The year is divided into twelve months, each lasting precisely four weeks of seven days.
Sunrise is at 8am. Sunset is at 4pm.
January – Somerisle is locked in ice and snow. The land is white. Peasants cut wood, spread manure; early lambs are born. January’s Zodiac sign is Capricorn, the sea-goat. January is sacred to Vesta, goddess of the home. January’s Tarot card is The Devil, and its element is Earth.
February – Peasants prune orchards, mend fences; lambing continues, calving begins. February’s Zodiac sign is Aquarius, the water-bearer. February is sacred to Juno, goddess of childbirth. February’s Tarot card is The Star, and its element is Air.
March – Peasants plow when the ground is soft enough, sow grains; calving continues. March’s Zodiac sign is Pisces, the fish. March is sacred to Neptune, god of the sea. March’s Tarot card is The Moon, and its element is Water.
Sunrise is at 6am. Sunset is at 6pm.
April – The streams run again. The fields are muddy. The land is brown. Peasants pasture animals, weed fields, get milking and dairy work underway. April’s Zodiac sign is Aries, the ram. April is sacred to Minerva, goddess of wisdom. April’s Tarot card is The Emperor, and its element is Fire.
May – Peasants gather fodder for horses, remove moss from and repair thatched roofs, sow pulses, capture swarming bees, plant beets, carrots, cabbages, and other garden vegetables. May’s Zodiac sign is Taurus, the bull. May is sacred to Venus, goddess of love. May’s Tarot card is The Star, and its element is Earth.
June – Peasants plough fields, shear sheep, start mowing hay. June’s Zodiac sign is Gemini, the twins. June is sacred to Apollo, god of oracles. June’s Tarot card is The Lovers, and its element is Air.
Sunrise is at 4am. Sunset is at 8pm.
July – Somerisle swelters beneath the hot sun. The land is green. Peasants make hay. July’s Zodiac sign is Cancer, the crab. July is sacred to Mercury, god of commerce. July’s Tarot card is The Chariot, and its element is Water.
August – Peasants harvest grains, pulses, and vegetables, thresh wheat, and gather in straw. August’s Zodiac sign is Leo, the lion. August is sacred to Jupiter, god of the sky. August’s Tarot card is Strength, and its element is Fire.
September – Peasants harvest honey, apples, grapes, and blackberries, take excess stock to market. September’s Zodiac sign is Virgo, the maiden. September is sacred to Ceres, goddesss of agriculture. September’s Tarot card is The Hermit, and its element is Earth.
Sunrise is at 6am. Sunset is at 6pm.
October – The leaves fall. The harvest is in. The land is golden. Peasants press apples. October’s Zodiac sign is Libra, the scales. October is sacred to Vulcan, god of fire. October’s Tarot card is Justice, and its element is Air.
November – Peasants put cider in barrels, take pigs to graze in the forest. November’s Zodiac sign is Scorpio, the scorpion. November is sacred to Mars, god of war. November’s Tarot card is Death, and its element is Water.
December – Peasants slaughter pigs. December’s Zodiac sign is Sagittarius, the archer. December is sacred to Diana, goddess of the hunt. December’s Tarot card is Temperance, and its element is Fire.
Monday – The first Monday of the month is always a new moon, and the third Monday of the month is always a full moon. After each new moon, the moon will be waxing until the next full moon. After each full moon, the moon will be waning until the next new moon.
Tuesday – Tuesday is sacred to Tiw, god of law.
Wednesday – Wednesday is sacred to Woden, god of magic.
Thursday – Thursday is sacred to Thunor, god of thunder.
Friday – Friday is sacred to Frige, goddess of prophecy.
Saturday – Saturday is sacred to Saturn, god of wealth.
Sunday – Sunday is a day of rest. Church services are conducted. Feast days are also always held on Sundays.
Cockcrow is at sunrise each morning.
The hour immediately after sunrise and immediately before sunset, everything is bathed in orange-pink light.
Church bells ring each hour, striking once at 1am, twice at 2am, continuing in this way up to twelve times at 12pm, then starting again, striking once at 1am, twice at 2pm, up to twelve times at 12am.
Normally, people eat and drink only once per day, at sunset. Food is typically pottage, a stew made by boiling vegetables, grains, and possibly fish, meat, or anything else available, in a cauldron over the hearth. The day’s drink is almost always beer, ale, or cider (water being a good way to get dysentery)
High tide is at 12am and 12pm. Low tide is at 6am and 6pm. The sea level at high tide is 6′ greater than at low tide (or 12′ greater if that week has a full or new moon). The tides rise and fall at a rate of 1′ every hour (or 2′ every hour if that week has a full or new moon).
There are eight festivals celebrated each year. Four of these are known as quarter days (Lady Day, Midsummer Day, Michaelmas, and Christmas). Traditionally, servants are paid and rents are due on quarter days. Alternatively, payments can be arranged instead for cross-quarter days: Candlemas, May Day, Lammas, and All Saints’ Day.
Christmas – The last Sunday of December is Christmas, otherwise known as Yule or Saturnalia, marking the winter solstice. Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus. Gifts are exchanged and homes are decorated with wreaths of ivy, holly, and boughs of evergreens. Yule is also sacred to Woden, god of magic, and Saturnalia is sacred to Saturn, god of wealth.
Candlemas – The first Sunday of February is Candlemas, otherwise known as the Feast of the Presentation or Imbolc. Candlemas commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. Candles are traditionally blessed and carried in procession. Imbolc is also sacred to Brigid, goddess of healing. Brigid’s crosses (woven from rushes) are made and placed above doorways and windows to ward off evil. Doll-like figures of Brigid, called “biddy bolls”, are paraded from house-to-house.
Lady Day – The last Sunday of March is Lady Day, otherwise known as the Feast of the Annunciation or Eastre, marking the spring equinox. Lady Day commemorates the visit of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. Eggs are decorated and hares are caught and roasted. Lady Day is also sacred to Eastre, goddess of spring.
May Day – The first Sunday of May is May Day, otherwise known as Beltane or Walpurgis Night. Bonfires are lit to ward off evil spirits and witches, a May Queen is crowned, and maypole dances are held.
Midsummer Day – The last Sunday of June is Midsummer Day, otherwise known as Saint John’s Day, marking the summer solstice. Bonfires are lit, and there is much feasting and merrymaking.
Lammas – The first Sunday of August is Lammas, otherwise known as the feast of St. Peter in Chains or Lughnasadh. New loaves are brought into church to be blessed.
Michaelmas – The last Sunday of September is Michaelmas, otherwise known as Goose Day or Mabon, marking the autumn equinox. Michaelmas honours the Archangel Michael, greatest of all the Archangels. Celebrants slaughter and roast geese.
All Saints’ Day – The first Sunday of November is All Saints’ Day, otherwise known as All Hallows’ Day or Samhain. All Saints’ Day honours all the saints, both known and unknown. People light candles and place flowers at tombs and graves. Children go door-to-door, knocking and receiving sweet cakes, nuts, and fruit.