Germanic calendar

In Scandinavia several calendars were before the introduction of Christianity coexist in use: the lunisolar calendar, the solar week year quarter classification, the solar week year -shifted quarter of classification and the Julian calendar. For lunisolar calendar and the weekly calendars with the various divisions quarter there were local variations.

  • 3.1 years division and weekly invoice 3.1.1 The vorkirchliche week bill
  • 3.1.2 quarter a week account
  • 3.1.3 The shifted Scandinavian quarter Classification
  • 3.1.4 Reasons for the shift of the quarters

The lunar year

For the calendar before the introduction of Christianity, there are virtually no contemporary sources. But there is for the time after that date names that point to a ripe old age and to draw conclusions about the pre-Christian calendar. These names show date that the year was divided into lunar months. The most common was the " Jul- moon ", second is the "Dis - moon " or " Distings Moon ". He was circulated only in central Sweden. The Distings Moon is often mentioned in the Swedish Upplandslag, but neither Snorri nor Adam of Bremen mention him.

The Julmond later was the month in which the moon was shining on Three Kings Day. In Norway, it was said: " Julemaanen " was the moon, which survived the Epiphany. Otherwise, the Julmond was the next moon. The month after the Julmond was called " Torre ", and he was followed by the lunar month " gjo " ( " GOI " in Iceland ). In documents of Dalarna " Torre " is often replaced by Distingsmond. Ole Worm reported by a Danish " julemaen ", which is the moon, the lights on the Julian New Year. The oldest evidence for the Norse Jul- moon to be found in Iceland. In a copy of the Icelandic computistical work Rim II that has arisen even in the second half of the 13th century, states:

"That skal iola tungl telia, Them þrettanda dag he a himne, hvort this deed he Ungentum eda gamallt ... "

" The moon is at the Three Kings Day in the sky, is to be regarded as Jul- moon, whether he is young or old "

It is possible that this definition has spread beyond Scandinavia. It is also possible that a pre-Christian calculation in the Christian calendar has been integrated.

Also, the Dis - month was linked to this Epiphany. The oldest evidence for the relationship between Disting and Three Kings Day is found in Olaus Magnus Historia om de nordiska Folken ( 1555, 2001 p 183 ) IV Chap. 6: Disting is held in memory of the Queen Disa and takes place on the full moon following the first new moon after the Three Kings (midnight). In the Middle Ages it took the election of a king in Gamla Uppsala before in connection with the Disting. The Epiphany was an ecclesiastical solemnity, but the calculation of the Distings has pre-Christian precursors and survived the Christianization by adapting to the Christian calendar. Erich Lassota of Steblau clarified the 1591-1593. There are two market days are: The first is the Erik Fair. The second

" Hest of Distings Marckt, the durumb He was employed by the Khunigin Disa, gefellet always on the full moon of the First New light after heylich drey kings Tagk. And so the new light auff same day the Holy drey Kunig for lunch einträt, he is not held on the first, But the nechst kommendeu [ sic] new lichts Vollmon. Who but the new light of the same day after noon occurs, it is auff held the first Vollmon "

The reference to Queen Disa is a common concept popular etymological explanation. Lassota has apparently misunderstood midnight in Olaus Magnus. Disting Moon and Julmond were in Sweden together from the beginning, with the sources for the Disting Moon in Sweden are older than all sources for Julmond and Epiphany. The reason for the connection to the Three Kings Day is believed that during the Middle Ages the Christmas period and the associated Christmas Peace ended on that date. In addition, the Lent and Easter was calculated according to the phases of the moon after the Epiphany day.

In the Middle Ages the astronomical new moon had shifted from the calculation according to the Golden Number by several days. The Icelandic Jul- moon has now been integrated into the church calendar that he retained the old name of the month, but now collapsed after the calculation for the Golden number and no longer with the old moon phases of months. In Sweden and Norway, however, you still went out of the astronomical moon phases.

The Christian Christmas time is always between December 15 and January 6. But when was at Epiphany new moon, so was the Julmond between 6 January and 4 February. This large difference can not be reconciled with the Church's calendar. It is therefore assumed that the determination of Disting and the Julmondes from pre-Christian times has been preserved.

