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Telling Time: Mark I · 12:29am Feb 1st, 2019

I am very much not the most productive person on this site, but I promise I've been doing something with my time! Sure, I don't really have much of the next story I've been working on to show for it, but that's because I've been working on the research (if you could call it that) behind it a lot more than I have been working on writing it. This is one of those things.

Those of you who have read the recent entries in Unhinged should remember that one of those was for Admiral Biscuit and featured a pegasus mechanic fixing airships. (It's "Horrible Mechanical" if you want to go read that.) As sort of an imitation of Silver Glow's Journal, I wrote it in a diary format and, after I had, figured that it would lend itself nicely to a much longer work than just a couple of arbitrary days.

So I've been working on that recently.

It's going kind of slow because I have a bunch of things I want to do, a job with an unfortunate commute, and the motivation and discipline to get almost nothing done more often than I'd like. In fact, I'm fighting with that last one right now. What I have gotten done amounts to opening dozens of Wikipedia tabs on my browser for things directly and vaguely related to airships, consulted with the SoL King, Biscuit himself, and taken some of his thoughts and more and turned it into a draft for an Equestrian calendar that makes some sort of sense, unlike our own Gregorian calendar.


If you like it, you are welcome to use it or make suggestions.

The particularly keen will notice that a week is 6 days long and the months are all the same length as well as referred to as moons instead. Ponies don't have to worry about the seasons or lunar cycle shifting because they control, in one way or another, all of the above. The equivalent months are, evidently, listed in parentheses.

The moon names are some of the ones I liked best, though in some cases they were the only that came to mind thus far. This isn't set in stone and if anyone else wanted to use it, other names could certainly be used. For example, here's the list that I have in the same document below the calendar:

Lunar Calendar / Moon Names:
30 days per moon, 360 days per year

Spring (March, April, May):
1 - Spring I, Foal
2 - Spring II, Planting, Rain, Clover?
3 - Spring III, Flower, Alfalfa, Haying
Summer (June, July, Aug.):
4 - Summer I, Clear Sky, Sun, Strawberry
5 - Summer II, Midsummer, Corn
6 - Summer III, Oat?, Sparkling
Fall (Sept., Oct., Nov.):
7 - Autumn I, Harvest
8 - Autumn II, Luna’s, Nightmare,
9 - Autumn III, Storm, Frost
Winter (Dec., Jan., Feb.):
10 - Winter I, Ice, Night
11 - Winter II, Hibernation, Quiet, Midwinter
12 - Winter III, Cold, Melting, Thawing

I've had some suggestions from Biscuit, Bugsydor, Akouma, and hawthornbunny for both moon and day names as I worked on it, so my thanks to them. If you've read Biscuit's Silver Glow's Journal to the end, you might notice the days named "# after X Moon"; that's the general case I have in mind here. You'd have dates that look like "12 After Ice moon" or "7 After Flower Moon". It is likely that each tribe has its own preferential name for several (or even all) of these moons. I haven't gotten complete sets like that figured out yet. The "Spring I, Spring II, Spring III" etc. names are a unified/simplistic system that doesn't see much use in the general populace. They might be handy when communicating dates to other countries, though.

The weekly cycle is something that I figure unicorns and city ponies (read: unicorns again) would be much more interested in than the earthponies/farmers or pegasi/weatherponies. What I have written up so far is therefore intentionally biased that way; a more equally representative calendar could be made easily enough (and for the story I'll be writing [someday], it'll be 'in the works' more than a practical reality).

I actually wrote up two series of names. I know Twilight uses words like "Tuesday" and "Friday", but I break with canon here. The names are still based on the ones we use, in that I looked the days of the week (except Saturday, which I axed) and kept the god/concepts in mind as I looked for suitable alternatives.

Most of the old-time great ponies we know are about 1,000 years old, which isn't quite as old as the calendar. The first series of names is based – as often as I could manage (not always) – on etymologies not directly related to the gods that several of our days are named after. Also trying to keep with things that the unicorns of old might name a day after. Skipping the small-yet-garbled note pile I made while putting this together, here's that list:

Old Unicornian Names:

Sun Day
Shine Day / Bright Day
Water Day
Sky Day
Gathering Day
Moon Day

Tabs don't seem to work quite right in a quote box so, instead: the abbreviations were generally the first two characters of the name, aside from 'sky', which is all three.

The second series of names would have either gradually replaced the old ones over time within the last ~1,000 years, or quickly replaced them at some point when a movement to reform the calendar got enough traction. These are based on the gods and what they generally represented; I took those and searched for potential equivalents selected from the list of significant ponies that we know. Here is that list:

Modern Unicornian Names:


The abbreviations I used for these can be seen on the calendar above. Oh, I haven't mentioned that they are all unicorn names yet, have I? In order, these days are named after the Sun, Mistmane, Starswirl the Bearded, Gusty the Great, Princess Amore, and the Moon. I did say it was intentionally biased.

Sunday and Moonday are likely weekends similar to the ones we know; in an attempt to apply pony logic, I have the week starting with the sun and ending with the moon. The remaining days follow the order of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in their equivalency.

I do not have the dates of any holidays worked out yet. I just haven't gotten to that part. Given that their year would start on our March equivalent, the dates might look a little different at first when I do get them (or at least ranges for them) figured out.

A couple of names for days that I did not elect to use that were tossed about are "Swirsday" (Starswirl the Bearded), "Clovesday" (Clover the Clever), "Beardsday" (Starswirl the Bearded), "Pudnesday" (Pudding; maybe Chancellor Puddinghead? [it was hawthornbunny's suggestion]), and "Platurday" (presumably Princess Platinum, also hawthornbunny).

For what it's worth, this is basically the same logic/thinking that I use when I write Unhinged entries. And after I have it all worked out, the amount of bearing this has on the story I'm writing will probably be comically small.

Comments ( 4 )

Looking good! I like the names for the days of the week. :heart:

The Spring I names seem like the kind of boring-but-standardized names that are mainly used by bureaucrats on official documentation.

Of course, with a calendar as regular as that, there's no way Discord is going to be able to resist trying to slip in an intercalary Chaos Day on a schedule of "whenever he feels like it".

Much like Wednesday is pronounced "WENZ-day," I suspect ponies have corrupted Amoreday to "AM-ruh-day."

In any case, very nice calendar indeed.

Amoreday is the one part of this calendar that gives me fits due to the multitude of ways it could be pronounced. Congratulations on expanding that list.

Also, claiming that Sunday is before Moonday is blatant solarist propaganda. :rainbowwild:

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