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The Discworld's calendar differs from Earth's one.

Discworld calendar[]

Jump to navigationJump to search This article is about the counting and naming of years and days on Discworld. For the calendar-like-books, like Diaries, see Bibliography. For the commercial wall-calendars, see Discworld Calendars.

Contents[]

  • 1General
  • 2Years and centuries
  • 3Notable past years
  • 4Roundworld Common Years
  • 5Months Of The Discworld Year
    • 5.1Inconsistencies with the order of months
  • 6Special holidays
  • 7Seasons
  • 8Zodiac
    • 8.1The Houses of the Zodiac and their 64 Elements:
    • 8.2Annotations
  • 9Related pages

General[]

A Discworld celestial year has 800 days and because of some interesting astronomical facts two of each seasons (two summers, two winters, etc.). This leads to the fact that many people actually do not count the astronomical years, but the half-years with 400 days, often refered to as "common years". The half-year has 13 months, listed below. Each month except Ick has 32 days, Ick has 16 days. Each week has eight days. The eighth day of each week is called Octeday.

There are two main calendars in use on Discworld. The Ankh-Morpork Calendar counts full years and starts at the founding of Ankh-Morpork, the University Calendar starts at the founding of Unseen University (in 1282 AM) and counts in half-years. Oddly enough, while the Imperial Ankh-Morpork calendar offers intellectual purity and mathematical elegance, the general populace tends to use the Weird, Wild, Wacky Wizards' calendar, which happens to correspond to the growing season.

Years and centuries[]

Centuries and years are named. We are currently in the Century of the Anchovy (Carpe Jugulum). It was preceded by the Century of the Fruitbat (Moving Pictures) and even earlier by the Century of the Three Lice, and the Century of the Cobra (Small Gods).

In Feet of Clay Doc Pseudopolis, President of the Guild of Gamblers, says “in a few years it’ll be the Century of the Rat.” No-one objects to this, but subsequent Discworld novels that mention the century refer to the Century of the Anchovy, perhaps suggesting that centuries are not named that far in advance (and that this is a bet Doc has lost).

  • The Century of the Summer Weevil (mentioned in Unseen Academicals)
  • The Century of the Dragonfly (mentioned in Reaper Man)
  • The Century of the Cobra (mentioned in Pyramids)
  • The Century of the Three Lice (mentioned in Reaper Man and the Discworld Roleplaying Game)
  • The Century of the Fruitbat (mentioned in Reaper Man, Men at Arms, Moving Pictures, Small Gods, Lords and Ladies, Carpe Jugulum, The Fifth Elephant, The Truth, Soul Music, Pyramids and the Discworld Roleplaying Game)
  • The Century of the Anchovy (mentioned in Going Postal, Making Money and the Discworld Roleplaying Game)
  • The Century of the Rat (mentioned in Feet of Clay)

Notable past years[]

  • The Year of the Lenient Vegetable - in which Bishop Kreeblephor converted a demon to the Omnian faith.
  • The Year of the Significant Triangle (Birth year of Windle Poons)
  • The Year of the Astounded Beetle‎
  • The Year of the Engaging Sloth
  • The Year of the Hyena (events of Sourcery)
  • The Year of the Notional Serpent
  • The Year of the Insulted Goat (mentioned in Maskerade)
  • The Year of the Dancing Dog (1961 mentioned by Dibbler in Night Watch)
  • The Year of the Prawn (Common Year 2005; Scholar's Year 1657)
  • The Year of the Pensive Frog
  • The Year of the Trout (mentioned in Carpe Jugulum)
  • The Year of the Revolving Crab (mentioned in Witches Abroad)
  • The Year of the Sideways Leech (mentioned in Hogfather)
  • The Year of the Talking Frog (mentioned in Hogfather)
  • The Year of the Ant (mentioned in The Truth)
  • The Year of the Amending Camel (mentioned in The Truth)
  • The Year of the Translated Rat (mentioned in The Truth)
  • The Year of the Lice (mentioned in Thud!)
  • The Year of the Quiet Monkey (mentioned in Thud!)
  • The Year of Three Horses (mentioned in Where's My Cow?)
  • The Year of the Pensive Hare - the events of Unseen Academicals take place shortly after the New Year celebrations which usher in this year. Also Common Year 2009 (see below).
  • The Year of the Stoat (mentioned in Snuff)
  • The Year of the Intimidating Porpoise (mentioned in Reaper Man)
  • The Year of the Scrofulous Vole. (mentioned in The Compleat Discworld Atlas)
  • The Century of the Cheesemite (mentioned in Turtle Recall The Discworld Companion)

Roundworld Common Years[]

Since 2005 each Roundworld year (aka Common Year, for the Common Era) as been given a Discworld year name. Most of these do not appear in the books.