The lunar month bill and the bound lunar year ( bundna Manar )

There is strong evidence that the weekly bill goes back to a time long before the Christian era, and many remains have been preserved in relation to the working year. After the introduction of the Julian calendar week bill was continued in parallel. There were next to each other time calculations, which were based on the lunar cycle and the solar cycle.

In pre-Christian Scandinavia there was a time bill, which, as elsewhere, was based on the world on the moon phases. It is surprising, however, that from this time in Scandinavia no lunar calendar is handed down. Hence, one must be content with fragmentary older data together with later relics and comparative studies. First, there are two variants of the month: the sidereal month and synodic month. The sidereal month is 27 days and 8 hours, the synodic month, 29 days and 12 hours. This is the time between two equal phases of the moon. The sidereal month came in the folk era, hardly ever. It was based in vorkirchlichen Scandinavia after all that is known at the synodic month, which was adopted by 29 times with 30 days. Since the synodic lunar month ( he is only mentioned in the other ) is about 29 ½ days long, 12 lunar months extend over 354 days and are thus 11 days shorter than the solar year. In areas with significant seasonal differences bothered, this shift of the lunar year compared with the solar year, and you had to connect the lunar year by a correction to the solar year. This was done usually by a leap month is einfügte than 13 months in about every third year. So voted the lunar months with the solar year correspond approximately. did not prevent that the beginning of a lunar month in different years could vary up to 30 days. This calendar system in which the lunar year was tied to the solar year, is called " bundna Manar " (bound lunar year ).

There is evidence that one straightened before the introduction of the Julian calendar in Scandinavia, " bound lunar year " after. However, the question remains whether the beginning of the lunar month was linked to the new moon, or of the first to appear of the crescent moon a few days later. Folk was probably adopted the first appearance of the crescent moon, but for official events such as the Thing gatherings, one used the astronomical new moon.

The bound lunar year in Anglo-Saxon England and the Scandinavian parallels.

Venerable Bede treated in De ratione Temporum especially the church Komputistik, but also touched on other calendrical issues, especially the era of the immigrant German tribes. It refers to the calendar explicitly than that of fishing, which probably included the Saxons and Jutlanders. He stresses that this era up to the Christianization and the introduction of the Julian calendar was in use among them, before the 5th or 6th century. The traditional calendar of him is a clear example of a bound lunar year. The months are based on the running of the moon, but anchored in the solar year by the four quarters are based on the Sun and the equinoxes.

George Hickes published in 1703 in De Antiquae litteraturae septentrionalis utilitate sive de linguarum veterum Septentrionalium usu Dissertatio epistolaris it he handed the month name from the English manuscript Biblia Cattoniensis 1031:

Bede refers by his comments repeated on pre-Christian relations. His explanations are now being questioned, and it has meant that these were his own thoughts, to explain the old dark month names. But there is good evidence to evaluate Bede's information at least partly new. Of course, he had sources that are lost today, so you can not verify any indication. But that does not mean that the explanations are unhistorical.

It has, for example, believed that the goddess Hertha and Eostre, which would have given the months after Beda " hredmonath " and " Eosturmonath " the name, just Bede's own statements were. Instead, it was believed that " hredmonath " is derived from the stormy weather and the " rough month " mean. Similarly, one has the word " Eostur " was an old term now lost the spring, which was only secondarily associated with the Christian Easter. But it is striking that neither " hredmonath " nor " Eosturmonath " are mentioned in the Biblia Cattoniensis of 1031. One possible explanation would be that the two month names are slaughtered at pagan goddesses due to their undesirable in the 11th century Assotiationen.

Also, his claim that the " solmonath " have also " brödkakornars Monath " told, although it still was no link between the sun and baking bread, was doubted. Throughout Europe, but was the custom spread to sacrifice bread and butter on the occasion of return of the sun, as can be seen from sources of the 11th century. Probably Bede alluded to this custom.

