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zompist bboard • View topic - Calendars and timekeeping

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 7:55 am 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:52 am 
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I haven't really developed any of the culture behind it, but my planet has two moons. There are something like 467 days in a year, IIRC, and the moons have 6 and 20 months, on average. Both have a lunar calendar as well as a solar calendar, but the lunar calendar for the closer moon takes precedence because it syncs with the solar calendar every 42 years. But the calendar is not consistent from culture to culture, and thus the 'international' dating system is simply the numerical day of the year. I haven't decided on how to handle timezones yet, because I'm leaning towards at least two competing hour systems, and also because I haven't made up anything about other countries.

I want there to be an 8 day week, just because it's different from 7, to be honest.

Days begin officially at sunrise or the equivalent of 6am, mainly because this is something I think should happen IRL.

Hours and minutes are divided up into 20s; this fits well with the 20 months of the further-away moon (which have a little over 20 days each). Days are about 28 earth-hours long. It's actually divided up three times, so instead of 24-60-60, it's 20-20-20-20. There's an alternative system which is something like 20-360-10. I'm sort of also planning on having a major cultural division between countries with base 20 and countries with base 10, with the implication that one set of countries uses one time system.

In my 'main' country, there are four seasons. Summer has a few extra days officially, but it's all essentially arbitrary; each season has a block of five months out of the 20, and the traditional solstice/equinox day is the first day of the second month of each block.

Just for fun, I have a second habitable planet in the same system which has about 1000 days of 17 hours each, which is specifically just being different from the first planet. I think it'd be fun to see what would happen if you sent guys from one planet to the next.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:06 am 
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the Selian calendar is quite different from Earth calendars because the planet is rather different. Suenu is an unremarkable terrestrial planet with a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, geological activity, and vegetation covering two of its three continents. Differences to earth include the fact that the day lasts 1296 earth hours, giving you something like a month-long day and a month-long night, the year lasts 5171 hours, making it so that each astronomical year lasts just under 4 day-night cycles. Every year, the first day comes a bit over 13 hours later, which means that for the equinox to occur at the same time of the day it takes around 397 days [the 27 earth days planetary revolution that is the day of Suenu, not the 24 hour earth day]. Seasons are also unheard of in the planet because it's eccentricity is really low and because the planet's equator has no discernable tilt.

One of the biggest challenges for the inhabitants of Suenu, therefore, is to measure small units of time. Since the only season-like phenomenon is the day-night cycle, that comes with extreme reliability, there's no great need to keep track of seasons and planetary revolutions, although it's still of great interests to astronomers, navigators, traders, and timekeepers [a highly relevant job, mind you]. small units of time are, obnoxiously, measured differently by different cultures, and often even local towns. Since there's no obvious astronomical way to measure any relevant unit of time, each town or city uses its own clocks: during the day it's quite easy to do so: you just need to track the movement of the sun and follow it across it's path to measure time in the order of 10 or 20 hours, shadow clocks or a dark room with a single opening for the sun to come in work fine for that. During the day, you can do the same with a star, but since the day and the year don't neatly line up, you really need to know your calendar to keep time at night.

The Selian calendar, the one used by the focal culture of the conworld, works in this manner.

The first astronomical unit is the day, lasting, as has been said,
[windows crash, this post is draft]

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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:17 am 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 12:34 pm 
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For my conworld, Kalieda ...

Do the people live on Earth, or on another planet? If the latter, what is the astronomical environment of the planet (moons, seasons, etc.). How does the timekeeping system handle annual variation in the length of a day? (Since Earth's orbit is nearly circular, we can afford to ignore this here.)



Kalieda takes 380.41 days to complete an orbit around its primary.
- Average diameter: 13,029km
- Density: 5,498kg/m³
- Minimum distance from Wage: around 145 million km
- Maximum distance from Wage: around 149 million km
- Surface gravity: 10.04m/s²
- Axial tilt: 16.7°
- Average surface temperature: 289K

Kalieda has two moons: white Leprhaakhe has an orbit of approx 8.23 days, while red Tuustinte takes a more leisurely 35.91 days (again, approx). Both are (mostly) tide-locked but currently don't have an orbital resonance, which leads to small irregularities in their orbital periods - neither has much influence on any Kaliedan calendar system, which are all resolutely solar-based.

