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  • Updated 12 June 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

Shire-reform

An adjustment of the days in the Shire Calendar

A small change made to the Shire Calendar during the time of Thain Isengrim II, some three centuries before the end of the Third Age. Before that time, the Shire Calendar had followed the old King's Reckoning, albeit with names for the months and days that were peculiar to the Shire. One feature of this calendar that the Shire-hobbits found untidy was the fact that the year was not equally divisible into weeks, meaning that each year started on a different day of the week than the last.

The Hobbits applied a simple solution to this problem. Because the difference was only a single day, they chose to regard one day per year as not belonging to any week, leaving 364 days that could neatly be divided into fifty-two weeks. From the time of this Shire-reform, things were arranged so that every year began on the first day of the week (Sterday or Saturday) and ended on the last day of the week (Highday or Friday). In leap years, the Shire Calendar added an extra day after Mid-year's Day, the Overlithe, but this was easily accommodated into the new system by also omitting it from any week.

The new system eventually spread beyond the Shire as far as Bree. A consequence was that the Shire-folk and the Bree-landers had no need to record the names of days on their calendars or diaries, as each date of the year now also fell on the same day of the week.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 12 June 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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