However, the most important is the similarity of Bede anglischer calendar description and the appropriate calendars in Scandinavia. Both had a semi-annual schedule and a quarter division, which was based on the Sun. Even with the fishing of the leap month before Midsummer was inserted. The double month " giuli - giuli " corresponds to the month - pair ýlir jólmánaðr in the Icelandic calendar. Both the Old English " blodmonath " as well as the Icelandic " gormónanuðr " tie in with the autumnal animal slaughter. The Old English " thrimilchi " where the cows were milked by Beda three times a day, has parallels in some Scandinavian dialects where tremjölksgräs and was used tremjölksblomster for the marsh marigold. An important difference between the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian thrimilci tri - mjölkingen however, is that the latter is about a month later because of the different climatological conditions. Both Julmonate lie in the same time, due to the same astronomical phenomenon.

The Julmonate, the winter solstice and the switching rule of the bound lunar year.

According to Bede the anglische calendar with " Winterfilleth " winter full moon, being the October in the Julian calendar began. According to him, the winter half of the year began with the autumn equinox and " winterfilleth " began after the autumnal equinox with the first appearance of the crescent moon. That was an average of one month after the autumnal equinox, which is very close to the Scandinavian winter nights. Perhaps here there is a very ancient calendrical structure, as the winter nights were not set to a fixed date in the week bill.

The relationship between " winterfilleth " and the autumnal equinox is similar to the relationship between the two months, " giuli " and the astronomical winter solstice. Beda sets out the winter solstice on December 25 and called this day " modranect ". The statement that the anglische year begin on December 25, is due to the fact that this was the official date of the winter solstice in the Julian calendar, even though he was aware that held the astronomical winter solstice of December 18 in his time.

The term " modranect " means " The Night of the Mothers". These mothers were apparently fertility goddesses who were called in the literature norrönen " Disen " and the Roman literature of the Germanic peoples " matrones ".

Bede reports that " modranect " was a time of religious ceremonies and discussed whether these ceremonies have been found in the pre-Christian Yule input. At least supports the timing of the " modranect " in the middle of the two-month period " giuli " assumption. It could well have been the night before the winter solstice. In this case, the " modranect " would have been bound to a fixed point in the solar year. But after Beda were the two months ' giuli " lunar months. Their center was shifted in relation to the solar year and fell on the first crescent of the second giuli month.

According to Bede the anglische year began with the winter solstice and the two months giuli would have received its name after that of one months preceded this day and the other followed him. But since it was lunar months, this fixation on the winter solstice can not be right. After the Icelandic sources, the time between ýlir and jólmánuðr was in the middle of the 12th century in the period between the 10th and 17th December of the Julian calendar. The winter solstice was at this time at 14-15. December. Perhaps this is a remnant of an earlier calendrical structure that has also survived the great Icelandic calendar reform.

Here Beda were accused of error, since there had to be taken as a basis of his strong connection between lunar years and solar years not given. Most likely, that the ratio between the winter solstice and the point between giuli - giuli bezw. ýlir - jólmánuðr was the starting point of a longer astronomical period of eight or 19 years, after which the winter solstice fell again almost exactly in the middle between the twin months meant. The winter solstice was therefore fixed point in the solar year and at the same starting point for the calculation when an intercalary month was to be inserted. Since not only the winter solstice, but also the summer solstice were instrumental, it is obvious that not only the winter solstice, but also the summer solstice two months of the same name were enclosed. Since the intercalary month was placed before the summer solstice, which was enclosed by two " litha ", this month was also called " litha " and the year " thrilithi " year three " litha ". There are no sources to the exact switching rule, but it can be deduced:

  • A solar year was 11 days longer than a lunar year. Had a certain lunar month of the first lunar crescent on a date X, which shifted after the beginning of the month out to 11 days. In cyclic intervals, the first crescent moon came back to the date X.
  • In order for this shift but not that caused lunar months of the winter half of the year came in the summer half of the year, had to be inserted according to a specific rule every three years a leap month.
  • After the Scandinavian and Old English sources, the winter solstice was the connection point between the solar year and bound lunar year.

