The Calendar

You may notice odd dates scattered throughout the site. This is because I’m trying to get my mind to work on multiple calendars at once. The calendars fall under two main categories: Neo-Discordian (or Matthean), which is on every post, and Zed, which is almost never used.

First, Neo-Discordian.

The Neo-Discordian calendar is a modified version of the Discordian calendar, which I felt hewed too closely to the Gregorian calendar to be truly inspired by Eris, so I changed it. The original calendar is 5 seasons of 73 days, with one intercalary day every four years. There exists some dispute over whether this happens every four years, like the Julian calendar, or if it is skipped every so often, like the Gregorian calendar. The Discordian week is five days long, and is perpetual (the day of the year and day of the week always correspond, e.g. Chaos 1 is always a Sweetmorn), due to the number of days in the week being evenly divisible by the number of days in the week.

The days of the week are named for the foundational elements in the Discordian cosmology: Sweet, Boom, Pungent, Prickle, and Orange. The seasons are named for the cosmological cycle: Chaos, Discord, Confusion, Bureaucracy, and Aftermath.

The year, which is labeled with the acronym YOLD, for Year of Our Lady of Discord, is 1166 years “advanced,” respective to the Gregorian calendar. That’s an unnecessarily obtuse way of saying that the Discordian year is the Gregorian year, plus 1166. This year, for example, is Gregorian 2007, which is 3173 by Discordian count.

The Matthean calendar deviates from this in a few ways. First, the start of the calendar, Sweetmorn Chaos 1, is moved back eight days, to the third day after the Winter Solstice (this is actually inaccurate much of the time, but the explanation will be given further down). Furthermore, the seasons are shortened to 72 days, and the extra five days are made up for at the end, in an extra-annual (not belonging to any one year) five day festival, centered on the Winter Solstice. Also, the intercalary day schedule is closer to the Gregorian system, that is, skipped every 100 years, but not every fourth cycle of 100 years (see here). This keeps the calendar year on track with the astronomical year better, and eliminates the St. Tibb’s Day dispute (though argument is always welcome in Discordian circles). Also, St. Tibb’s Day (the intercalary day) has been moved from between Chaos 59 and 60 (Greg. Feb 28 and Mar 1) to after the third Setting Orange in Discord, or between Discord 13 and 14. This change helps to sever the Discordian – Gregorian ties, and has better mystical significance (3 [Setting Oranges] + 2 [seasons] = 5).

One day, I’ll manage to put together some widget or something that will convert the two.

I noted earlier that the calendar gets its start according to the Winter Solstice, and that this is inaccurate. The Winter Solstice is usually assumed to occur on the 21st of December, by the Gregorian calendar. Because the solar year is slightly more than 365 Earth days long, this shifts over a cycle of a few years. Though it does often fall on the 21st, it can vary anywhere from the 20th to the 23rd. The average, commonly accepted date, however, is the 21st, and that is the basis. Obviously, this is all based on the Gregorian calendar, primarily because that’s what I have grown up with.

The Zed calendar follows the older Discordian model, but it’s day 1 corresponds to 21 May, Gregorian. The reasoning is here, and the first use is here. The year is 2006 years behind the Gregorian, for reasons that second link should make obvious. It’s a fictitious calendar, for a fictitious timeline, included only to add verisimilitude. The months are NiKow, ReDisko, Confis, Burn, and Aftermath. There is no week structure, and the intercalary day may or may not be forgotten. I only plan on using this calendar on posts that could be related to zombies.

So those are the calendars.


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