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From:James Landau <neurotico@...>
Date:Monday, January 20, 2003, 1:14
(Re the <i>makraski</i>, or Kankonian calendar)

Peter Clark wrote:

> Bless you. I was just thinking about wishing everyone a (very) belated > New > Year, which was last Sunday (Dec. 22). Today (Dec. 29) is 13)3)1)1)8 by the > Enamyn calendar, which means that this is the eighth day of the first month > of the first year in the third octade of the thirteenth cycle. I'll explain > that in a minute.
That was cool (too bad everyone except you missed it)! Maybe we can all celebrate everyone's conculture's New Year, and those days can be something to look forward to on this list as the year goes by.
> On Sunday 29 December 2002 09:13 am, James Landau wrote: > > I decided long ago that 7215 B.C. in the Gregorian calendar would be at > > the same time in the universe that the Kankonians were beginning their > > transition to measured time. Therefore Jesus would be born right about > the > > year 7215 by the Kankonian calendar, the Roman Empire (or at least the > > Western Roman Empire) would fall in 7691 (that's 7,215 + 476) and > > <u>1984</u> would be retitled <u>9199</u>. > Minor nit-pick: Jesus was most likely born B.C. 4-7, but you may have > already known that.
I've usually seen it given as "4 B.C.". (If you can think of any other way to express the would-be year 0 that marked the transition from B.C. to A.D., tell me). Of course there had to be some significance to "0" too, or else why would anyone have started there if they knew he wasn't born at that point? Or did the extra four years just come when they switched over from the Julian to the Gregorian, or come about because they started the calendar sometime after Jesus' birth and were unable to count?
> > (A note for those of you who aren't familiar with Kankonian dates: the > > Kankonian year is a mite shorter than Earth's year, lasting 360 dates, > > making the days cleanly distributable at 30 per month. A day is simply > > named by naming the day of the month, then the number of the month > (drert), > > then the year. So the eleventh day of Drert zash Treil (Month Seven) in > the > > year 3174 would be written 11-7-3174 (at least in Arabic numerals). The > > length of one drert is fairly close to the full cycle of Akalla, but the > > Kankonians prefer an arbitrary division of months that makes a year > crisply > > divisible, 12 x 30. Tziran has an even rougher correlation to the months, > > going through 17.53 phases a year. This would give you 360 days from 1-1 > to > > 30-12. End of note.) > Ok, but there are 365.2422 days in a mean tropical year, which means > that > your calendar will drift about 5.25 days against the seasons every year. Do > you have some means of adding days to compensate for the drift?
Well, when I say a "day", I mean the amount of time it takes for Kankonia to complete one full rotation on its axis. In matching up the years I imagined a day would last about 1.0146 Earth days or so, supposedly trying to keep the years from going off. (This leads to another question: is there anyone here who knows how to find out how fast a planet will rotate on its axis or complete a year, given its volume, mass and distance from the sun?) But maybe I shouldn't try to keep it matchable year-to-year. Would the naturalism of choosing a random year length that would make Kankonian years completely drift off from their Gregorian equivalents after a while be important for convincing fiction?
> > But then I played around with that September 17 idea and guess where their > > equivalent of Christmas landed? I counted back a few days and noticed > what > > date Kankonia's "25-12" (the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month) > > corresponded to. Bad idea. > Christmas, when it replaced the Saturnalia festival, was tied to the > winter > solstice. It still is to some respects, so it would be perfectly possible > to > have it in the fourth month. (The Enamyn, btw, just lumped their > celebration > of the winter solstice (their new year) with their observation of > Christmas.)
The word for Christmas in the Kankonian language is . . . Navidad. Heh heh heh. They obviously weren't exposed to Christianity when they started making the calendar, but I suppose now they'd try to celebrate it whenever December 25 was occurring on Earth. I suppose I could give some people or another on some continent or another an historical celebration at the beginning of winter and possibly for the beginning of spring or summer, which would be at an equivalent point in their year to where these holidays tend to be celebrated in Terran religious traditions. I can't think of anything that would have survived, with the history of Hegheos taking up most of the history and religion. When this list was collecting ways to say "Enjoy the holidays!" in various languages, I couldn't think of any expression that Kankonian tradition could give the language, since the culture in traditional times wasn't too big on having fun or having times that were happy, and when the people broke free from the old culture they weren't very interested in having traditions. What religions they have left are monotheistic rather than nature-based. That would make modern Kankonians very secular in their view of the year, and without special associations for the beginnings or middles of winter or spring.
> > I tried to think where else I could imagine we were when a new year was > > beginning in a galaxy far, far away. How about March 22? That would make > > March 22, 2002 the same day as 1-1-9217 (give or take a few hours or > > minutes based on when the two planets' respective suns rise). That time > of > > year always had a comfortably morbid feel to me. Like it was a good time > to > > die. > Well, March has never been my favorite time of year, either. :) Are you > deliberately aiming for the spring equinox?
From later in my post: "Spring is where things begin again; in winter it's just a lot of dying and washing away of The Old. (But looking at my new date, the Kankonian New Year begins EXACTLY when we're celebrating the beginning of spring. Hmmmm.)" I was picking it because March 22 just sounded like a plausible time when I could look into the sky and see (or not see) people on a distant planet celebrating their new year, then when I considered using the vernal equinox I realized that March 22 on Earth would mean it coincides with the vernal equinox on Earth (that time of year is more than just another time of year, after all). The problem with that method and that date would then be that Kankonia would have to be exactly parallel to Earth in its seasons, solstices and equinoxes. So the answer would be no, I was NOT deliberately aiming for the spring equinox. What's the "back-history" of the>
> calendar? Was it invented by humans or aliens? If human, than solstices, > equinoxes, and other heavenly phenomena make a good choice. If alien, throw > a > dart at the calendar and call it golden. :)
The Kankonians are human, so I guess that means they'd be drawn to dates from the sun, moons and orbit. The calendar (and transition to measured time) was invented in the year 1 on the Kankonian calendar, at the time Ekhula was king. It sort of began at the time of an all-around major change in civilization. One idea was to have the year begin on the day of the year the calendar was invented (so they might invent it in the middle of summer and start counting right off). If we coincide it with something seasonally significant like the shortest day of winter, perhaps I can say that it was invented on 3-2-1 or 15-4-1 and that the earlier days of that year were labeled retroactively, or maybe that they had decided during the "year zero" on making a transition to measuring time, and agreed to start this thing called a "makraski" as soon as the next winter solstice, or autumnal equinox, or whatever, occurred. (They do use negative numbers for years retroactively, after all.)


H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Dennis Paul Himes <himes@...>
Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>