Saturday, June 14, 2014

What time is it… in Asgard?

In my last post, I demonstrated that the ancient pantheon of deities known in Scandinavian mythology as the Vanir are actually one and the same as the group of powerful beings called the Valar in J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings about Middle-earth. The Valar were not only the first inhabitants of Asgard (which is also known as Aman in Quenyan Elvish), but they helped create it, along with the entire, alternate universe that it resides in, which is called Eä.

(Note that in Tolkien’s writings, Eä appeared to be the name for our universe, but I don’t think Tolkien fully grasped the nature of the multiverse. As I have stated before, my goal is to reconcile actual history with every cool fictional narrative in existence and make them all work in one universe. Occasionally that means reinterpreting a few things to make them fit.)

According to Tolkien, time for the Valar was measured in something called “Valian years.” The definition of this term was a little fuzzy, but at one point, Tolkien stated that a Valian year was equal to 9.582 standard Earth years. If you do the math, you’ll see that this equals 3,500 standard Earth days.

In the very early history of Asgard, time was measured in 12-hour “days” – half the length of a day on Earth. Before Asgard had its own sun and moon, it was lit by the Two Trees, the Golden Tree of Laurelin and the Silver Tree of Telperion, and they would alternate giving off light. The sun of Asgard was made from the last fruit of Laurelin, and the moon was made of the last flower of Telperion. Both were set in special vessels crafted by the Vala known as Aulë and placed in the sky. At first they were guided back and forth across the sky, but eventually they were set to orbit Asgard, rising in the east and setting in the west, just as on Earth. (In Tolkien’s writings, these were actually said to be our sun and moon, but that doesn’t jibe with science, so again: multiverse.)

In those early times, a Valian year consisted of 7,000 days of 12 hours each, divided into “months” of 500 days each. The length of the month was chosen based on the cycle of the moon, which having come from a flower would “blossom” from a closed (new) moon to an open (full) moon and back again. The length of the year was chosen by assigning one month in honor of every one of the 14 original Valar.

The days of Asgard have now been the same length as Earth days for tens of thousands of Earth years, long before the Asgardians joined the Vanir in Asgard, and so a 24-hour day is now standard. The length of the Valian year, now known as the Asgardian year, has remained the same by halving the number of days in each month from 500 12-hour days to 250 24-hour days.

The current year of the Asgardian calendar dates from the end of the Æsir-Vanir war, c. 7000 BCE. By a happy coincidence, July 29, 1954 (the date that the first volume of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was published) fell on Asgardian New Year in the Year 932 of the Peace. Extrapolating backwards and forwards from that allowed me to figure out what day it was on Asgard at any given time.

As I mentioned, there are 14 months in the Asgardian calendar, each with 250 days, and those days, by design, are exactly the same length as Earth days. The months, in order are as follows:

1. Moon of Winds (named in honor of Manwë)
2. Moon of Stars (named in honor of Varda)
3. Moon of Waters (named in honor of Ulmo)
4. Maker's Moon (named in honor of Aulë)
5. Moon of Fruits (named in honor of Yavanna)
6. Moon of Flowers (named in honor of Vana)
7. Hunter's Moon (named in honor of Oromë)
8. Dancer's Moon (named in honor of Nessa)
9. Judge's Moon (named in honor of Námo)
10. Dreamer's Moon (named in honor of Irmo)
11. Merciful Moon (named in honor of Nienna)
12. Gentle Moon (named in honor of Etsë)
13. Weaver's Moon (named in honor of Vairë)
14. Strong Moon (named in honor of Tulkas)

Asgardians don't commonly use names for days of the week, but when they do, they follow the Earth calendar. However, they are likely to refer to the days using their traditional Germanic names:

Sunday: “Sun’s Day
Monday: “Moon’s Day
Tuesday: “Tyr’s Day
Wednesday: “Odin’s Day
Thursday: “Thor’s Day
Friday: “Freyja’s Day
Saturday: “Bath Day

Every Asgardian year begins on a Thor’s Day (Thursday) and ends on an Odin’s Day (Wednesday). The 125th day of each month is a Full Moon feasting holiday. The last day of the Asgardian year is known as “Night’s Day” and is a time of reflection and reminiscence – and feasting that carries into New Year’s Day.

Asgardians are notoriously bad at paying attention to clocks. They dislike telling time by numbers and are more likely to tell you roughly what time of day it is. Here are some common terms, but keep in mind that individual usage varies:

Midnight (12:00 AM – 3:00 AM)
Foremorn (3:00 AM – 6:00 AM)
Daytide (6:00 AM – 9:00 AM)
Quarterday (9:00 AM – 12:00 PM)
Midday (12:00 PM – 3:00 PM)
Dayfade (3:00 PM – 6:00 PM)
Evenfall (6:00 PM – 9:00 PM)
Suppertide (9:00 PM – 12:00 AM)

Here are the first days of each month for several Asgardian calendar years, converted to our calendar. From this (and a little counting), you should be able to figure out the Asgardian date on any given day. By the way, today (June 14, 2014) is day 121 of the Maker’s Moon in the year 938 of the Peace between the Æsir and the Vanir.