This results in the following switching rule:

For the first rule there is no evidence, it is a guess. The thing further complicated by the fact that the days of the Julian solar calendar from midnight to midnight, the day of the lunar year earlier but were reckoned from sunset to sunset. It can not say for sure to what day the first crescent was allocated in the first half of the night.

The lunar month bill and the bound lunar year in pre-Christian Scandinavia

In Scandinavia, there is no source that is as detailed as Bede. But there are scattered references in the Edda literature, the term " ártali " ( year counter ) for moon in Alvísmál 14 and 23 in Vafþrúðnismál There " Mundilfœri " is referred to as the father of the moon and sun. Inside is the word " mouth " = time, time. " Mundilfœri " is one that moves at certain times. He was, therefore, often identified with the moon itself. It is also possible that " mundill " the personification of time and is as such " Mundilfœri " is the one that moves the time forward, transported. This would correspond to the old idea that the sun and moon pull on a ship, in a carriage or on horseback across the sky. This supports the view that Vafþrúðnismál starting from a bound lunar year and the era had a cosmological dimension. In the Völuspá the creation of the world is described in the Strofen five and six, when the sun and moon are assigned their orbits, so that people can determine the time. In Vafþrúðnismál 25 says: " full moon and new moon, the people of the time scale, created benevolent gods once. " The term "ny oc nid " ( increasing and decreasing ) was synonymous label for the "moon ". Within the older Gulathingslov comes the expression " to hit ny nesta oc Nidar " is synonymous with before " MANADE " in connection with the purchase of slaves. Even the old Swedish laws use it, but all without further explanation, probably because it was the time of writing still in use and therefore needed no explanation.

The later bound lunar year in Scandinavia

In Dalarna, the terms " jultungel " and " distingstungel " were the beginning of the 20th century in use. " Jultungel " initiated the calendar year and required that the moon over the Epiphany lights away. He was followed by the " distungel ". This link to the Epiphany is often found. For Denmark, the bound lunar year 1626 is already occupied. It was calculated with 12 lunar months and at certain times they pushed a leap month one, the one " sildemaen " called ( the last month). This lunar year was linked to the Julian calendar, and the lunar year began after the Julian New Year with the first new moon.

In the Faroes the lunar year is attested since the 17th century, but only texts from the second half of the 19th century on a real lunar month calendar confirm this This calendar was also used in the Hebrides and the Orkneys, and sometimes also in Iceland. Only in the Faroe Islands were the insertion periods of half lunar months by counting the months from new moon to new moon times, times of full moon to full moon. This reduced the annual shift from the solar year by half. The lunar month " vetrasól " ( night sun) always shone beyond the winter solstice, and it was followed by " Jólasól ". The lunar month " sommersól " always went beyond the summer solstice. The Finnish bound lunar year had 12 lunar months, in certain years 13 The last month was called " hjärtmånad " in parts of Karelia also " Joulukuu " ( Julmond ), and this moon always seemed on the Epiphany addition. If that was not the case, then another " hjärtmånad " was inserted. In contrast to the other lunar years replaced in Finland, the Epiphany, the winter solstice as a starting point

The seeds had a bound lunar year. In the 18th century described an otherwise unknown clergyman in his work Astrophysia Lapponica the Sami calendar. The months were calculated from the first crescent to the next. The month they divided into four quarters, namely from the first crescent moon the first quarter, because of the full moon, because of the third quarter and from there to the next crescent moon or the new moon. The year began with the winter solstice and was divided into four seasons, from the winter solstice to the spring equinox, and from there to the summer solstice and the autumn equinox.

Introduction of the Christian Era

The introduction of the Christian era took place over several centuries. The trial ended only between the 19th and 20th centuries. Even at this time there are records of old people, which determined the months and years after the passing moon in the sky.

