Months of the Year
Days of the Week
New Life Festival - 1st Morning Star (1st January)
Today the people of Tamriel are having the New Life Festival in celebration of a new year. The Emperor has ordered yet another tax increase in his New Life Address, and there is much grumbling about this. Still, despite financial difficulties, the New Life tradition of free ale at all the taverns of Tamriel continues.
Scour Day - 2nd Morning Star (2nd January)
Scour Day is a celebration held in most High Rock villages on the day after New Life. It was once the day one cleans up after New Life, but has changed into a party of its own.
Ovank'a - 12th Morning Star (12th January)
Ovank'a is the day the people of the Alik'r Desert offer prayers to Stendarr in the hopes of a mild and merciful year. It is considered very holy.
South Wind's Prayer - 15th Morning Star (15th January)
The 15th of Morning Star is a holiday taken very seriously in Tamriel, where they call it South Wind's Prayer, a plea by all the religions of Tamriel for a good planting season. Citizens with every affliction known in Tamriel flock to services in the every temples, as the clergy is known to perform free healings on this day. Only a few will be judged worthy of this service, but few can afford the temples usual price.
The Day of Lights - 16th Morning Star (16th January)
The Day of Lights is celebrated as a holy day by most villages in Hammerfell on the Iliac Bay. It is a prayer for a good farming and fishing year, and is taken very seriously.
Waking Day - 18th Morning Star (18th January)
"The people in Yeorth Burrowland invented Waking Day in prehistoric times to wake the spirits of nature after a long, cold winter. It has evolved into a sort of orgiastic celebration of the end of winter."
Mad Pelagius - 2nd Sun's Dawn (2nd February)
Mad Pelagius is a silly little tradition in High Rock in a mock memorial to Pelagius Septim II, one of the maddest emperors in recent history. He died about 350 years ago, so the Septims since have taken it with good humor.
Othroktide - 5th Sun's Dawn (5th February)
The people of Dwynnen have a huge party to celebrate Othroktide, the day when Baron Othrok took Dwynnen from the undead forces who claimed it in the Battle of Wightmoor.
Day of Release - 8th Sun's Dawn (8th February)
The people of Glenumbra Moors may be the only people to remember or care about the battle between Aiden Direnni and the Alessian Army in the first era. They celebrate it vigorously on the Day of Release.
Heart's Day - 16th Sun's Dawn (16th February)
Today is the 16th of Sun's Dawn, a holiday celebrated all over Tamriel as Heart's Day. It seems that in every house, the Legend of the Lovers is being sung for the younger generation. In honor of these Lovers, Polydor and Eloisa, the inns of all Tamriel offer a free room for visitors. If such kindness had been given the Lovers, it is said, it would always be springtime in the world.
Perseverance Day - 27th Sun's Dawn (27th February)
Perseverance Day is quite a party in Ykalon. It was originally held as a solemn memorial to those killed in battle, resisting the Camoran Usurper, but has since become a boisterous festival.
Aduros Nau - 28th Sun's Dawn (28th February)
The villages in the Bantha celebrate the baser urges that come with Springtide on Aduros Nau. The traditions vary from village to village, but none of them are for the overly virtuous.
First Planting - 7th First Seed (7th March)
On the 7th of First Seed every year, the people of Tamriel celebrate First Planting, symbolically sowing the seeds for the autumn harvest. It is a festival of fresh beginnings, both for the crops and for the men and women of the celebrated city. Neighbors are reconciled in their disputes, resolutions are formed, bad habits dropped, the diseased cured. The clerics at the temples run a free clinic all day long to cure people of poisoning, different diseases, paralyzation, and the other banes found in the world of Tamriel.
The Day of Waiting - 9th First Seed (9th March)
The Day of Waiting is a very old holy day among certain settlements in the Dragontail Mountains. Every year at that time, a dragon is supposed to come out of the desert and devour the wicked, so everyone locks himself up inside.
Hogithum - 21st First Seed (21st March)
Hogithum, the day that all dark elven priests summon Daedra Prince Azura for her guidance and support.
