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Icha-Tzulka'an

History

No matter how far in the past we venture, the People of Nurna always had calendars in their cultures. It is even said that the first thing that the gods gave to the races of Nurna was a calendar.   There had been hundreds of calendars in Nurna, all of them completely different. However, in the present one of them stands out above all: the Icha-Tzulka'an, Coatli word for "the Measure of the Days".   Created by the Coatl Tribe, but popularized by the Naacal Empire, the Icha-Tzulka'an is a lunar calendar, adapted to the Tableland's weather, where only two seasons are easily perceived: the wet season, and the dry season. Since it follows the moon that's why its name in Aztlani is Mupohualli ("The Count of Mu", the Goddess of the Moon), but calling it by its Coatli name is way more common.   Of course, both the Naacal and the Coatl know that other seasons exist, since they have travelled far from the Tableland, and had registered them in their books and codices. However, they stick to this traditional calendar, where the only movements of the sun registered are the two solstices and the two equinoxes. In the Snake Jungle, where the Coatl Tribe dwells, you won't hear anyone talking about "spring" or "winter", they only kow about the Chaakika'an ("the Days of Chaak", the rainy season) and the Tijiilika'an ("the Days of Dry", the dry season).

Execution

Since the moon of Nurna (Mu) takes twenty days to return to its full phase, and the sun (Ra) takes two hundred seventy days to return to the vernal equinox, the Icha-Tzulka'an has a total of thirteen months of twenty days, with ten extra days without month for each year. Since is a lunar calendar, these months change position each year. One year the month of Am can start after the vernal equinox, and then, several years later, start after the winter solstice. Sometimes one festivity can be held during dry season, while other years the festivity has to struggle with the hardships of being held in the middle of the rainy season.   But the translation of Nurna's moon doesn't correspond to that of the sun: in thirteen months of twenty days there's only two hundred and sixty days, not two hundred seventy days. Those ten days left are known as the Akabtalka'an, "Dark Days", and are considered bad omen. They are added to each year in the form of two separate weeks of five days each. The first week happens after the month of Balaam, the zenith of the year, while the other is added after the month of Beelja, the penultimate month of the year. During the Akabtalka'an special festivities are held in the temples in order to drive away evil spirits, and families tell stories around the home hearth, where they are safe from the bad omens.

Components and tools

In order to count the months, priests in the temples folllow the phases of the moon, and indicate when a month has started. This is important for temples because each month starts with an special festivity, dedicated to the different gods of Nurna.   Since the priests follow the moon, each month have four weeks of five days each, which match with the moon phases. Only the months of Balaam and Beelja have five weeks, because of the Akabtalka'an described above.   In order to keep the count correctly, each of the days of the week has the name of a god, from a list that rotates weekly, followed by an epithet, from another lists that rotates as well, in parallel with the previous Thus, on week you can find the day of the Shining Akna, and the next week you can find the day of the Shining Mu.   The list of god names is the following, using this order:  

  And the list of Epithets is the following:  
  • Rising
  •  
  • Rampant
  •  
  • Triumphant
  •  
  • Shining
  •  
  • Recumbent
  •  
  • Sleeping
  The way of using it is the following. Let's assume a month starts with the Day of Rising Mu, which is the first combination of the two lists. Then, the list of days is:  
  • The Day of the Rising Mu
  •  
  • The Day of the Rampant Akna
  •  
  • The Day of the Triumphant Kanaloa
  •  
  • The Day of the Shining Viracocha
  •  
  • The Day of the Recumbent Ra
  •  
  • The Day of the Sleeping Mu
  •  
  • The Day of the Rising Akna
  And the list goes on.

Observance

The list of the months of the Icha-Tzulka'an follows next. The names of the months are in Coatli, and each of one corresponds to a constellation of the Nurn nightsky. Each month comes with its respective festivities (held at the beginning of it) and gods. A small description of each festivity can be found in the list.  