The church began immediately after the introduction of Christianity for their area of ​​the church calendar by. For the profane of the people of the old lunar calendar was tolerated as long as the religious feasts were observed on the correct date. The local clergy was responsible for the community to say the holidays. So it says in the law of the Church Upplandslag of 1296:

" Now the farmer has to come to church. The priest has to preach the holidays and fast days. A failure of a priest and the peasant the day not because the priest is guilty rather than the farmer. Delivered to the priest and failed the farmer the day and does not stop him, since the farmer is guilty of three marks "

The introduction of the Julian calendar for religious holidays is assumed for the mid-12th century, when the papal legate Nicholas Breakspear (later Pope Adrian IV ) Norway and Sweden attended to the order of ecclesiastical affairs. For Iceland, the introduction of the Julian calendar is set to the time around 1150. The lunar year has also been used for more formal events, such as meetings and markets.

The festival of Easter was based on the Julian calendar. The Easter rule was that Easter is to celebrate after the first full moon after the spring equinox on the Sunday. This full moon was not the astronomical full moon, but a calculated full moon date. The ecclesiastical vernal equinox is fixed on March 21 in the Julian calendar. This equinox no longer agreed long ago in line with the astronomical equinox. Easter was in the period from March 22 to April 25 in the Julian calendar are.

The solar year

Years classification and weekly invoice

In pre-Christian times, the year was divided into a winter and a summer half-year. This half-year were divided into quarters. This years schedule has been maintained in the conversion to the Julian calendar. The quarterly division seems to have been integrated into a kind of week bill, which ran parallel to the lunar calendar. The relationship between the week bill and the lunar year is not quite clear, and it may be that the two organizations never quite fit together. There is evidence that the weekly bill was as the lunar year schedule for the working year of significance to a greater extent.

The vorkirchliche week bill

The Icelandic year was the time of the establishment of the Althing in Iceland 930 from 52 weeks to seven days. This division came with the immigrants from Norway. But in contrast to Norway the week division won a central role in the political and social life. Therefore, several attempts have been after the introduction of Christianity in the year 999 or 1000 to adapt these to the Julian calendar.

Middle of the 12th century was adapted to the ecclesiastical calendar of the solar year and the dominical letters a week bill. Even in the later Middle Ages the week bill for profane shops was applied while the Julian calendar was used in parallel for church affairs in Iceland. In Norway and the rest of Scandinavia, where there was a week schedule, they seem to favor the Church's Julian calendar receded into the background and only for certain activities, such as sowing and harvesting, which were tied to specific weeks, to have been of importance. Except in the Icelandic sources, the weekly schedule is best handed down in the landscapes of southern Sweden and Dalarna, but residues are also found in other areas of Sweden, Norway and Zealand. Very early examples from the 16th century can be found in Silesia. When the seeds a week bill was used until the 19th century. She is also attested in the old Swedish cities in Estonia and Karelia.

Quarter a week account

The quarterly schedule in the week bill was aimed as assessed by the solar year. The sources of the Week account of various regions of Scandinavia indicate two different quarter divisions that existed in parallel.

It is certain that the year was divided á week 13 weeks in four quarters, vary their names. In Iceland, they were called " mál ", " trettingar " Dalarna " mässor " or " täljor " and in Götaland " räppar " or. In the Swedish sources, there are many different details about how the quarters were embedded in the week year. The evidence is late, and in Götaland continental traditions seem to have acted. There the quarters often coincide with the official, computational, but erroneously become the sun and the equinoxes according to the Julian calendar together. This year I classification is also used in Estonia and Finland. This week year seems in this case on December 25 to have the official winter solstice according to the Julian calendar, started. Accordingly, the first quarter to 25 March, the feast of the Annunciation extended. The second quarter was enough to June 24, the St. John's. The third quarter often seems to have served the St. Michael's until September 29, although it is only until September 24 was, after the Julian calendar may be enough.

