Time and The Saelmarian Calendar
Time of Day
Most citizens of Saelmaria have little need to measure the time of day with any real accuracy. However, as scientific learning develops, the need for accurate measurement increases for those with significant education. Currently, the Aevan day is measured in hours, minutes, and seconds, based on precise calculations that have been modified and corrected by scholars over the centuries. (For all intents and purposes, these measures of time are identical to standard Earth increments.)
The Saelmarian Calendar
The current Saelmarian calendar was officially adopted as the official calendar beginning in the year 8 S.A. It is the product of a committee of horologists, astronomers, and diviners who were ordered by the Holy Emperor Justinian I to provide him with a new calendar by which the history of the Empire could be kept. The calendar is intended for use by all citizens, however, and therefore maintains certain dates used by commoners, as well.
The Calendar is luno-solar, in that it utilizes the cycles of Aeva’s sun and two moons as time-periods. A year is defined by the revolution of the planet around its sun, which takes precisely 390.375 days. The standard calendar is reduced to 390 days, and days are added occasionally to adjust for the missing time.
The year is divided into 11 months. Ten months are named Unuato, Duato, etc. (basically, First-month, Second-month, etc.). The eleventh month is Imperiato, the Empire Month. A month is defined as the period from the beginning of the new phase of the first of Aeva’s two moons to just before the new phase of the second moon—35 days. As such, each month is made up of 5 seven-day weeks. This provides 385 days in all eleven months. The remaining five days are holidays that symbolically mark the change of the seasons.
There are five seasons in the Saelmarian calendar. The seasons are not of equal length, however, and relate directly to the processes people have observed in nature for thousands of years. Their names are as follows: Kauzato (The Arising), Ekiflorato (The Blooming), Rikolto (The Harvest), Malpliigato (The Falling), and Formoriato (The Dying). These holidays take place between the last day of one month and the first day of the following month. The table on the left lists the months of the year and the annual holy days.
Every four years, Saelmarians celebrate Three Saints’ Day, a highly important holiday in honor of the three leaders of the churches that became the Holy Triad. Every other Three Saints’ Day is followed by Empire Day, a secular holiday to celebrate the foundation of the Holy Saelmarian Empire. Effectively, these days are “leap days”. The first leap day has a periodicity of four years; the second leap day has a periodicity of eight years. These days are celebrated after Arising Day and before the first day of Unuato. The first Three Saints’ Day and Empire Day were celebrated in 8 S.A.
The Saelmarian populace celebrates numerous other holidays, most of which are specific to a particular kingdom or city or have meaning only in the context of “pagan” days of celebration. The church tolerates most of the pagan holidays in order to appease the masses. Only the most overtly religious holidays from the other faiths were banned after the Faiths Wars. Regardless of the source of the tradition, these local holidays are celebrated on specific days of the year and are not added to the calendar like the five major holidays are.