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  • Updated 6 November 2020
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New Year

The end of the old year and the beginning of the new

All of the calendars in Middle-earth marked the beginning of a new year, though not all marked it at the same time of the year. The Elves named the first day of the year Yestarë, 'first day', and celebrated it at the beginning of spring (specifically, on modern 28 March).

The calendars of the Númenóreans had a profound influence on those used by Men and Hobbits in the Third Age. They kept the Elvish term Yestarë, but they celebrated their New Year in the depths of winter, on a date that translates to a modern calendar as 22 December. This Númenórean tradition was maintained by the Dúnedain in Middle-earth, and by the Men and Hobbits who dwelt there.

The Shire-hobbits maintained their own Shire Calendar, but it ultimately derived from that used by the Dúnedain, and so New Year fell on the same date. The Hobbits used their own names for their days and months, and specifically they marked the end of one year and the beginning of the next by a period of two Yuledays. The last day of the old year was 1 Yule (equivalent to Elvish Mettarë, colloquially known as 'Old Year's Day'. The following day, 2 Yule, marked the New Year itself, and was naturally known as 'New Year's Day'.


The Dwarves, too, had a New Year. The Dwarves, however, maintained a quite different calendar from all other peoples in Middle-earth, and the date of their New Year varied depending on lunar cycles. It was formally the first day of the last Moon of autumn, which tended to place it within the modern month of October.


See also...

Yáviérë

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About this entry:

  • Updated 6 November 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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