Already in the 8th century had been allowed to start with the Christmas year in France. The spread also over Scandinavia. It was not until the mid-13th century it came into Germany, to begin the year with January 1. That the beginning of the quarter the week invoice with the date of the winter solstice coincides according to the Julian calendar, is that this bill has only emerged with the introduction of the Julian calendar by Christianity, but not that the week bill as such dates from this period. Probably the Christian feast days, which were determined according to the Julian calendar, superimposed on the astronomical quarter division. The seeds apparently the astronomical quarter division was maintained. It is described in the 18th century in the book astrophysical Lapponica an unknown priest in the Lappmark. Also Snorri was based on the astronomical year ( Skáldskaparmál Chap. 63). During his lifetime, the Julian calendar was in Iceland, however, in use.

The shifted Scandinavian quarter Classification

In addition to the quarterly schedule that followed the quarter division of the Julian calendar and may have coincided with the astronomical position of the sun and the equinoxes the vorkirchlichen era, there are also reminiscent of another quarter system in the Nordic countries. She seems to have been for the legislative and festive organization of meaning.

In the medieval Icelandic week account neither the astronomical position of the sun nor the shifted counterpart of the Julian calendar for the borders of the quarters were used. Rather, the quarter boundaries were some time after those days, even if they were also based on the Julian calendar. In the 12th century, the Icelandic week year began with the so-called winter nights ( vetrnǽtr ), which began on September 26 on the third Saturday after the Feast of Cosmas and Damian Church. The winter nights were therefore in a period of 11 - 17th (sometimes up to 18 ) move in October of the Julian calendar. The second quarter began with the mid-winter or midwinter night ( miðvetr, miðvetrarsnótt ), which lay on the Friday in the period between the 9th and 16th of January. The third quarter and thus the beginning of the summer season was on the " beginning of summer " ( sumarmál ), the third Thursday after the Annunciation, ie in the period 9 to 15 April of the Julian calendar. The fourth quarter began with the midsummer day ( miðsumar ), which was usually between 13 and 20 July. In leap year, however, the first summer quarter extended by a week that the switching week was inserted immediately before midsummer, whereby the midsummer has been moved this year by one week.

The mid-winter night and the beginning of summer were moved to about three weeks after the ecclesiastical solemnities, three weeks after the church Christmas party on December 25 and three weeks after the feast of John the Baptist on June 24. In the vorkirchlichen time midwinter and early summer designated days, a time period after the astronomical winter - lay and summer sun.

In contrast to Iceland the week bill in Norway was abandoned in favor of the Church's Julian calendar. Therefore, the weekly bill is there rarely survived. In contrast, the semi-annual vorkirchliche division is well documented also in Norway. However, the early days were not determined by the church Sunday letters, but by fixed dates in the Julian calendar in Norway, in contrast to Iceland. One of the earliest examples is RIM II Dart is specified:

"With the Callistus fair [ 14 October ] begins after the account of the Norwegian winter and with the Tiburtius Fair [ 14 April ] the summer "

The attachment of the half-year starts at Calixtus and Tiburtius is also found on early continental churches calendars. However, many have pointed out that these two saints have played a small role in the Scandinavian Church year that the ecclesiastical influence can hardly have meant to refer the winter night and the beginning of the summer just to that date.

It is more likely that the linkage has been on 14 October and 14 April in the foreground. On most Norwegian calendar rods are only the data that is not specified, the two saints. The Norwegian summer and winter half of the year was divided as in Iceland into four equal quarters. However, these are worse occupied than the initial days of the half-year. The midwinter night is occupied for the 12th and the 14th of January. Midsummer is poorly documented and is specified for both the 13 and 14 July. In the Sami calendar rods ( the oldest surviving from the 17th century), who were influenced by Norway, the winter night was usually on the 14th October, but also October 15 is called. The beginning of summer was on April 14. The midwinter specified with the 13th or 14th of January and the midsummer with the 14th or 15th of July. On the Sami calendar staff of Piteå in 1672, however, the Midsummer is on the 13th of July.

In the Swedish territory, the situation is not as clear as in Norway and Iceland. It is therefore assumed that the semi-annual schedule at the beginning had its origins in western Scandinavia and has spread in the Middle Ages by Ostskandinavien. Others point out that the annual schedule are occupied for parts of Finland and the Baltic states and the resources are the very old-fashioned. This suggests that it has also been developed in Ostskandinavien, but has been forgotten in the Swedish area.