What celestial events are of importance to the calendar? (Different cultures might have different priorities even on the same planet; e.g., seafaring folk would care very much about the moon, while polar-region dwellers might not even have a concept of a "day").

All the major calendars use the northern spring (southern autumn) equinox as the starting point for their calendrical years.

Is there a notion of time zones or standard time? How does the "international date line" situation work?

Although the humans living on the planet have long forgotten their extraKaliedan origins, it's likely that the colonisers decided to set the meridian as the longitudinal arc that passed through the southernmost point of the largest continent - and the convention has stuck ever since. Given that for most of the planet's human history the vast majority of people lived on the two continents bisected by the meridian, this was not a problem.

However, since the Disaster, all civilisations on the largest continent have collapsed entirely and the civilisations on the northern continent are remnants; the most populous continent is now the one bisected by the 'international date line' (meaning 'east' is west, and vice versa). There's talk of moving the meridian, but no agreement yet about where the new line should be drawn.

Given that most settlements and cities work on local time, and there's no single agreed calendar for the whole continent, this is not a big problem for anyone other than scientists. The new-fangled internets use the local time in the city of Ramaja as an informal reference point.

Are there any non-celestial periods that are reckoned? (E.g., weeks). How is the day divided? When is the day considered to begin? (Sunrise, sunset, midnight?). Where did the calendar/timekeeping system originate? Religious functions, government decree, something else?

It varies between calendars -

- a local adaption of the Falah standard calendrical system.
- a form of the Istran calendrical system.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:07 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 10:22 pm 
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The world Saltha on as a earth-like planet, with basicly the same conditions of orbit and environment.

In Saltha, the calendar is a religous-based calendar, and contains a cycle of 15 months, each (except the last which has 3 weeks) have 5 weeks, and each week has 5 days (4 week days and a weekend). The year begins on the beginning of spring.

Days are divided into normal 24 hour days (trying to divide into 25 was too difficult).

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Last edited by Foolster41 on Sat May 26, 2012 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 3:12 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 5:05 am 
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By the lunar calendar of the further away moon. It has a full-length intercalary month inserted every 7 years, by which time it has drifted by around 75 days from the solar calendar (it has long months). The lunar calendar has standardised month lengths, though, and doesn't always exactly match the phases of the moon, so it may end up a day or two out. IIRC, it's either 73 or 74 for normal lunar months and 75 for the intercalary month, while the solar calendar has either 75 or 76 days in each month, essentially because there are however many extra days to account for.

The lunar calendar and solar calendar sync exactly every 42 years (again, this is standardised and was actually an unintended quirk of the way it worked out for me). The solar calendar loses a day every 3 years, but doesn't lose it on the 42nd year (14 cycles), while the lunar calendar's intercalary month loses a day on the 42nd year (the 6th cycle of 7 years) to keep in sync.

I worked out my birthday as Koos 51, the 51st day of the second lunar month, in the year 6200. Last year was a 42nd year (it was 6216, although I'm thinking of revising this to be a lower number, because 6000 years is like 9000 earth years!), so this year the lunar and solar calendars started on the same date; it's currently Koos 5 in the solar calendar and Koos 6 in the lunar calendar (this is because the months have different lengths in each calendar). However, legally one's birthday is defined by the numerical day of the year, mainly for international purposes. My legal birthday would be 6200/83 (ie the 83rd day of the year); currently it's 6200/80, so my 17th legal conworld birthday is in 3 conworld days. But the one that would actually be celebrated is in 45 conworld days, which is 52 earth days.

The system I use has hours set at a specific time, like how we do it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:44 am 
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Last edited by masako on Sat May 26, 2012 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 11:49 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:16 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Think about it... it isn't really all that arbitrary.

Here's i think it developed...
Day Night split...
sun dial invented...

when the sun dial was invented you have 2 cycles for each day. The Light cycle and the Night cycle. They both make the sun dial shadow go around once and the "actual" time that passes changes because where the moon is over head changes and shortens and lengthens with the year which results in the variable hour.

Now once you have that you realize that hours are more or less variable so what you are really looking at is the position of the shadow on the sun dial and what to refer to each position. It's a circle and because circles are 360 degrees you are going to use some form of that multiple.

