Time and Seasons
Almost every people or race of Faerun marks the passage of days, seasons, and years in some fashion. In the Ravenmarch royal astrologers carefully tend the Roll of Years using the Calendar of Harptos.
Faerun’s days are 24 hours long, divided into night and day by the rising and setting sun. In southern lands such as Halruaa, the length of the night does not vary much with the season, and 12 hours of light and 12 of dark is the rule year-round. In the north, the days are markedly longer in summer and shorter in winter. Midwinter day in Silverymoon sees little more than 8 hours of daylight, and Midsummer almost 16.
Ten days comprise a Faerunian week, also known as a tenday or, less commonly, a ride. The individual days of the tenday do not have names. Instead, they’re referred to by number: first-day, second-day, and so on. Most folk start counting using their thumb as first-day,
but halflings are famous for using their pinkies to count first-day, so much so that the phrase “counting like a halfling” means that someone is being different just to be difficult.
Most of Faerun uses the Calendar of Harptos, named after the longdead wizard who invented it. Few bother to refer to Harptos by name, since the calendar is the only calendar they know. Each year of 365 days is divided into 12 months of 30 days, and each month is divided into three tendays. Five special days fallbetween the months. These annual holidays mark the seasons or the changing of the seasons. The months of Faerun roughly correspond to the months of the Gregorian calendar.
Months have two names. The calendar name and then a common name used by most people. Both are generally acceptable however most people tend to use the common name.
Hammer or Deepwinter
Annual holiday: Midwinter
Alturiak or The Claw of Winter
Ches or The Claw of the Sunsets
Tarsakh The Claw of the Storms
Annual holiday: Greengrass
Mirtul or The Melting
Kythorn or The Time of Flowers
Flamerule or Summertide
Annual holiday: Midsummer
Eleasis or Highsun
Eleint or The Fading
Annual holiday. Highharvestide
Marpenoth or Leaffall
Uktar or The Rotting
Annual holiday: The Feast of the Moon
Nightal or The Drawing Down
Five times a year the annual holidays are observed as festivals and days of rest. Each seasonal festival is celebrated differently, according to the traditions of the land and
the particular holiday.
Midwinter: Nobles and monarchs greet the halfway point of
winter with a feast day they call the High Festival of Winter. Traditionally it’s the best day to make or renew alliances. The common folk enjoy the celebration a bit less—among them it’s called Deadwinter Day, noted mainly as the halfway point of winter, with hard times still to come.
Greengrass: The official beginning of spring is a day of peace and rejoicing. Even if snow still covers the ground, clerics, nobles, and wealthy folk make a point of bringing out flowers grown in special rooms within temples and castles. They distribute the flowers among the people, who wear them or cast them upon the ground as bright offerings to the deities who summon the summer.
Midsummer: Midsummer night is a time of feasting and music and love. Acquaintances turn into dalliances, courtships turn into betrothals, and the deities themselves take a part by ensuring good weather for feasting and frolicking in the woods. Bad weather on this
special night is taken as an omen of extremely ill fortune to come.
Highharvestide: This holiday of feasting to celebrate the autumn harvest also marks a time of journeys. Emissaries, pilgrims, adventurers, and everyone else eager to make speed traditionally leave on their journeys the following day—before the worst of the mud clogs
the tracks and the rain freezes into snow.
The Feast of the Moon: The Feast of the Moon celebrates ancestors and the honored dead. Stories of ancestors’ exploits mix with the legends of deities until it’s hard to tell one from the other.