The first month of the year by Tuzyn Reckoning; named after the moon Yael, it is the first month of spring. When the calendar was created, the first day of spring matched the vernal equinox, but the actual vernal equinox is currently the 2nd of the month.

Medieval calendar

Many country people held that the new year begins on Nuzyael 25, for it marked the time when work began in earnest after the winter lull. Plough teams began the first ploughing of the fallow field in Peonu when the soil was soft enough to turn easily. Each team consisted of a heavy plough pulled by eight oxen, guided by a ploughman and an ox-goader. The team was expected to plough an acre a day. In the later medieval period pairs of horses were combined with the oxen on lighter soils, or even used exclusively.

The innovation which marked the heavy plough from the earlier ard-plough (also known as a scratch- or hook-plough) was a mouldboard mounted on the right hand side, behind the ploughshare, which turned the sod. Because of the difficulty in turning the plough, the team worked in long strips, turning clockwise several times before starting on a new strip. This method resulted in the sod constantly being thrown in towards the middle of the strip, creating a pattern of ridge and furrow.

While the plough teams were busy on the fallow field, preparations began for the sowing of spring crops (barley, oats, peas, beans and vetches). In a two-field system the spring crops would be sown on half the active field (winter crops, sown the previous autumn, would already be growing on the other half); in a three-field system the spring crops would have a field to themselves. Grains – barley and oats – were sown by the broadcast method, and were sometimes sown together in a mixture known as dredge. Peas and beans were painstakingly dibbled, the seeds being placed in a series of small holes made by poking a stick (known as a dibbler or dibbling-stick) into the ground. Choosing the right amount of seed to sow was a delicate matter which depended on soil quality and, to some extent, local custom. Too little seed and the weeds would choke the growing crops; too much and the crops would choke themselves. A working guide is that barley would be sown at four bushels to the acre and oats, peas and beans at three bushels to the acre.

Holy days & festivals of the month.

1 Springs day (breaking the earth)
2 Vernal equinox
4 PeoniLesser Sapelah (lay mass)
5 LaraniSoratir (lay mass)
6 Save K’norVelere (lay mass)
7 HaleaShesneala Day (lay mass)
8 AgrikLow Ceremony of the Balefire (lay mass)
12 PeoniLesser Sapelah (lay mass)
13 MorgathDegrees of Nyardath (high mass)
14-17 PeoniGreater Sapelah (purification ritual)
15 LaraniSoratir (lay mass) Yaelah
SiemNight of High Perspective (lay mass)
Planting begins
20 PeoniLesser Sapelah (lay mass)
25 LaraniSoratir (lay mass)
26 MorgathShadryn-Vars (lay mass)
28 PeoniLesser Sapelah (lay mass)
30 SiemNight of Silent Renewal (lay mass)
NavehDezenaka (high mass) Yaelmor


Medieval farming year Version 1.0, © Andy Staples, 1999Version 1.0, July 23, 1999
Harnic Calendar © Columbia Games. Available for download here.

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