positions with established businesses or band together to start businesses of their own.
Nasdem and Haledan—The Colleagues
The months of Nasdem and Haledan are named for the paired gods who are The Colleagues. Nasdem and Haledan emphasize work and the greatness of ambitious works, and who encourage the adult year to create a lasting memorial. The practitioners of the year’s craft donate time to bring this work to fruition, donating time, expertise, and often materials as well.
(God of Honesty, Integrity, and Honor)
- The Oracle of Nasdem (6 Nasdem or Amial Ardsday) The carais of the current year spends 1-5 Nasdem touring the city, and on 6 Nasdem announces the ‘great work’ that the honored craftsmen of the year’s sacred craft will give to the city. Frequently this is the completion of or repair of a previous great work. Sometimes, however, a carais will have spent the previous months coming up with plans for a new great work, and will spring them on the craftsmen at this time. Poor parts of town get parks, paved streets and upgraded aqueducts in this fashion.
(Goddess of Beauty and Truth)
- First day of Winter (14 Haledan or Duria Makuldsday) Haledan Solstice
- Haledan’s Festival — also called Solsticenight Festival (14 Haledan or Duria Makuldsday) When the sun is seen to set from the highest tower of each city, the markets, which have been closed all day, open for a crafts fair. All the artisans from the city have all of the night until sunrise the next morning in which to show their finest works by firelight. Dancers and musicians entertain in the taverns and halls, singing the traditional songs and doing the traditional dances of the season, and rich and poor alike huddle together by fires in the cold parts of the world or band together to sing through the streets in the warmer places.
Galewan and Joshan—The Apprentices
The months Galewan and Joshan are named for The Apprentices, who must learn the lessons of the aging year before it passes beyond the Living Lands.
(The God of Time Passing, of Seasons and Days, of Day and Night)
- Feast of the Thousand Holies (Galewansasday) (21 Galewan or Maelefa Throalsday) Day of celebration of Family gods, of the old gods, and of return to the old places and ways.
(The Goddess of the High Places, of Silence and Loneliness and Solitude)
- Joshan’s Day (16 Joshan, or Duria Hamulsday) The day of asking forgiveness from those one has wronged.
Brethwan and Lodan—The Lovers, Physicians, and Gravediggers
The months Brethwan and Lodan are named for The Lovers, Physicians and Gravediggers, who tend the dying year and when it dies, put it in its grave, all the while carrying the new year, fathered by Brethwan, in Lodan’s womb.
(God of Sex, Pleasure and Pain, Health and Illness, Life and Death)
- Brethwan’s Triad (25, 26, 27 Brethwan or Maelefa Hamulsday, Kagaisday, and Meurnsday) also called the Festival of the Full Circle In acknowledgment of the cycle of sex, birth and death, the three days of the Fates triad of the middle week are ones of carnal pleasure marked by the Skeletal March, orgies, parties, and lascivious behavior hidden behind masks and makeup. On these three days, all behavior is permitted and all forgiven.
(The Goddess of Love and Loss)
- Lodan’s Day (18 Lodan or Duria Meurnsday) (also called the Day of Lamplight) The day marking remembrance of those who died the year before, with invocations to the gods to show them to their new home and with the ceremony of the lighting of the deathwatch lamps, which will be lit every evening until the day of Year’s Death.
- Year’s Death (between 19 and 27 Lodan) The day of Year’s death (with the word ‘year’ replaced by the individual year’s name) is divined by oracle, and both day and hour are significant.
The names of years are randomly chosen, and come from people from all walks of life. Therefore, it won’t be at all unusual to have years named after children or spouses, friends, favorite foods or drinks, one’s pig that won first place in the festival the year before, and other beloved things. There will also be years given names by practical jokers who thought their name wouldn’t get picked, that will be frankly ridiculous.
The fact that these people end up being the caraises of their goofily-named years will probably do much to eliminate two stupid year-names in a row—people, after all, will not take kindly to having to live through the year Cow-Shit-With-Flies-All-Over, for example, and probably won’t lose any love on the idiot who named it. And because the random choice of name is considered to be the finger of the gods, people will be stuck with the name—no putting it back and trying again.