Because you are looking for some form of that multiple you are probably looking for an accurate but a relatively substantial amount of time, meaning that a number system that is "too" accurate will be too cumbersome and thus less likely to catch on. Further you have to take into account the writing utensils and such at the time and you realize that 36 is probably too big of a number. What if we divide that in half? That to me looks a little bit too cramped. Divide in half again and you get 9. 9 is odd and an odd number in not what we want when evenly dividing things and it is probably 2 small. So the number we select is going to be above 9 and and 18. What are the even numbers that are multiples of 360 between 9 an 18? 10 and 12. 10 is slightly better because it's not odd, but it probably felt small and not as "pure" as 12 since 12 is a multiple of 3, 2, 6, and can much more easily be kept small to allow for more complex mathematics to be done with smaller numbers which makes things slightly easier to grasp.

Once you have 12 hours a cycle and a variable hour you combine that for the 24 hour day.

As far as seconds and minutes. I would bet originally there were only 30 minutes in an hour (being that both of those were variable) and then used another system of measurement that just happened to take 60 somethings to fill or do when people stopped using variable time they mixed the two systems and thus you have a 60 minute hour. From there it is just a matter of deciding if you're going to divide by 60 for an hour and you need something more accurate why not do it again?

This is based on sky light though. All sky-light time systems are going to have something like 12 hour cycle. But if you somehow create something else to keep track of time it likely will be different. I'm trying to figure out how to create a calender around an underground civilization. There isn't anything i know of that has a regular daily action underground so I'm not having too much luck on that.... Maybe geysers or underground springs...

btw... remember that when you are talking time systems you are talking about 2 different things... a "schedule" and a "measurement of change." The larger numbers are almost always for scheduling when developing I would think while the smaller are for measurements. After all, specific time wasn't important until we had busy lives with things that could be super accurate.


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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 6:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 7:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:36 am 
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(Please note that all Zurvár terms given in this summary are pending conversion into an updated, less Englishy phonology...)

The Zurvár are obsessed with the number 5, which is reflected heavily in their traditional calendar. Up until the 1960s they were nomadic - moving from alternate Earth to alternate Earth, so their calendar had no connection to astronomical phenomena (as these would vary - within some basic parameters - from world to world). After settling permanently on Zurvár Arèáná the traditional calendar was heavily modified by the Konsâtèum to suit the planet, which is basically identical to Earth as far as orbit, day and year length are concerned.

Both calendars are based around a sùln (day), which starts at sunrise and lasts until the following sunrise. This was divided into standard time periods of roughly an hour (I can't find the exact details right now), which keep ticking over until the sun rises again (so the number of 'hours' in a day would vary from world to world and season to season, and often end up as a fraction). This system has been preserved on Zurvár Arèáná, although the length of the hour (and it's subsequent breakdown into smaller units) has been tweaked so 25 of them fit into one rotation of the planet.

In the traditional calendar five mon sùln form a hasaq or 'week'. Each day of the hasaq is associated with a concept or (as Sano has so eloquently stated it) totem, as follows

Katálásùl - Fish
Pâratsùl - Bird
Lòtòsùl - Ship
Minaksùl - Star
Takalsùl - Knot

This allocation appears to be particularly ancient, as the same sequence shows up in other aspects of Zurvár culture - most notably in the five suits of the traditional deck of cards.

With the settlement of Zurvár Arèáná a sixth day was added, Soransùl which is simply "New Day". Support for this change was garnered by promoting it as a weekly holiday and day of rest, a move that proved very popular.

In both the new and old calendars five hasaq formed a zaqaq or 'month'. In the traditional calendar this lasted 25 mon sùln, in the new calendar it lasts 30 mon sùln.

The anniversary of one's birth in each zaqaq is considered a auspicious day, and a good time to start on a new project, business venture or journey. On the other hand it is considered an unlucky day on which to enter into a vitelá ('partnership' - the Zurvár version of a marriage) - possibly because the partner whose birth anniversary falls on the partnering day would be perceived to have an unfair advantage in the relationship.

In the traditional calendar five hasaq formed a Þásálá or 'year' of 125 mon sùln. The most radical change in the new calendar is altering the Þásálá to 12 mon hasaq. This longer year is known as the Þásálá Soran ('new year'). The Þásálá Soran contains four intercalary days placed between every three mon hasaq, with an extra intercalary day at the start and end of the year (with an extra leap day every four years - also at the end of the year) to bring the total up to 365. These days are mandated as public holidays and have been given names adopted from roughly concurrent holidays celebrated by various English speaking cultures on Earth (although no associated traditions have been adopted).