Flower Day - 25th First Seed (25th March)
Flower Day is another of the frivolous celebrations of High Rock. Children pick the new flowers of spring while older Bretons, cooped up all winter, come out to welcome the season with dancing and singing.
Festival of Blades - 26 First Seed (26th March)
During the Festival of Blades, the people of the Alik'r Desert celebrate the victor of the first Redguard over a race of giant goblins. The story is considered a myth by most scholars, but the holiday is still very popular in the desert.
Gardtide - 1st Rain's Hand (1st April)
On Gardtide, the people of Tamarilyn Point hold a festival to honor Druagaa, the old goddess of flowers. Worship of the goddess is all but dead, but the celebration is always a great success.
The Day of the Dead - 13th Rain's Hand (13th April)
The Day of the Dead is one of the more peculiar holidays of Daggerfall. The superstitious say that the dead rise on this holiday to wreak vengeance on the living. It is a fact that King Lysandus's spectre began its haunting on the Day of the Dead, 3E 404.
The Day of Shame - 20th Rain's Hand (20th April)
All along the seaside of Hammerfell, no one leaves their houses on the Day of Shame. It is said that the Crimson Ship, a vessel filled with victims of the Knahaten Plague who were refused refuge hundreds of years ago, will return on this day.
Jester's Day - 28th Rain's Hand (28th April)
Be warned that today is Jester's Day in the all cities of Tamriel, and pranks are being set up from one end of town to the other. It is as if a spell has been cast over the community, for even the most taciturn and dignified councilman might attempt to play a joke. The Thieves Guild finds particular attention as everyone looks for pickpockets in particular.
Second Planting - 7th Second Seed (7th May)
The celebration of Second Planting is in full glory this day. It is a holiday with traditions similar to First Planting, improvements on the first seeding symbolically to suggest improvements on the soul. The free clinics of the temples are open for the second and last time this year, offering cures for those suffering from any kind of disease or affliction. Because peace and not conflict is stressed at this time, battle injuries are healed only at full price.
Marukh's Day - 9th Second Seed (9th May)
Marukh's Day is only observed by certain communities in Skeffington Wood. By comparing themselves to the virtuous prophet Marukh, the people of Skeffington Wood pray for the strength to resist temptation.
The Fire Festival - 20th Second Seed (20th May)
The Fire Festival in Northmoor is one of the most attended celebrations in High Rock. It began as a pompous display of magic and military strength in ancient days and has become quite a festival.
Fishing Day - 30th Second Seed (30th May)
Fishing Day is a big celebration for the Bretons who live off the bounty of the Iliac Bay. They are not a usually flamboyant people, but on Fishing Day, they make so much noise, fish have been scared away for weeks.
Drigh R'Zimb - 1st Mid Year (1st June)
The festival of Drigh R'Zimb, held in the hottest time of year in Abibon-Gora, is a jubilation held for the sun Daibethe itself. Scholars do not know how long Drigh R'Zimb has been held, but it is possible the Redguards brought the festival with them when they came in the first era.
Mid Year Celebration - 16th Mid Year (16th June)
Today is the 16th of Mid Year, the traditional day for the Mid Year Celebration. Perhaps to alleviate the annual news of the Emperor's latest tax increase, the temples offer blessings for only half the donation they usually suggest. Many so blessed feel confident enough to enter the dungeons when they are not fully prepared, so this joyous festival has often been known to turn suddenly into a day of defeat and tragedy.
Dancing Day - 23rd Mid Year (23rd June)
Dancing Day is a time-honored holiday in Daggerfall. Who started it is questionable, but the Red Prince Atryck popularized it in the second era. It is an occasion of great pomp and merriment for all the people of Daggerfall, from the nobles down.
Tibedetha - 24th Mid Year (24th June)
Tibedetha is middle Tamrielic for "Tibers Day". It is not surprising that the lorddom of Alcaire celebrates its most famous native with a great party. Historically, Tiber Septim never returned once to his beloved birthplace.