Year 930 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: May 30, 1935
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: February 4, 1936
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: October 11, 1936
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: June 18, 1937
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: February 23, 1938
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: October 31, 1938
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: July 8, 1939
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: March 14, 1940
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: November 19, 1940
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: July 27, 1941
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: April 3, 1942
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: December 9, 1942
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: August 16, 1943
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: April 22, 1944

Year 931 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: December 28, 1944
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: September 4, 1945
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: May 12, 1946
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: January 17, 1947
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: September 24, 1947
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: May 31, 1948
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: February 5, 1949
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: October 13, 1949
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: June 20, 1950
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: February 25, 1951
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: November 2, 1951
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: July 9, 1952
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: March 16, 1953
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: November 21, 1953

Year 932 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: July 29, 1954
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: April 5, 1955
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: December 11, 1955
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: August 17, 1956
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: April 24, 1957
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: December 30, 1957
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: September 6, 1958
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: May 14, 1959
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: January 19, 1960
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: September 25, 1960
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: June 2, 1961
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: February 7, 1962 (Note: this is the Asgardian month that Thor debuted as a modern hero on Earth.)
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: October 15, 1962
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: June 22, 1963

Year 933 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: February 27, 1964
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: November 3, 1964
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: July 11, 1965
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: March 18, 1966
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: November 23, 1966
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: July 31, 1967
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: April 6, 1968
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: December 12, 1968
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: August 19, 1969
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: April 26, 1970
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: January 1, 1971
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: September 8, 1971
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: May 15, 1972
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: January 20, 1973

Year 934 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: September 27, 1973
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: June 4, 1974
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: February 9, 1975
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: October 17, 1975
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: June 23, 1976
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: February 28, 1977
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: November 5, 1977
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: July 13, 1978
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: March 20, 1979
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: November 25, 1979
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: August 1, 1980
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: April 8, 1981
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: December 14, 1981
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: August 21, 1982

Year 935 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: April 28, 1983
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: January 3, 1984
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: September 9, 1984
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: May 17, 1985
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: January 22, 1986
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: September 29, 1986
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: June 6, 1987
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: February 11, 1988
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: October 18. 1988
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: June 25, 1989
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: March 2, 1990
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: November 7, 1990
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: July 15, 1991
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: March 21, 1992

Year 936 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: November 26, 1992
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: August 3, 1993
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: April 10, 1994
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: December 16, 1994
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: August 23, 1995
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: April 29, 1996
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: January 4, 1997
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: September 11, 1997
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: May 19, 1998
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: January 24, 1999
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: October 1, 1999
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: June 7, 2000
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: February 12, 2001
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: October 20, 2001

Year 937 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: June 27, 2002
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: March 4, 2003
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: November 9, 2003
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: July 16, 2004
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: March 23, 2005
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: November 28, 2005
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: August 5, 2006
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: April 12, 2007
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: December 18, 2007
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: August 24, 2008
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: May 1, 2009
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: January 6, 2010
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: September 13, 2010
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: May 21, 2011

Year 938 of the Peace (note: this is the current Asgardian year)
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: January 26, 2012
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: October 2, 2012
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: June 9, 2013
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: February 14, 2014
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: October 22, 2014
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: June 29, 2015
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: March 5, 2016
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: November 10, 2016
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: July 18, 2017
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: March 25, 2018
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: November 30, 2018
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: August 7, 2019
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: April 13, 2020
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: December 19, 2020

Year 939 of the Peace
Day 1 of the Moon of Winds: August 26, 2021
Day 1 of the Moon of Stars: May 3, 2022
Day 1 of the Moon of Waters: January 8, 2023
Day 1 of the Maker's Moon: September 15, 2023
Day 1 of the Moon of Fruits: May 22, 2024
Day 1 of the Moon of Flowers: January 27, 2025
Day 1 of the Hunter's Moon: October 4, 2025
Day 1 of the Dancer's Moon: June 11, 2026
Day 1 of the Judge's Moon: February 16, 2027
Day 1 of the Dreamer's Moon: October 24, 2027
Day 1 of the Merciful Moon: June 30, 2028
Day 1 of the Gentle Moon: March 7, 2029
Day 1 of the Weaver's Moon: November 12, 2029
Day 1 of the Strong Moon: July 20, 2030

Future Asgardian New Years...

  • Year 939: August 26, 2021
  • Year 940: March 27, 2031
  • Year 941: October 25, 2040
  • Year 942: May 26, 2050
  • Year 943: December 25, 2059
  • Year 944: July 25, 2069
  • Year 945: February 23, 2079
  • Year 946: September 23, 2088
  • Year 947: April 24, 2098
  • Year 948: November 24, 2107
  • Year 949: June 24, 2117
  • Year 950: January 23, 2127

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