  • The Year of the Prawn (Common Year 2005; Scholar's Year 1657)
  • The Year of the Signifying Frog (Common Year 2006)
  • The Year of the Reversed Ptarmigan (Common Year 2007)
  • The Year of the Three Roses (Common Year 2008)
  • The Year of the Pensive Hare (Common Year 2009)
  • The Year of the Happy Goose (Common Year 2010)
  • The Year of the Complicated Monkey (Common Year 2011)
  • The Year of the Second Inception (Common Year 2012)
  • The Year of the Frog Ascendant (Common Year 2013)
  • The Year of the Reciprocating Llama (Common Year 2014)
  • The Year of the Spinning Mouse (Common Year 2015)
  • The Year of the Sneezing Panda (Common Year 2016)
  • The Year of the Backwards-Facing Artichoke (Common Year 2017)
  • The Year of the Justifiably Defensive Lobster (Common Year 2018)
  • The Year of the Incontrovertible Skunk (Common Year 2019)
  • The Year of the Condescending Carp (Common Year 2020)
  • The Year of the Beleaguered Badger (Common Year 2021)
  • The Year of the Lachrymating Leveret (Common Year 2022) [1]
  • The Year of the Querulous Megapode (Common Year 2023) [2]
  • The Year of the Moribund Aardvark (Common Year 2024) [3]

Months Of The Discworld Year[]

Or rather, of the Discworld's half-year. The Celebrated Discworld Almanak clarifies previously opaque or puzzling aspects of the calendar. Quote:

This be for the Common Year, that being the four hundred days that measure the Season from Winter's Edge until the snows come again, and the Hogswatch is celebrated. All Celestial measurements, Observations and notations of Stars, houses of the firmament, and other divers heavenly bodies are taken on the Full Celestial year, of eight hundred days, which emcompasses two common years...

The year commences on Hogswatch Day and ends on the following Hogswatch Eve.

Inconsistencies with the order of months[]

None of the books mention the specific order of the months or days of the week, so we are left with secondary sources - which are not always consistent. Of note, various editions of the Discworld Companion (right up to The Ultimate Discworld Companion), as well as the Discworld Roleplaying Game, specify that the year begins with Offle and ends with Ick. Neither of those sources give a date for Hogswatchnight, but the roleplaying game does specify it is the last night of the year, so presumably in that calendar it occurs on the 16th of Ick, rather than the 32nd of December. (See also Crueltide.)

Special holidays[]

  • Hogswatch Eve, the end of the old common year.
  • Hogswatch Day (first of Ick, start of the new common year)
  • Soul Cake Tuesday
  • Day of the Lesser Gods (?same as below?)
  • Eve of Small Gods, first midsummer day
  • Samedi Nuit Mort (celebrated in Genua)
  • Creator's Birthday (28th of April)
  • Wear a lilac if you were there day (25th of May)
  • Koom Valley Day (5th of Grune)
  • Crueltide, half-year point (end of first half-year, start of next)
  • Alls Fallow, 3/4 point of 800-day year, the one day when witches and warlocks stay in bed (parodying Halloween), though in Wyrd Sisters, Esmerelda Weatherwax suggests that Hogswatch is the one day witches shouldn't go out, though this may only apply to Mistress Weatherwax, since her arrival may cause people to feel wary rather than jolly.

Seasons[]

  • Spring Prime, first spring
  • Summer: mid-point Small Gods' Eve
  • Autumn Prime, first autumn
  • Winter Secundus aka Spindlewinter: Mid-point Crueltide
  • Secundus Spring
  • Summer Two: mid-point All's Fallow
  • Secundus Autumn
  • Backspindlewinter: mid-point Hogswatch

Discworld seasons are 'explained' in one of four paragraphs in the footnote on page 5 of The Colour of Magic. It is written:

"Since the disc's tiny orbiting sunlet maintains a fixed orbit while the majestic disc turns slowly beneath it, it will be readily deduced that a disc year consists of not four but eight seasons. The summers are those times when the sun rises or sets at the nearest point on the Rim, the winters those occasions when it rises or sets at a point around ninety degrees along the circumference."

Zodiac[]

The Discworld zodiac consists of 64 (8*8) constellations, nebulae or individual stars grouped in thirteen Houses. There may be other constellations that are not part of the zodiac, but it's possible that the Discworld's unusual revolution means that the Discworld sun and/or moon enters all constellations at least once (the "zodiac" is a list of constellations in which the sun or moon [or planets, but there don't seem to be any around Discworld] can be found at some point in time). Roundworld has 88 constellations (1 of them non-contiguous), 12 of which are in the zodiac (a 13th constellation is also technically in the zodiac, but is not recognized as part of the zodiac). According to research wizard "Numbers" Riktor, who meticulously counted them, there are, or were at the time of counting, 49,873 visible stars in the Discworld heavens. Which is ample raw material for the cosmic Rorschach test that creates constellations.

