Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fantasy World Calendars

Now that the holidays are behind me, I am eager to get back to blogging and working on my next book. I hope you all had a good holiday season and are looking to 2015 for a year of many possibilities and challenges.

Though I wasn't blogging much here, I did have to walk my dog to keep the sugary pounds off, and as we walked twice a day I took that time to listen to some audio books. Most were Christmas romances with a bit of paranormal thrown in. During these walks it occurred to me to consider what my imaginary world would be like during Christmas and New Years.  Tiaera doesn't have Christmas, but it does have a seasonal celebration called Wynterfest and it's mostly celebrated in the snowy countries of Snowfury and Wynterlande. This year, I hope to add more to my fantasy world by adding week days, months and a few holidays.


Since Tiaera is loosely based on Earth during the Middle Ages, I decided to look up New Years at a few websites. Did you know that New Years was abolished during the Middle Ages?

According to Infoplease (http://www.infoplease.com/spot/newyearhistory.html)
"Middle Ages: January 1st Abolished
In medieval Europe, however, the celebrations accompanying the new year were considered pagan and unchristian like, and in 567 the Council of Tours abolished January 1 as the beginning of the year. At various times and in various places throughout medieval Christian Europe, the new year was celebrated on Dec. 25, the birth of Jesus; March 1; March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; and Easter."

And at History.com (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/new-years-day)
"Celebration of New Year's Day in January fell out of practice during the Middle Ages, and even those who strictly adhered to the Julian calendar did not observe the New Year exactly on January 1. The reason for the latter was that Caesar and Sosigenes failed to calculate the correct value for the solar year as 365.242199 days, not 365.25 days. Thus, an 11-minute-a-year error added seven days by the year 1000, and 10 days by the mid-15th century."

Fortunately, such problems as rulers, religions and politics will not have to concern those of us who want to enhance our fictional worlds. Anyone who enjoys building worlds either for stories or gaming or just as a hobby should think about such holidays. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to look into what's out there for authors, gamers and world-builders who want to add holidays, calendars and seasons to add to their worlds. There are a few good articles and forum threads regarding fantasy calendars. Just Google "Fantasy world calendars" for a list of links. It seems simply enough to get started once you know what to call the weekdays and months, then it's just a matter of either using an app or program to formulate a believable calendar for your world.

Here are a few places that you might find useful:
Donjon: Fantasy Calendar
Masterplan-Adventure Design Studio
Campaign Calendar

Masterplan is free and it does much more than just make you a calendar. I may have to give this program a try and post some feedback on it. 

If you happen to know of any good sites you can recommend, feel free to comment. I am sure others would be happy to get any further help on how to create a fantasy world calendar.