  • Kawak: the Month of the Dragon. It starts with the Festivity of the First Day. On this day, things are thrown off from the peak of the pyramidal temples, and priests try to figure out how the year will be.
  •  
  • Koos: the Month of the Eagle (and therefore, the month of Akna. It starts with the Marriage's Festivity. On this day, lovers and married people make gifts to each other.
  •  
  • Baat: the Month of the Axe. It starts with the Meat's Festivity. During this day meat is consumed in great feasts in the central squares of the cities.
  •  
  • Hulchi'ik: the Month of the Hawk (and therefore, the month of Tama-Nui-Te-Ra). It starts with the King's Festivity. On this day, a great celebration is held in honor of the actual Tlatoani, emperor of the Naacal Empire. City mayors and village chieftains also host parties in their respective lands.
  •  
  • Balaam: the Month of the Jaguar (and therefore, the month of Mu). It starts with the Luck's Festivity. On this day, people make jokes or act like everything is upside-down.
  •  
  • Ixi'im: the Month of the Corncob. It starts with the Fast End's Festivity. On this day, families and squares host great feasts that mark the end of the first Akabtalka'an of the year.
  •  
  • Kaan: the Month of the Snake (and therefore, the month of Viracocha). It starts with the Festivity of the War. On this day, warriors parade in the cities with their best attire.
  •  
  • Nojpeekh: the Month of the Worg (and therefore, the month of Chaak). It starts with the Friend's Festivity. On this day, friends met in their houses and celebrate rituals that honor their bonds and the spirits that watch over them.
  •  
  • Am: the Month of the Spider. It starts with the Dead's Festivity. On this day, people bring food and flowers to the graves of the departed.
  •  
  • Cheh: the Month of the Tree (and therefore, the month of Nujalik). It starts with the Children's Festival. On this day, kids are taken to a temple for their first time.
  •  
  • Kajanam: the Month of the Vigilant (and therefore, the month of Ahkin). It starts with the Festivity of the Vigil. On this day, bonfires are lit up during the night and people make noise and dance in order to stay awake and keep evil spirits away.
  •  
  • Beelja: the Month of the Stream. It starts with the Pitcher's Festivity. On this day, liquid offerings are made in the temples. People also drink fermented beverages during this day, like chicha (corn beer).
  •  
  • Nojkay: the Month of the Killer Whale (and therefore, the month of Kanaloa). It starts with the Festivity of Peace. On this day, it is forbidden to work.

RACIAL VARIANTS

  Even though all the races have ended up adapting the Icha-Tzulka'an, they actually made use of their own calendars before of the adapation (and still use them).  

ELVEN VARIANT

  Elvish calendar looks very similar to the Icha-Tzulka'an. So much, that elves claim to have invented it, and that the Coatl Tribe only stole it. The only difference between the two calendars is that there are no solar-based festivities at all: it's completely moon-based, and they record "nights" instead of "days". Aside from this, the calendar is exactly the same as the Icha-Tzulka'an: each month has twenty nights, divided between four moon phases: Dark, Half, Bright and Reverse Half. The days of the week hasn't name, they only say how many nights the moon is in a particular phase (for instance: four nights of Half Moon). Some half-elves use this calendar, but they often stick to the Icha-Tzulka'an.  

DWARVEN VARIANT

  The dwarven calendar is quite simple, since they are a race with a semisubterranean life. For dwarves, it is only important to measure the time left until the sun's light can enter in a particular way inside the cave. Thus, their calendar only consists of four months, each one of them finishing at a major solar event (equinox or solstice). The days in those longs months are counted backwards (for instance: there are fifty days left for the vernal equinox). The solar events are called Inte Raymi (Day of the Sun, the winter solstice), Khapakh Raymi (The Great Day, the summer solstice), Codhya Raymi (the Moon Day, the autumn equinox) and Pacha Raymi (the Day of the Earth, the spring equinox). It shoud be noted that the dwarven lands are in the southern hemisphere of Nurna, so seasons go in reverse to those that happen in the north.  

HALFLING VARIANT

  Being a seafaring people, halflings can't follow the record of the seasons. But they can see stars perfectly, and that helps them to measure the time. Thus, the halfling calendar is, really, really complex. Their calendar is based in the cicle of the sun and the moon with the constellations, and how constellations pass through the eastern horizon. In order to say the date, halflings match those four elements (sun, moon, constellations and the eastern horizon), and say how many days have passed since those elements are arranged the way they are. For instance: "we've been three days with the Sun in the Whale, the Moon in the Treepalm and the Horizon in the Crab". It should be noted that halfing have different names for constellations, and some names change from island to island. And all of this only for months! Weeks and years are even more complicated to count! (it's often about the time a known astral object spents in order to pass again from one side to the sky to other). Each localization of the stars have a specific name in halfling language, and they group them in triads. It would be impossible to break down here all the combinations and meanings of this triads: some halfling elders spent their whole lives trying to memorizing them, and passing them to new generations.  

NUNNEHI VARIANT

  Nunnehi not only look to the sky in order to count down the time: they also look to the earth. They measure the time with the geographical accidents that surround their Groves and Caves. Thus, for instance, they count the time that is left for the sun to dawn behind an specific mesa, or for the moon to pass between two mountain peaks. Therefore, each Nunnehi Grove and each Nunnehi Cave has its own calendar, and it is impossible to use it outside their home.  

HALF-ORC VARIANT

  If the dwarven calendar looks simpler, even simpler is the orcish one. In the cold lands of the north, only two things are important to know: if it is still winter, and how much time is left for the summer and the hunting season. Because of this, half-orcs divide the year in only two great months or seasons: Mannu ("Sunchasing") and Khattu ("Coldfleeing"). Mannu spans from the begining of the summer to the winter solstice, and Khattu starts just there. In order to spell the date, half-orcs say how many days they have been "chasing the sun" or how many "feeling from the cold" (for instance: "we have been ninety days chasing the sun"). After the end of Khattu, a year has ended, and this year is recorded as a Kull, a "Hunt". For instance, a young orc of fourteen years of age would be an orc with fourteen hunts.
Related Location
Nurna
Related Ethnicities

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