The Houses of the Zodiac and their 64 Elements:[]

as described by the well-known mages and scholars Pratchett of Sarum and Pearson of Wincanton
  • The First House - The House of Io
    • The Eye of Io
    • The Crab
    • The Cow of Heaven
    • The (Knotted) String
    • The Celestial Parsnip
  • The Second House - The House of the Gate
    • Wezen (the double-headed kangaroo)
    • The Two Fat Cousins
    • The Perhaps Gate
    • Scarab's Claw
    • Mubbo the Hyena
  • The Third House - The House of the Bull
    • Silicarous's Gift
    • The Bull
    • Hast's Trumpet
    • Cubal's Flame
    • The Void
  • The Fourth House - The House of Melok
    • Melok
    • Old Toesy
    • Vut the Evenstar
    • Mr Williams
    • Occasional Paddles
  • The Fifth House - The House of the Bright Cabbage
    • Blic-Blick
    • The Bright Cabbage
    • The Starfish
    • Old Dog
    • Crabbus
  • The Sixth House - The House of the Plow
    • Pashmina
    • The Flying Moose
    • The Pitcher (or Bucket)
    • Plough Handle
    • Okjock the Salesman
  • The Seventh House - The House of the Star
    • The Faint Star Major
    • The Faint Star Minor
    • The Little Turtle
    • The Flagon
    • Ket's Knife
  • The Next House - The House of Woldar
    • Woldar
    • Evar's Footprint
    • The Ram's Horn
    • Two Rivers
    • Young Faithful
  • The Ninth House - The House of the Ram
    • The Jumping Ram
    • Khefin's Eye 1
    • Khefin's Eye 2
    • Khefin's Eye 3
    • Khefin's Eye 4
  • The Tenth House - The House of Trabnor
    • Trabnor
    • The Lanthorn
    • The Wicket
    • Turnip's Tail
    • The Snipe
  • The Eleventh House - The House of the Horse
    • Teg the Horse
    • The Miller's Pocket
    • Astoria's Flame
    • The Cradle
    • The Sleeping Dog
  • The Twelfth House - The House of Fore and Aft
    • Young Harry
    • Forward
    • Aft
    • Vut's Candle
    • Silur the Catfish
  • The Thirteenth House - The Dread House
    • Old Faithful
    • The Scythe
    • The Coffee Cup
    • Gahoolie the Vase of Tulips

Annotations[]

  • Wezen the Doubleheaded Kangaroo: the first constellation (interesting because the wizards don't seem to recognize a kangaroo when they see it in The Last Continent-- perhaps because it was flattened and had only one head? Although in fairness you couldn't recognize anything else from its constellation either, and it's never really obvious what is mythical and what isn't!)
  • The Two Fat Cousins: possible reference to Tweedledee and Tweedledum?
  • The Flying Moose: possible reference to Rocky The Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle J Moose
  • The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars: Rincewind's birth sign, usually not a wizard's sign. Was much brighter thousands of years ago when the Disc was closer to it (according to The Last Continent), so it's not clear why the ancients called it "faint"; perhaps they knew the Disc would move away from it long-term?
  • The Knotted String: possible pun on "I'm a frayed knot" jokes
  • Gahoolie the Vase of Tulips: the last constellation (now if we could only find that whale)
  • the Triangle, mentioned in The Last Continent, possibly not part of the zodiac


Days

The Discworld's days of the week are:

Sunday, Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday, Friday Saturday and Octeday.

The Discworld has eight days in a single week.

Seasons[]

The seasons are caused by the disc spinning very slowly on the elephants back causing the sun to take different paths across the disc. After a 180 degree turn the path is the same but the direction of travel of the sun is opposite, causing a duplication of all seasons.

  • Spring Prime, first spring
  • Summer: mid-point Small Gods' Eve
  • Autumn Prime, first autumn
  • Winter Secundus aka Spindlewinter: Mid-point Crueltide
  • Secundus Spring
  • Summer Two: mid-point All's Fallow
  • Secundus Autumn
  • Backspindlewinter: mid-point Hogswatch

Festivals[]

The Discworld's festivals include:

Crueltide[]

Soul Cake Tuesday[]

The Discworld's equivalant of Halloween.

Hogswatch[]

The Discworld's version of Roundworld's Christmas. The night of Hogswatch is also known as Hogswatchnight. On Hogswatchnight, children are visited by the Hogfather (the Discworld's version of Father Christmas or Santa Claus). The day after Hogswatchnight is the first day of the month of Ick. Hogswatchnight is mentioned in The Colour of Magic as Hogs'Watch Night.

Small God's Eve[]

A festival celebrating the small gods.

Centuries[]

Notable centuries include:

Appearances[]






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