Some popular sources also tie in with the annual rhythm of the Great Bear. In a Norse Kenning winter as the " nights of the bear " is ( biarna nǫtt ) denotes, and in many later texts means of Scandinavia it is, the bear go on 14 October in hibernation, turn in the winter quarters on 13 January and get April 14 out of the garage out. Similar information is also available in Swedish Finland and in Estonia. Probably here are preserved the old quarter divisions.

The dates for the beginning of the quarter in the Swedish laws are used here for the determination of the hunting season, especially for the Eichörnchenjagd. The age of these provisions can not be determined with certainty because they were indeed written in the 13th century, but it states explicitly that certain provisions of the Lagmann " Viger the sage, heather in the heathen time " to go back. As the age of the Swedish countryside laws is unclear, at least, what the various provisions is concerned, one must be wary of far-reaching conclusions. Nevertheless, one may assume that pagan dates have lain down on Christian Holy Days.

The annual schedule is also found in Estonia and Finland, where it is covered better and more clearly than in the scattered Swedish copies. In Estonia, the week was in year four quarters Künnipäev ( Pflugtag; April 14 ), Karuse - päev (Day of the Bear, July 13 ), kolletamise - päev ( day of yellowing; October 14 ) and krjuse - päev ( day where the bear used in winter storage, January 13 ). In Finland there is the same year Classification: suvipäive ( summer, to April 14 ), keskikesä ( Midsummer, 13th or 14th of July), talvipäive ( winter, to 14 October ) and talvenapa ( Midwinter, actually winter Abel; 13 or January 14 ). A group of Finnish calendar rods has three consecutive days from 13 to 15 for the beginning and end of the winter semester. October 13th - 15th April. This classification can also be found on the Swedish calendar rods from Norrland, so it has been suggested that the three-day markings are original and were normalized to a later day. This also comes in the plural "Winter Nights " ( vetrnǽtr ) for expression. But this three- day period is also eligible for all four quarters ago. Snorri reported in the Saga of Haakon the Good, that the pre-Christian midwinter festivals have lasted three days. The Dalalag speaks of winter nights and summer nights. The Västmannalag other hand, uses the singular. The different day values ​​may be based on that time otherwise than in the Julian calendar, the day did not start in pre-Christian at midnight, but was reckoned from sunset until the next sunset. This is already found in the Germania of Tacitus 11 and also in the Völuspá 6, which is also suggested by the terms " Winter Nights " and "Summer Nights ".

Reasons for the shift in the quarters

The shift in the quarters against the astronomical position of the sun is due to the nature economic and climatological conditions in Scandinavia. Lithberg said that the dates were due to the acquisition of a lunar calendar. Nordberg considers this to be unlikely because the 11 days shorter lunar year every three years a leap month required made ​​what had to lead to large displacements of fixed dates. It assumes that the week the account of the solar calendar was instrumental here. As the week bill was based as the Gregorian calendar in the sun, you can nebeneinaderstellen the dates of both calendar:

Now the astronomical data are compared to the early days of the quarters:

  • Autumnal Equinox September 21 → 28 days → October 20th, beginning of the winter nights
  • Winter Solstice December 21 → 28 days → January 19, the start of the midwinter
  • Spring equinox March 20 → 30 days → April 20, the beginning of summer
  • Summer Solstice June 21 → 28 days → July 20th, the beginning of midsummer.

The Lunisolar year in Iceland

In the 12th and 13th centuries, it was begun in Iceland to harmonize the different common calendar. These calendrical texts in the Íslendingabók, the Gragas and Rímtöl are überliedert. This shows that the monthly statement and the statement week were used in parallel. Both were reformed in the mid-12th century and is connected with the ecclesiastical calendar: For the Icelandic month was determined that he should begin on a certain day in a particular week as in the ecclesiastical Komputistik the Dominical Letter and the 28- year cycle so according to the same system as the Icelandic week bill in the Middle Ages. This meant that many basic features, such as the monthly statement in the pre-Christian era was organized in Iceland, were preserved.

