Prophecy: Calendar

Greyhawk Calendar

A month consists of 28 days, divided into four weeks of seven
days each. The month’s length is based on the period of Oerth’s
Great Moon, Luna. A year is divided into twelve months (called a
Dozenmonth), further divided into four groups of three months each,
separated by weeklong festivals, for a total of 364 days. The
timing of the festivals is determined by the period of the lesser
moon, Celene; the fourth (middle) day of each festival is when
Celene is full. The dates of each full Luna wander through the year
as the Festival  weeks throw off the Calendar cycle, though at
least they do so on a predictable basis.

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Calendar

Annual Events

This section describes the major annual events commonly
recognized in the central Flanaess, particularly the Domain of
Greyhawk, focusing on the four festival weeks of the calendar year
and certain days of importance to the functioning of the government
of the City of Greyhawk. Only the most significant and widely
celebrated religious holidays are given here. In addition, each
religion has its own set of holy days in addition to this list, and
each city and town celebrates its own secular holidays, most of
them of minor importance elsewhere.

Needfest : This frigid seven-day period marks the
transition from one calendar year to another, and it is usually
accounted as the start of the new year. In many areas in the
central Flanaess, the week is spent feasting, drinking, dancing,
gift-giving, putting up lights and decorations, and in revelry.
Many religions celebrate midwinter with good deeds, charity, or
observations of the sky. Various civic government functions take
place during this time, as well. The evening of Needfest Godsday is
also known as Midwinter Night. In the City of Greyhawk, the height
of the midwinter celebration is Needfest 7th (a
Freeday), known as the Feast of Fools. Madness reigns for
precisely seven hours under the leadership of The Fool, the most
talented bard or jester in the city.

Great Moons Glory: On Readying 1lth, Luna is
full but Celene is new. This night is called Great Moon’s Glory.
The church of Celestian regards this night as holy, with the usual
all-night outdoor vigil of the heavens outside the Grey College
Observatory. Oeridian citizens make offerings to shrines to the
lesser goddess Atroa on this night, asking the Queen of Spring to
come early. Offerings to shrines to Telchur (the Oeridian god of
the north and winter) are also made, praising his work but
suggesting he go home to the pole and sleep. Local druids and their
small congregations also hold this night sacred, but little is
known of their activities. Many farmers and herdsmen mark this
night as the true beginning of spring, though Readying
1st is the calendar date for spring’s start.

Growfest:  In Greyhawk, Growfest is not taken as a
week-long public holiday, though itis regarded as a time of good
cheer with the full arrival of spring. The weather is usually
blustery, with cool sunny days alternating with heavy rain.
Farmers, herders, longshoremen and other workers prepare for the
upcoming busy summer, and merchant activity is high. Growfest
4th, Godsday, is St. Cuthbert’s Day, the largest annual
festival celebrated by those of that faith. In the City of
Greyhawk, the highlight of Growfest for the rest of the populace
comes on Freeday evening, Growfest 7th. This event is
the Desportium of Magick, a contest between illusionists who seek
to cast the most magnificent display of illusion/phantasm magic on
an established theme, that of a historical attack by monsters and
humanoids on the Grand Citadel.

Richfest: The hot, breezy week of Richfest is not kept as
a public holiday in Greyhawk. Midsummer Day (Richfest
4th) is the only real celebration, when the city takes
off to celebrate the height of summer and give thanks to the
appropriate gods for any good fortune they’ve had. Midsummer Day is
called the Holy Day of Pelor. Pelor – master of the sun, light, and
healing – is beloved of many of Greyhawks populace, and this day
sees the largest religious festival held in the Free City in
Pelor’s honor. The evening of Riclifest 4th is Midsummer
Night. Both moons are full, and at midnight Celene eclipses Luna.
This is a portentous evening, sacred to many religions, and
sometimes astronomical phenomena are seen that hint at future
events, good and ill. This is the best night of all for druids to
collect mistletoe, but it is also the night on which the greatest
number of werewolves are out, as the combined effect of the two
moons makes it nearly impossible for lycanthropes to avoid
were-change.

Dark Night: Both moons of Oerth are new on the night of
Goodmonth 11th (always a Godsday), which earns this
evening various tides such as the Dark Night, Black Night or Star
Night. While certain religious groups spend the night observing the
skies for portents (or taking advantage of its darkness for acts of
evil or thievery), many ordinary folk light all­ night
bonfires.

Brewfest:  Only the first and last days of Brewfest
(Starday and Freeday) are public holidays in the City of Greyhawk,
meaning that no one can be coerced to work, and public revelry is
encouraged by the government However, many citizens take this faIl
celebration of the last harvest completely to heart, and public
intoxication is common. The city takes on a circus atmosphere, and
the streets are filled with actors, jugglers, acrobats, animal and
monster trainers (with their best “pets”), and grinning adventurers
showing off their latest trophies. The festival is celebrated
throughout the central Flanaess.

Time-Keeping

Most timekeeping on Oerth is performed by sundials, which
indicate not only the time of day but also the month and day of the
year. This is because Oerth’s axial tilt causes the sun’s shadow to
wander over the ground in a curving pattern that repeats every
year; a sundial can track this effect, known as far back as the
days of the Suel Imperium. Water clocks and mechanical clocks,
powered by coiled wind up springs or pendulums and weights, are
also used, but these are costly and difficult to make, often
tastelessly ornamented, and prone to inaccurate readings. Perfectly
accurate magical time pieces have been created by priests and
wizards, but these are so expensive that guilds for navigators and
night watchmen are the primary buyers. Minor spells allow sundials
in public areas to register the time even on cloudy days, and these
are sufficient for most public needs. The clerics of those deities
concerned with time such as Istus, Cyndor or Lendor, are valued and
sought for their timing of ceremonies, complex spells and military
activities, and they are gainfully employed by certain merchants,
governments, wizard’s guilds, the military and others.