Merchants's Festival - 10th Sun's Height (10th July)
The bargain shoppers of the known world are out in force today and it is little wonder, for the 10th of Sun's Height is a holiday called the Merchants's Festival. Every marketplace and equipment store has dropped their prices to at least half. The only shop not being patronized today is the Mages Guild, where prices are as exorbitant as usual. Most citizens in need of a magical item are waiting two months for the celebration of Tales and Tallows when prices will be more reasonable.
Divad Etep't - 12th Sun's Height (12th July)
During Divad Etep't, the people of Antiphyllos mourn the death of the one of the greatest of the early Redguard heroes, Divad, son of Frandar of the Hel Ansei. His deeds are questioned by historians, but his tomb in Antiphyllos is almost certainly genuine.
Sun's Rest - 20th Sun's Height (20th July)
You will have to wait until tomorrow if you are planning on making any equipment purchases, for all stores are closed in observance of Sun's Rest. Of course, the temples, taverns, and Mages Guild in all cities are still open their regular hours, but most citizens chose to devote this day to relaxation, not commerce or prayer. This is not a convenient arrangement for all, but the Merchants's Guild heavily fines any shop that stays open, so everyone complies.
Fiery Night - 29th Sun's Height (29th July)
Few besides the natives of the Alik'r Desert would venture out on the hottest day of the year, Fiery Night. It's a lively celebration with a meaning lost in antiquity.
The day of Maiden Katrica - 2nd Last Seed (2nd August)
On the day of Maiden Katrica, the people of Ayasofya show their appreciation for the warrior that saved their county with the biggest party of the year.
Koomu Alezer'i - 11th Last Seed (11th August)
Koomu Alezer'i means simply "We Acknowledge" in old Redguard, and it has been a tradition in Sentinel for thousands of years. No matter the harvest, the people of Sentinel solemnly thank the gods for their bounty, and pray to be worthy of the graces of the gods.
The Feast of the Tiger - 14th Last Seed (14th August)
The Feast of the Tiger in the Bantha rainforest is like other holidays in praise of a bountiful harvest. It is not, however, a solemn occasion for introspection and thanksgiving, but a great celebration and festival from village to village.
Appreciation Day - 21st Last Seed (21st August)
Appreciation Day in Anticlere is an ancient holiday of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest for the people of Anticlere. It is considered a holy and contemplative day, devoted to Mara, the goddess-protector of Anticlere.
Harvest's End - 27th Last Seed (27th August)
Perhaps no other festival fires the spirit of Tamriel as much as the one held today, Harvest's End. The work of the year is over, the seeding, sowing, and reaping. Now is the time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of the harvest, and even visitors to the celebrated region are invited to join the farmers. The taverns offer free drinks all day long, an extravagance before the economy of the coming winter months. Underfed farm hands gorging themselves and then getting sick in the town square are the most common sights of the celebration of Harvest's End.
Tales and Tallows - 3rd Hearth Fire (3rd September)
No other holiday divides the people of Tamriel like the 3rd of Hearth Fire. A few of the oldest, more superstitious men and women do not speak all day long for fear that the evil spirits of the dead will enter their bodies. Most citizens enjoy the holiday, calling it Tales and Tallows, but even the most lighthearted avoid the dark streets of Tamriel cities, for everyone knows the dead do walk tonight. Only the Mages Guild completely thrives on this day. In celebration of the oldest magical science, necromancy, all magical items are half price today.
Khurat - 6th Hearth Fire (6th September)
Every town and fellowship in the Wrothgarian Mountains celebrates Khurat, the day when the finest young scholars are accepted into the various priesthoods. Even those people without children of age go to pray for the wisdom and benevolence of the clergy.
Riglametha - 12th Hearth Fire (12th September)
Riglametha is celebrated on the twelfth of Hearth Fire every year in Lainlyn as a celebration of Lainlyns many blessings. Pageants are held on such themes as the Ghraewaj, when the daedra worshippers in Lainlyn were changed to harpies for their blasphemy.
