The Gjarrda Calendar
ReLked Jardae
15-k-ct (Romraz-ReL, ki5a-dlo2, cwe-tril-laz)

 (For best results, install the Gjarrda TrueType font, Lhoerr, to read examples written in Gjarrda.

The Twelve-year Cycle

Using a Zireen language as inspiration for the ReLked reiljkeid, or Gjarrda calendar, would be inappropriate, because calendars are based on astronomical cycles that are unique to each solar system. For this reason, Kayatal Gjarrda borrows from Chinese and the Gregorian calendar rather than Jaradh. Years in Gjarrda follow a 12-year cycle, with each year named after an animal, although the animals are different from the Chinese year names.

Chinese

 

Gjarrda

 

shu3

rat

tril trril

wren

niu2

ox

50ra sjoerra

otter

hu3

tiger

stElka stelka

spider

tu4

hare

fuRu furu

shrew

long2

dragon

numo numou

owl

she2

snake

xRaksa khraksa

shark

ma3

horse

zRota zrouta

centipede

yang2

ram

2En zjen

opossum*

hou2

monkey

vaR var

raven

ji1

chicken

ke2 kezj

dolphin

quan3

dog

KOR dlhor

wasp

zhu1

pig

lEsta lesta

badger

*The Year of the Opossum was formerly known as the Year of the Weasel (misjka-laz). However, after the changes following the split of the Kayatal and Gjanarrtal forms of Gjarrda, the new word for "weasel" (sjira) began with the same letter as the word for "otter" (sjoerra). To avoid confusion, the name of the year was changed.

Each year named after a bird (tril, numo, vaR) is a leap year, having 366 days instead of the usual 365. Most Gjarrda leap years correspond to leap years in the Gregorian system for convenience, although there are a few exceptions. The most recent discrepancy between the two calendars was 1916, which was not a leap year according to the Gjarrda calendar. The initial consonant of a year name is used as an abbreviation.

Months of the year

A Gjarrda year is divided into 13 months of 28 days each, further divided into four seven-day weeks, for a total of 364 days. The 365th day, corresponding to the winter solstice (December 21), is not assigned to any month or weekday, and is simultaneously the first and last day of the year. In leap years, the 366th day (known as Gjarrda Day, or Jarda-ReL Gjarrda-reilj) is inserted between the last two months of the year.

Like the years, Gjarrda months and days of the week are named after animals. The months in order are: Gaz ghaz (deer), mRavna mravna (marmot), 5iRa sjira (weasel), dEv dev (hare), nik nik (mouse), ki5a kisja (lemur), jaLka yaljka (eagle), binti binti (armadillo), zivad zivad (lizard), 2ilka zjilka (fox), aRka arka (raccoon), citRa kjitra (bat), vaR var (raven). (The months of the Weasel, Lemur, and Raven were formerly known as the months of the Wolf, Squirrel, and Frog respectively.) The days of the week are: xrol khrroul (turtle), celid kjeilid (sparrow), kyvad kuevad (snake), Jaz gjaz (beetle), ajma ayma (lemming), mjyr myuerr (cat), and 2ana zjana (heron). In addition, each month has a special holiday named after the month, often related to a holiday in the traditional calendar. For instance, the holiday in the month of the Bat, known as Bat Day (citRa-ReL kjitra-reilj), corresponds to Halloween. Each holiday has its own customary practices and a ceremonial tea, or spaltRaz spaltraz. The spaltraz may, of course, be enjoyed on any day of the year, but it has special significance on the corresponding holiday. The following table lists the Gjarrda months, the beginning date of each month in the traditional calendar, the date of each Gjarrda holiday (JH), and the ceremonial tea appropriate for each holiday.

 Gjarrda Name

Start Date

JH

Corresponding Holidays

Ceremonial Tea

Gaz

Dec. 22

4-G

Christmas

Raspberry

mRavna

Jan. 19

15-m

Imbolc, Groundhog Day

Spice & citrus peel

5iRa

Feb. 16

7-5

Washington's Birthday

Orange Pekoe

dEv

Mar. 16*

6-d

Vernal Equinox

Irish Breakfast

nik

Apr. 13*

19-n

Bealtaine, May Day

Green

ki5a

May 11*

20-k

Memorial Day

Earl Grey

 jaLka

June 8*

28-j

Independence Day

Darjeeling

 binti

July 6*

27-b

Lunasa, Lammas

Lemon

 zivad

Aug. 3*

25-z

?

