The year

The solar year is (as accurately as Valdyan astronomers can calculate it) 365 1/4 days long. Time is reckoned by the equinoxes and solstices.

Feasts of the gods


The first day of the year is the Feast of Timoine, called "the Day of Change", at the spring equinox. It is very much a children's festival; in Valdis children run everything for a day and choose their own leader, Timoinei rhesan "the Trusted of Timoine". In Turenay, the children get up very early, go out of town in a silent (but giggly) procession, the youngest being carried, and come back with the first green leaves of spring. In Dol-Rayen, when it still existed, the feast was an occasion for children to decorate the white-plastered walls of houses with mosaic of seashells. Children born in winter or spring usually celebrate their birthday on the Day of Change.

Every fourth year the Feast of Timoine lasts two days. In Idanyas and some other regions those years are thought to be particularly blessed. Children born in such a year have Timoine's special attention.


Midsummer, the summer solstice, is the feast of Anshen. It is celebrated with bonfires, joyous processions and all kinds of "military" sports: running, horse-racing, archery, wrestling and fencing. In most places the local chapter of the Guild of Anshen watches the bonfire all through the shortest night. In Rychie Gralen the Guild of the Nameless also joins in the vigil.

Worshippers of the Nameless, of course, celebrate Midsummer as the feast of their own god.


The feast day of Mizran is at the autumn equinox. It is celebrated with fairs and carnival-like festivities, and in rural areas with great hunts. It's also the opening of the hunting season. Note that it's perfectly all right to enjoy hunting, but it's always done for food or fur, never just for sport. Hunting something you don't intend to eat or skin is sacrilege: Mizran doesn't approve.

This is also a good time to sacrifice to Mizran in hopes that he will give you prosperity in business. The offering is part of the earlier yield or an advance on the expected yield in money or goods. These sacrifices are an important part of the income of the Temple of Mizran.


The feast of Naigha is at the winter solstice. In that longest night of the year, the priestesses of Naigha indulge in everything that they deny themselves for the rest of the year. In places with a large temple there is a procession with lights at midnight; afterwards the priestesses disperse, each still carrying her own light, and seek out single men, often their own lovers whom they meet only once a year. In Valdis, men who would like a visit from a priestess hang a sprig of holly on their front door in the Midwinter night to indicate that the back door is open. Children resulting from this night are usually raised by their mother's family from the time they are weaned. Village priestesses usually keep their children; girls are likely (but not expected) to follow in their mother's footsteps.

When the moon happens to be either full or new on the Feast of Naigha, the celebrations in the Temple are much greater.

The Mother

There is no day in the year set aside as a feast of the Mother, but every town and village has its own feast days, usually commemorating something that the Mother had a hand in - a good harvest, an auspicious birth, a spectacular increase in flocks.

Counting the years

In chronicles and genealogies the years are counted from the beginning of the kingdom, the year that Vegelin I was enthroned, but in practice the reign of the current king or queen is used. Stories about historical facts tend to start with a phrase like "In the tenth year of Queen Mialle, the three hundred and forty-sixth year of the kingdom..." and more often than not those dates are out of synch.

In local records the reign of the current baron is often substituted for that of the king or queen; not to speak of "eleven years ago, when our Rava was a baby", of course.

The moon

The moon is important to determine times of sowing and harvesting. Sowing when the moon is waxing and harvesting when it is waning is thought to be better for the crop.

The Temple of Naigha keeps a lunar calendar of 13 months, which people outside the temple usually don't understand even if they know of it. They count from a starting date before the founding of the kingdom, and the beginning of the lunar year has travelled all the way through the solar year several times since then.


A week has seven days, each consecrated to one of the gods: Dochein hanre "day of the One", Nanei (or Donanei) hanre "day of the Mother", Anshein hanre "day of Anshen", Naighei hanre "day of Naigha", Mizrein hanre "day of Mizran", Timoinei hanre "day of Timoine", and a day that has been pushed out of the week because it was once sacred to the one who is now the Nameless: hanre nafur "day without a name". It's considered unlucky to start something new on that day.

The great feasts of the gods fall outside the week. There are thirteen full weeks between one feast and another, and the first day after a feast is always the Day of the One.

Every worker has one rest day each week. Which day that is mostly depends on their profession: merchants celebrate the Day of Mizran, the Guild School in Turenay the Day of Anshen, musicians and midwives the Day of Timoine (though it's hard for a midwife not to work seven days a week). People who don't fall under an obvious patron god choose a day, usually the Day of the One.


Most people celebrate their birthday on a convenient day (like the feast of one of the gods) near the real date. It's not usual to give birthday presents except to children. On the Feast of Mizran, many people give presents to their friends, and masters to their apprentices.

The time of day

The day starts at first light; the night is part of the previous day.

Most people divide the day roughly into "dawn" (it's already light, but the sun hasn't fully risen), "morning" (before mid-day), "afternoon" (after mid-day), "evening" (the sun is setting, or has set and it isn't fully dark yet) and "night" (it's dark). This means that the parts of the day vary with the season.

For more precision there are sand-glasses and marked candles. The day is then divided into five times four hours (meaning that Valdyan hours are slightly longer than ours). This can lead to confusingly illogical situations: the first hour of the day starts at dawn, so in winter it can be completely dark in the middle of the afternoon, when it's already evening for people who use the intuitive method.

Astronomers use the course of the stars, but obviously that only works at night and it needs a clear sky as well.