Children's Day - 19th Hearth Fire (19th September)
Children's Day in Betony is a festive occasion with a grim history. All know though few choose to recall that Children's Day began as a memorial to the dozens of children in Betony who were stolen from their homes by vampires one night never to be seen again. This happened over a hundred years ago, and the holiday has since become a celebration of youth.
Dirij Tereur - 5th Frost Fall (5th October)
The fifth of Frost Fall marks Dirij Tereur for the people of the Alik'r Desert. It is a sacred day honoring Frandar Hunding, the traditional spiritual leader of the Redguards who led them to Hammerfell in the first era. Stories are read from Hunding's Book of Circles, and the temples in the region are filled to capacity.
Witches's Festival - 13th Frost Fall (13th October)
Today is the 13th of Frost Fall, known throughout Tamriel as the Witches's Festival when the forces of sorcery and religion clash. The Mages Guild gets most of the business since weapons and items are evaluated for their mystic potential free of charge and magic spells are one half their usual price. Demonologists, conjurers, lamias, warlocks, and thaumaturgists meet in the wilderness outside city, and the creatures created or summoned there may plague Tamriel for eons. Most wise men choose not to wander this night.
Broken Diamonds - 23rd Frost Fall (23rd October)
On the 23rd of Frost Fall in the 121st year of the third era, the empress Kintyra Septim II met her death in the imperial dungeons in Glenpoint on the orders of her cousin and usurper Cephorus I. Her death is remembered in Glenpoint as the day called Broken Diamonds. It is a day of silent prayer for the wisdom and benevolence of the imperial family of Tamriel.
Note: It is Uriel III who killed Kintyra, not Cephorus. This is a scribe's error in Daggerfall. Thanks to Leshek for spotting this.
The Emperor's Birthday - 30th Frost Fall (30th October)
On the 30th of Frostfall, the Emperor's Birthday was the most popular holiday of the year. Great traveling carnivals entertained the masses, while the aristocracy of Tamriel enjoyed the annual Goblin Chase on horseback.
The Serpents Dance - 3rd Sun's Dusk (3rd November)
The Serpents Dance in Satakalaam may or may not have begun as a serious religious holiday dedicated to a snake god, but this day is a reason for a great street festival.
Moon Festival - 8th Sun's Dusk (8th November)
On the 8th of Suns Dusk, the Bretons of Glenumbra Moors hold the Moon Festival, a joyous holiday in honor of Secunda, goddess of the moon. Although the goddess has no active worshippers, the traditional celebration has continued through the ages as a time of feasting and merriment.
Hel Anseilak - 18th Sun's Dusk (18th November)
Hel Anseilak, which means "Communion with the Saints of the Sword" in Old Redguard, is the most serious of holy days for the people of Pothago. The ancient way of Hel Ansei is never practiced by modern Redguards, but its rich heritage is remembered and honored on this day.
Warriors Festival - 20th Sun's Dusk (20th November)
Today is the 20th of Sun's Dusk, the Warriors Festival in Tamriel. Most all the local warriors, spellswords, and rogues come to the equipment stores and blacksmiths where all weapons are half price. Unfortunately, the low prices also tempt many an untrained boy to buy his first sword and the normally quiet streets ring with amateur skirmishes.
North Wind's Prayer - 15th Evening Star (15th December)
Today is the 15th of Evening Star, a holiday reverently observed by the temples as North Wind's Prayer. It is a thanksgiving to the Gods for a good harvest and a mild winter. The temples offer all their services blessing, curing, healing for half the donation usually requested.
Baranth Do - 18th Evening Star (18th December)
Baranth Do is celebrated on the 18th of Evening. Star by the Redguards of the Alik'r Desert. Its meaning is "Goodbye to the Beast of Last Year". Pageants featuring demonic representations of the old year are popular, and revelry to honor the new year is everywhere.
