With the Public Beta 20 update came the Shire Reckoning calendar, which is what the Hobbits of the Shire use to keep track of the date. It was invented by J.R.R. Tolkien himself. If you are interested in other calendar systems, please visit Tolkien Gateway for that.
In the Mod
The current date is displayed on-screen every morning when the sun rises, and is also written at the bottom of the left page in the player's red book. The date format consists of the day of the week, the date, the month, and the year in Shire Reckoning.
The date can be retrieved or altered by using the command:
/lotrDate get|set|add <date>
With <date> being the number of days passed since the starting date.
In the renewed version, the command is
New worlds created with the mod always start at the 22nd of Halimath (September) 1401 S.R., Mersday (Thursday), which is the date of the eleventy-first birthday of Bilbo Baggins.
Currently, the Shire Reckoning has no impact on gameplay; it is a purely immersive feature. Once storyline quests are added, the date will likely play a larger role.
How the calendar works
The Shire calendar contains 365 days total (except on leap years, where there are 366), which are divided in 30 days per month for twelve months and five holidays. It follows the lunar cycle.
According to the lore, the Shire Reckoning calendar begins with the crossing of the Brandywine by Marcho and Blanco of the Fallohides in the year 1601 T.A. (Third Age). They started a new counting of time taking the old King's Reckoning and modifying it to fit their customs.
At one point in history, the Shire-folk decreed that Midyear's Day and Overlithe (whenever there is one) should not hold a weekday name. Thus, from that point on, the days of the week ceased to shift after every year (the first day of the year will always be the first day of the week, and the last day of the year will always be the last day of the week). This update to the calendar is known as the Shire-reform.
Days of the Week
The days of the Shire week parallel our own Gregorian calendar. Below is a list of all the names of the days of the week and their English counterpart.
|Day of Week (English)||Day of Week (Shire Reckoning)|
|Saturday||Sterday ("Stars of Varda")|
|Tuesday||Trewsday ("Two Trees of Valinor")|
The Shire calendar is divided into twelve months with 30 days in each month. Note that in the East-farthing and Bree, some names are slightly altered (given in brackets).
|Number||Month in Shire Reckoning||Approximate relationship to Gregorian calendar|
|1||Afteryule (Frery)||December 23 - January 21|
|2||Solmath||January 22 - February 20|
|3||Rethe||February 21 - March 22|
|4||Astron (Chithing)||March 23 - April 21|
|5||Thrimidge||April 22 - May 21|
|6||Forelithe (Lithe)||May 22 - June 20|
|7||Afterlithe (Mede)||June 24 - July 23|
|8||Wedmath||July 24 - August 22|
|9||Halimath (Harvestmath)||August 23 - September 21|
|10||Winterfilth (Wintring)||September 22 - October 21|
|11||Blotmath (Blooting)||October 22 - November 20|
|12||Foreyule (Yulemath)||November 21 - December 20|
Notice that a few days seem to be missing? Read the section below.
Typically, there are five holidays in the Shire calendar, and none are part of a specific month. Midyear's Day is also not attached to a day of the week.
|Name of Holiday||Approximate day on Gregorian calendar||Has day of the week|
|2 Yule (new year starts here)||December 22||yes|
|1 Lithe||June 21||yes|
|Midyear's Day||June 22||no|
|Overlithe (only in leap years)||June 22||no|
|2 Lithe||June 23||yes|
|1 Yule (end of the year)||December 21||yes|
Every four years (except for years divisible by 100) there is a leap year that consists of 366 days rather than 365. This added day is called Overlithe, and takes place on the day between Midyear's Day and 2 Lithe. Like Midyear's Day, Overlithe is not attached to a specific month or day of the week. The first leap year to naturally take place in the game is in the year S.R. 1404, or T.A. 3004.
/lotr_time set|add day|night|
which sets the time to
in ticks. A whole day-night cycle has 48,000 ticks (40 minutes, 20 ticks per second = 1200 ticks per minute), 0 is sunrise, 12,000 is midday, 24,000 sunset, 36,000 midnight.
day equals 1,440 (shortly after sunrise),
night equals 28,800 (about 2 hours after sunset). The current Middle-earth time can be displayed using a regular clock, which can be crafted using bronze instead of redstone.
The standard Middle-earth day-night cycle takes 40 minutes in real life, so 36 ME-days are 1 RL-day, or one regular Middle-earth year equals 10 days, 3 hours and 20 minutes in real life, if your computer (or minecraft server) keeps permanently running.
- The anglo-saxon dæg-rune ᛞ (= letter D) means "day". Tolkien used those ᚱᚢᚾᛖᛋ for some texts in the initial drafts of "The Lord of the Rings", later on, he replaced them by cirth runes.
|“||ᛞ Day, the glorious light of the Creator, is sent by the Lord;
it is beloved of men, a source of hope and happiness to rich and poor,
and of service to all.
- The anglo-saxon jear- (or gēr-) rune ᛄ (= letter J) means "year" or "harvest".
|“||ᛄ Harvest is a joy to men, when God, the holy King of Heaven,
suffers the earth to bring forth shining fruits
for rich and poor alike.
- The highest possible value of Shire Reckoning is Highday 1 Lithe, Shire Reckoning 5881052. The day that follows is Hevensday 26 Winterfilth, Shire Reckoning -5613229, as the
LOTR.dat/ShireDaterolls over its 32 bit integer limit. This is unlikely to happen in normal gameplay, as it would take about 59,653,957 days, or 163,435 real life years, to reach this value.
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