The Calendar of Imladris

The Elves of Rivendell used a solar calendar much like our own. A year was nominally 365 days long, with three extra days added every twelfth year to keep the calendar aligned with the seasons. The year began at the Spring equinox, and was divided into six seasons:

Name Translation Length
Ethuil Growing 54 days
Laer Summer 72
Iavas Fruiting 54
Firith Fading 54
Rhîw Winter 72
Echuir Stirring 54

Each season was further divided into six-day weeks:

Name Translation
Orgilion Star Day
Oranor Sun Day
Orithil Moon Day
Orgaladhad Day of the Two Trees
Ormenel Day of the Heavens
Orbelain Day of the Valar

Conveniently, each season was a multiple of 6 days long, so seasons always began on Orgilion and ended on Orbelain.

The seasons only total to 360 days, so in every year there were a few days not considered part of any season. These were:

  • Ormedui Last Day, following Echuir
  • Orminui First Day, preceding Ethuil
  • Three Enderi or Middle Days (the Quenya name; it's unknown what these might have been called in Sindarin) at the Autumn equinox, following Iavas. In every twelfth year, the Enderi were doubled to six days.

The Unix Epoch

The Reckoning of Imladris has, regrettably, not been maintained since the end of the Third Age, and so while we can still use the calendar to determine the date based on the seasons, it's unclear how years should be counted. I've arbitrarily chosen the Unix Epoch of January 1, 1970—a significant date for programmers—as the date at which to start counting.

Actually, that's not quite right, because the calendar of Imladris doesn't begin on January 1st. So March 22, 1970 is the start of Year 1 of the Unix Era, abbreviated 1 U.E.