Chil'a - 21th Evening Star (21st December)
Chil'a, the blessing of the new year in the barony of Kairou, is both a sacred day and a festival. The archpriest and the baroness each consecrate the ashes of the old year in solemn ceremony, then street parades, balls, and tournaments conclude the event.
New Life Festival - 25th Evening Star (25th December)
The New Life festival comes a few days early in Wayrest with Saturalia, traditionally held on the 25th of Evening Star. Originally a holiday for a long forgotten god of debauchery, it has become a time of gift giving, parties, and parading. Visitors are encouraged to participate.
Old Life - 30th Evening Star (30th December)
On the last day of the year the Empire celebrates the holiday called Old Life. Many go to the temples to reflect on their past. Some go for more than this, for it is rumored that priests will, as the last act of the year, perform resurrections on beloved friends and family members free of the usual charge. Worshippers know better than to expect this philanthropy, but they arrive in a macabre procession with the recently deceased nevertheless.
As you might know, Morrowind is not the first game in the series. Not even the second. The very first game was The Elder Scrolls: Arena, and its calendar was very straightforward: 12 months, 30 days in each month. Arena's manual documents it in the following way:
The calendar of the world you are about to enter is organized into 360 days in a year. The year is displayed in the following manner. The Era in which you are adventuring is placed first, after which comes the actual year in the Era. Therefore, 3E 387 means, 3rd Era, 387th year. Each Era lasts for 1000 years.
The bit about an Era being merely a 1000-year span of history got thrown out of the window later on.
The ingame experience conformed to that scheme nicely. After the 30th, there would always come the 1st, no exceptions. Yet in the installation guide (not in the main manual) that came with Arena, there was a little something on the centerfold, called "Tamriel Holiday Calendar", which was, well, a calendar, with familiar month and day-of-week names, only the structure was that of our Gregorian calendar for non-leap years - some months were 30 days long, some were 31 days long, and Sun's Dawn (February) was 28 days long. Judging by the date/day of week match, it was a copy of the calendar of year 1993 (when Arena was in production), with month and day names replaced by their Tamrielic equivalents.
There was another blemish on Arena's date-accounting facility. As you surely know, in our world, it's always possible to predict what day of week will a given date be, no matter how far to the future or to the past. Speaking technically, this means that day-of-week is a unique function of date. So it is in Arena, except whenever you start a new game, the parameters of the said function might vary.
Most of the time, whenever you start a new game in Arena and go straight to the status window, the date would be Tirdas, 1st of Morning Star, 3E 389, 12:00 midnight. Except not always. Sometimes, the game would start on 1st of Hearthfire, 3E 389 instead, 12:00 noon. If there is a rule as to when exactly this happens, I haven't figured it out yet. Anyway, if the 1st of Morning Star is Tirdas, there is no conceivable way the 1st of Hearthfire of the same year would be Tirdas as well, because the number of days between Mor 1 and Hea 1 is not divisible by 7 (it's 240 days, by the way). Because of that, it's impossible to draw a nice week-by-week calendar for the Tamrielic year.
In Daggerfall, the ingame experience was absolutely identical. The order of months was the same, and each month was exactly 30 days. They didn't even bother to document the calendar in the manual. Redguard and Battlespire, due to their limited scope, had no calendar facility at all. Then Morrowind came around.
For starters, in Morrowind's calendar, one month was missing - there was no Morning Star (January). In the master game file, the name "Morning Star" was listed as the 1st month, but the game, for some reason, failed to take it into account. Maybe because the months were listed as 0 to 11 in the data file, and the code assumed they'd be numbered 1 to 12, or something. Second, the numbers of days in each month is clearly Gregorian (31, 28, 31, 30 and so on), except that the game confuses Sun's Dawn (Feb) with Morning Star (Jan). As a result, Morrowind's year is 334 days long. Leap years don't exist.
When is Chil'a?
While the Daggerfall Chronicles lists Chil'a as taking place on the 21th of Evening Star, Holidays of the Iliac Bay notes it takes place of the 24th. Another little pickle to sort out.