Spice

 2il

Aug. 31*

23-2

Autumnal Equinox

Oolong

 aRka

Sept. 28*

12-a

Korean Alphabet Day

Jasmine

citRa

Oct. 26*

7-c

Samhain, Halloween

Lapsang Souchong

vaR

Nov. 23

18-v

Human Rights Day

Mint

* Subtract one day in leap years.

"Centuries" and "millennia"

The Gjarrda 12-year cycle, with a leap year every fourth year, suffers from the same problem as the Julian calendar of getting out of sync with the seasons. The most obvious fix is to borrow the solution used in the Gregorian calendar, omitting a leap year in three out of four centuries. However, a 100-year century doesn't divide evenly into 12-year cycles. A Gjarrda "century" is really only 84 years long, or seven 12-year cycles. Omitting two leap years out of every three Gjarrda centuries results in the average length of a year being 365.2420635 days, which is very close to the actual length of the solar year (365.2422 days), and slightly more accurate than the average year in the Gregorian system of 365.2425 days. The year 2000 is a leap year, but 2084 and 2168 will not be. A 96-year Gjarrda century, following the Gregorian pattern of omitting three leap years in every four centuries, would be even more accurate (365.2421875 days), but the 84-year century is good enough, and a series of twelve centuries results in a 1,008-year Gjarrda millennium. In addition, the 84-year cycle allows for a very interesting method of naming years, similar to the Chinese system.

In parallel with the 12-year cycle (of which there are 7 in a century), the Gjarrda calendar has a 7-year cycle named after the seven elements. (Zireen tradition recognizes more than the four elements earth, air, fire, and water. The number varies, but the Jaradh system, with its seven elements of crystal, metal, glass, oil, water, air, and fire, is typical. The Gjarrda names of the elements are cwe kjwei, zal zal, Lem ljeim, rom rroum, pEn pen, ke5 keisj, s8l seol, abbreviated c, z, L, r, p, k, s.) The first year of the cycle, for instance, is cwe-tril-laz kjwei-trril-laz (ct), which is followed by zal-50ra-laz zal-sjoerra-laz (p5), Lem-stElka-laz ljeim-stelka-laz (Ls), and so on. Each of the 84 years of a Gjarrda century has a unique name according to this system. The current year, 2000, is the first year of the new Gjarrda century and millennium, or cwe-tril-laz kjwei-trril-laz (ct). The previous Gjarrda century began in 1916 (or more precisely, on December 22, 1915), which makes 1997 the 82nd year of the century, or pEn-kE2-laz pen-kezj-laz (p2). The following table, with columns corresponding to the element cycle and rows corresponding to the animal cycle, makes it easy to convert any year in the 20th century to a Gjarrda name. (Remember that the last few days of December belong to the following Gjarrda year. From 1916 to 2083, the Gjarrda year begins on December 21.)

 

cwe

zal

Lem

rom

pEn

ke5

s8l

tril

16, 2000

52

04, 88

40

76

28

64

50ra

65

17

53

05, 89

41

77

29

stElka

30

66

18

54

06, 90

42

78

fuRu

79

31

67

19

55

07, 91

43

numo

44

80

32

68

20

56

08, 92

xRaksa

09, 93

45

81

33

69

21

57

zRota

58

10, 94

46

82

34

70

22

2En

23

59

11, 95

47

83

35

71

vaR

72

24

60

12, 96

48

84

36

2ula

37

73

25

61

13, 97

49

01, 85

KOR

02, 86

38

74

26

62

14, 98

50

lEsta

51

03, 87

39

75

27

63

15, 99

Because of differences in the leap-year cycle, a Gjarrda year doesn't always begin on December 21. When converting historical dates from the Gregorian calendar to Gjarrda, it is important to note that the Gjarrda year began on December 20 from 1664 to 1699, and on December 22 from 1800-1831 and 1900-1915. The Julian calendar follows a different pattern, which repeats every 252 years. For instance, the Gjarrda year began on December 12 from 1412-1579, December 11 from 1580-1663, and December 10 from 1664-1831. (1748 was a leap year, the first year of the last quarter-millennium.)

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