The Wheel of the Year   Leave a comment

Whenever a writer sits down to world-build, there are hundreds of decisions to make. In the case of Daermad Cycle, I was selecting a world similar to Earth, where humans could live, but that was not actually Earth. This dictated all sorts of decisions about plant life, peoples, oceans and even seasons.

Wheel of the YearSome writers choose to not mess with the calendar, which always seems strange to me, while others choose to confuse you to no end (George RR Martin!). I chose to make some slight changes, but not to go overboard.

Daermad’s year is 449 days long. It’s divided into four quarters by the Celtic holidays of Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnasda, and Samhain, which leaves one day a year that isn’t in a season (more on that in a moment). The seasons are 112 days long. Each starts with a holiday for the god of that season. Months are 28 days long, which means there are 16 (as yet unnamed) months.

Nudd god of the Underworld is appeased on Samhain in hopes of a gentle winter. This is a celebration of fire with bonfires that light the landscape, but it’s also a day when the devout and the superstitious hide indoors because the dead walk. At some point, an astronomer discovered that the transit around the sun is 449 days, which would completely mess up their year, so the Celts now count Samhain as a day between months and between years. Not coincidentally, there is an extra day of the moon’s dark phase on this day. It is considered a very bad omen to be born on Samhain day.

Lugh God of Light is praised in advance for a good harvest, Bel is invoked for fertility, Brigit is featured at Imbolc as this is the birthing season. It is considered a blessing to be born on any of these days.

I have other peoples besides Celts in Daermad. The Kin (called elves by the Celts) do not celebrate the same holidays. They celebrate the solstices because there are two days in each when the sun seems to stand still and days are neither getting longer or shorter. The elves are puzzled by the Celtic holidays and do not celebrate them.

Posted February 11, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

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