First intercalary holiday (located at the start of the Þásálá) - Nûyistà
Second intercalary holiday - Yestur
Third intercalary holiday - Midsumá
Fourth intercalary holiday - Tenkskèrvin
Fifth intercalary holiday (located at the end of the Þásálá) - Yùl
Leap intercalary holiday (located between Yùl and Nûyistà) - Nûyisèv

The difference in length between the traditional and revised mon Þásálá has led most Zurvár to calculate their chronological age in two ways, by the old calendar and new calendar. Important milestones (such at the coming of age ceremony when a young Zurvár takes on some of the responsibilities of an adult at the age of 50 - just over 17 by the new calendar) are usually celebrated according to the old calendar.

The most important yearly festival for the Zurvár on Zurvár Arèáná is the Lacè, which is a community party held every year on the night of the full moon closest to the anniversary of the founding of a settlement. Every household contributes buffet style food and a huge bonfire is constructed in the settlement's central plaza. The celebration starts just before sundown and continues until sunrise, or until everyone has collapsed (whichever comes first). Zurvár who are working or studying away from their home settlement will always try to return for the Lacè.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 2:45 am 
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 1:54 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 8:00 pm 
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I have only developed a method of timekeeping for one of the cultures in my conworld.
Because of how long ago I created the world, it contains numerous parallels to our own world. Namely, days and years are nearly the same length. I am thinking of having the days slightly longer, but more or less the same. The year is only a couple days longer than an Earth year.

Anyway, in this culture there are seven animistic gods or spirits that represent aspects of nature throughout the year. Each one has a male and female manifestation. There are also two other spirits, the binder and the destroyer. There are 23 months, one for each spirit. Each month has 16 days, with the male/female manifestations sharing a day.

1 Xawo (binder)
2 Dhoung (water)
3 Gantē (rivers and streams; male manifestation of Dhoung)
4 Ŕōcha (lakes and the ocean; female manifestation of Dhoung)
5 Ūrd (rain; spring)
6 Dolot (rain and lightning; m. Ūrd)
7 Ngas (clouds and thunder; f. Ūrd)
8 Hīhit (forests and plants)
9 Āsach (leaves and branches; m. Hīhit)
10 Ḍug (trees and wood; f. Hīhit)
11 Hewich (fire, ash; summer)
12 Xeŕin (sun; m. Hewich)
13 Kleg (warmth and safety; f. Hewich)
14 Hōūs (wind and mountains)
15 Qaya (strength and power; m. Hōūs)
16 Yama (hills and mountains; earth; f. Hōūs)
17 Īyao (sky)
18 Vouyas (appearance and vision; m. Īyao)
19 Sheyaḍ (heart and mind; f. Īyao)
20 Gyaod (cold and winter)
21 Waoyao (falling snow and rain; m. Gyaod)
22 Īwab (snow and ice on the ground; f. Gyaod)
23 Qabūy (destructor)

The first day of the year is Xawo-Xawo (also called Yaolek Xawo or Tyoubek Xawo), the second Xawo-Gantē-Ŕōcha, and the third Xawo-Dhoung (male/female separated days come before the integrated days). The last day is called Qabūy-Qabūy or Hū-Qabūy.

The calendar is most useful to me in its capacity to name individuals.

The day-name is important because it is used in naming people. A person will receive as a part of their name the deity that reigns over that day. Their personal name will also sometimes be influenced by this. Sometimes names reflect the ruling deity, e.g. a girl born on a Gantē-Ŕōcha day may be named Ŕōcha-Ngowaḍīsyāsh (Moss-Edge), while sometimes names reflect the deity opposite in the cycle, so someone born under Hīhit may be called Hīhit-Xyūdarpūwam (Smooth-Line). Or, it may reflect the month-deity, e.g. a boy born on the day Gyaod-Qaya-Yama may be named Qaya-Ngoujxaich (Ice-Mound). Other times, personal names are unrelated to the deity, e.g. Waoyao-Hadgakīp (Pious-Mantis).


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 5:05 am 
Lebom
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 am 
Sumerul
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Today's XKCD:


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 11:52 am 
Lebom
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I'd really like to see how he managed to synch it with Narnian time.


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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 12:19 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2012 12:59 pm 
Lebom
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