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Weather Saving Time

Weather Saving Time is an Ethite tradition of setting back one's clock one hour when a loved one leaves on a sea voyage. Not to do so is believed to bring bad weather or other bad luck to wreck the ship.  


This tradition dates back to the mid nineteenth century, when the family of fishermen in the coastal town of Vessas took to setting back their clocks one hour when the fishing boats left the docks, only turning them to the correct time when the fisherman returned safely home. The intended purpose seems to have been to allow for one more hour before the expected arrival time without worry from family. If the ship was expected back at a given time and nothing went wrong, they would theoretically return before their families expected them. Furthermore, if the ship did not return on "time," it would be a clearer indicator that it had run into trouble while out, as the ship would, by that time, be an hour late.   As the tradition solidified, it grew into a luck ritual, with practitioners saying that refusing to set back the clock was to invite bad luck upon the ship, specifically bad weather. Thus it got the name "weather saving time." The tradition also spread, soon being used in cities all along the Ethite coast, and for long sea voyages as well as short ones. As it spread, this ritual took on the additional function of allowing people with family at sea to identify one another. Sometimes, those who lost family would never turn their clocks back, in memory of those who would never return. Mevi even has a local holiday in which the town clocks are set back to honor all those who have died at sea.   This one hour difference is often referred to as "ship time" (with hours sometimes written as "7:00/6:00 ship time"). This has also led to the idiom "running on ship time," which could refer either to a person who is chronically late or a person who has lost a loved one at sea. If the family member lost was a spouse, the person might also be referred to as a "clock widow."

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Cover image: Ethite Flag by Molly Marjorie


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