Amdiron: Na van lû gwathogir? Ivrinel: Gwaem na vinuial abarad. Harthon toled na Lothlorien ned Firith. Siron: Dadwenatham ned laer!
Amdiron: What time will you go? Ivrinel: We go at dawn tomorrow. I hope to come to Lothlorien in Fading. Siron: We will return in summer!
Middle Earth has three main calendar systems: Shire Reckoning, used by the Hobbits; Rivendell Calendar, used by Elves; and the Steward's Reckoning or King's Reckoning, used by Men. As we are mortals, and as the Gondorians spoke Sindarin, this lesson will cover the systems of both Elves and Men.
Days of the week
The Elven day lasted from sunset to sunset, and their weeks lasted for six days. The Númenoreans altered this to a day from sunrise to sunrise, with a week of seven days (like our own). The first day of both the Elven and Mortal weeks correspond to Monday. Some people dispute this and claim that the week actually starts on a Saturday, but I would direct you to these calculations.
Elven reckoning Minuial = Dawn ('first twilight') Aduial = Sunset ('second twilight') Orgilion = 'Day of stars', 1st day of the week (Monday) Oranor = 'Day of the sun', 2nd day of the week (Tuesday) Orithil = 'Day of the moon', 3rd day of the week (Wednesday) Orgaladh* = 'Day of the tree', 4th day of the week (Thursday) Ormenel = 'Heaven's day', 5th day of the week (Friday) Orbelain = 'Day of the Valar', 6th day of the week (Saturday)
*Older Elves would call this day Orgaladhad = 'Day of the two trees'.
Mortal reckoning All of the above, and Oraearon = 'Ocean's day' 7th day of the week (Sunday)
Lefenar = A week (originally of five days). This is a very old word that dates back to when some of the Elves lived in Valinor. At this time, the week was five days long.
Festivals and important days
The Elves celebrated the solstices, also known today as the Wheel of the Year (8 equally spaced festivals that occur at the changing of the seasons and the equinoxes). Unfortunately we don't have names for all of them in Sindarin.
Nost-na-Lothion = Birth of Flowers. This was a festival known to be celebrated in Gondolin (probably heralding the arrival of Spring) but is likely to still be celebrated. Enedhinor = Middle day of the year (in Gondorian reckoning, the 183rd day of the year) Durufuin = Yule, 'log night'. This is the winter solstice that we celebrate today around December 21st. Penninor = Last day of the year (March 20th)
The exact dates of when different seasons would have started and ended are subject to debate and to a certain extent the changing of the years (when leap years are recorded and so on). For a look into this problem, visit this site and have a look at their calendars and calculations.
Months and seasons
The Elven year began in spring, and ran for six seasons from spring to spring. Laer and Rhîw are 72 days long, and the other four seasons are 54 days long. This calendar was changed by the Númenoreans so that the mortal year starts in midwinter (as ours does), and instead of six seasons, they split the year into twelve months. Ten months had 30 days, and the other two had 31.
Elven reckoning Mininor = First day of the year (Around 21st -25th March) Ethuil = Spring (End of March - middle of May) Laer = Summer (Middle of May - end of July) Iavas = Autumn (End of July - middle of September) Enedhoer = Middle days (penultimate week of September) Firith = Fading (End of September - middle of November) Rhîw = Winter (middle of November - end of January) Echuir = Stirring (end of January - penultimate week of March) Penninor = Last day of the year (Around March 20th)
Mortal reckoning Narwain = January Nínui = February Gwaeron = March Gwirith = April Lothron = May Nórui = June Cerveth = July Urui = August Ivanneth = September Narbeleth = October Hithui = November Girithron = December
They would also of course have used Ethuil, Laer, Iavas and Rhîw to indicate the four main seasons.
The Elves dealt in both Valian years (where one 'year' is 144 mortal years) and 'sun rounds', which are equivalent to one of our years of 365 days.
Idhrinn or în = Year ('sun round', 365 days) Ennin = Valian Year 'long year' (144 mortal years) Andrann = Millennium (a cycle of 144 Valian years)