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Dankaran calendar thoughts

From:Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
Date:Monday, February 14, 2005, 15:30
Dankar is a planet with a ~28-year orbit around a giant blue-white star
that has no other planets and would naturally have none at all - see the
recent conplaneteering thread.  But nature has nothing to do with it;
Dankar is an artificial construct, created in the distant past to
resemble Earth as much as possible other than the above, and populated
with kidnapped Earthlings by agents unknown for reasons unknown.

Despite the lack of visible planets in the sky, the number
seven still holds sway as a significant number to the Dankarans; perhaps
it is a holdover from their days back on Earth.  In any case, they like
to divide and group things by 7, and when that's not convenient by 3 or
4 (that is, approximately half of 7).

The basic calendrical unit is of course the day, which is the same
length as ours, but it is divided up into 28 (7x4) rather than 24 hours.
Such divisions are the subject of timekeeping, however, not the calendar

Days are grouped by fours into a unit which in English I call, for lack
of a better word, a "tetrad".

Dankar has a single large satellite orbiting in a plane at an angle to
the planet's orbit such that it goes through visible phases on a cycle
of about 29.53 days.  In other words, the moon was included in the
reproduction, and the month goes along with it.  A calendar month is
always a whole number of tetrads, either 7 or 8 (=28 or 32 days).

The next unit up is so far nameless but consists of either 3 or 4
months, the periodic difference being part of the tropical
synchronization of this lunisolar calendar.   Let's call it A.

The next unit up (I'll call it B) is likewise nameless but consists of 3
or 4 A's; this gives it a theoretical length range from 9 to 16 months,
but the calendar is designed such that it's always 11, 12, or 13.  Obviously
this corresponds to one Earth year.

The next unit up beyond that is the season, which is tied to the
tropical year; Dankarans recognize the same four seasons which most
Earth cultures do, and each one is seven B's long.  It therefore could
theoretically consist of anywhere from 77 to 91 months, but
again the design of the calendar restricts it such that it is always 86
or 87 months.

Finally, we have the orbital year, which is four seasons long;
again, while this gives a theoretical range of 344 to 348 months,
a given year is always 345 or 346 months, somewhere between 10,188
and 10.218 days, just shy of 28 Earth years (~10,226 days).

Nomenclature coming as soon as I figure out which Dankaran language the calendar
creators spoke. :)