The Icelandic month of the year was divided into a winter and a summer half-year ( " Misseri " ), each of which was six months and the years, followed by division of the week into account. Each month was normally 30 days. After 12 months = 360 days was extended to the third summer months by four days immediately before midsummer. This four-day period was called " auk - nǽtr ". So the normal year came to 364 days. Was come, the system of leap years by the year wohe added every seven years. This particular week was " sumarauki " and was inserted in the leap year immediately before midsummer. This agreed leap year also consistent with the weekly bill.

These months á 30 days was a learned product without anchoring in the Icelandic population. The Icelandic monthly bill is well documented for the winter half-year. On the other hand, it is doubtful how far it was also used during the summer months. For as the working year was crucial that depended on economic and environmental needs. Therefore, the name of the summer months as opposed to those of the winter months were regional differences and partly inexplicable, indicating a great age. Because of their relative continuity that both the lack of ecological and economic points of constraint as well as on Christian influences with their fixed deadlines could be attributed, are the names of the winter months in Iceland is of greater interest.

Ýlir could also be a derivation of Jul, whose importance but so far could not be reliably determined. Also the interpretation of the words " Thorri " and " goi " is uncertain and speculative. But they are the older Icelandic names of months and are best occupied with their Scandinavian parallels. This points to a use in very old pre-Christian calendar bills.

Sami calendar

The Sami calendar fundamentally different from the usual in Germanic Scandinavia calendars. There are only get calendar from the period after the introduction of Christianity. There are currently 26 known calendar. The Sami name for it is "rim ", " rima ", " rime " or " rimu " what should originate from the Scandinavian word " Primstaf " = Runic calendar.

The calendars are all different. Twelve are made ​​of reindeer horn or bone from six birch wood panels and a beech wood. They have six, seven or eight plates with six, ten, twelve, thirteen or 14 labeled pages. Four are four-sided Hölzstäbe which are labeled on all four sides. From the rest of the material is not known, because they are now lost, or are privately owned or are not accessible for other reasons.

Also, do not begin with the same date. The start date is between 27 November and 18 January. The beginning of most lies around the winter solstice, December 25, and none of any necessary leap day is inserted at different locations. The runes used for the festive season are different and have nothing in common with the Norse runes. They are also not yet fully deciphered.

The calendar count on the seven-day week, some push an eight -day week. The Sami calendar was a weekly calendar. There was no month names. Rather months were named after the saint festival, which is located within the month. Instead, had the names of weeks. Four calendars have eight panels with 13 pages, each with four weeks. Since the four weeks are for a month, these calendars have thirteen months.

An example is shown of the calendar. It is the first Sami calendar, which was scientifically described. Eiríkr Magnússon published the study in the work On a Runic Calendar Found in Lapland in 1866; Cambridge 1877. The calendar was in the Pitt- Rivers Museum ( Farnham Blandford, Dorset) but was, at the time when the book was written Lapska ben- och Träkalendar, inaccessible. The collection is now in the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

The calendar consists of 5 plates with 10 pages and a cover plate. It is read from the bottom up. On the photo to a bottom side of the plate 1, about the second side of the plate 1, about one side of the plate 2 and above one side of the plate 5 It is a so-called line calendar, that is, the days characterized by a bar, which is located below the center line. Every seven days is the rune ᚼ that marked the week boundaries. It can also be the rune ᚷ which was carved on the daily bar. Maybe it is the Saturday. For the following Rune ᚨ is "A", and this letter was used on the continent for Sunday. Above the lines the holidays are marked with special symbols whose meaning is not yet fully deciphered. The calendar starts with December 23, has 52 weeks 364 days runes. Granlund said that the January 6 and 7 was made a Doppeltag so that 365 days came about in this way.

Magnússon then tried to bring the 50 highlighted days with saints festivals in conjunction, for example, January 11 St. Hyginus 14 January, St. Hilary (whose memorial day but January 13 ), but he did not succeed.

The Runic calendar came late 17th century into disuse and began to be replaced by almanacs.

Pictures of Germanic calendar