This article belongs to the lore of Astyria.

Civil year of Great Nortend

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The civil year of Great Nortend begins on the 29th of September. The year is punctuated by the four term days, being St Michael's Day (29th of September), Christmas Day (25th of December), Lady Day (25th of March) and St John's Day (24th of June). The terms which run between these term days form the basis of the civil, academic and legal calendars.

The custom of beginning the year on Michaelmas likely arose from the beginning of the year on the first day of the Indiction of Caesar Augustus on September 24th. This perhaps is related to the the autumnal equinox and the husbandman's year, the latter quite universal in the mediæval agricultural society. By the reign of Henry III in the 12th century, September 29th became fixed as the beginning of the year.


The civil year is usually rendered in Roman numerals with or without A.D. Years before A.D. 1 are denoted by the words [anno] ante Christi, or A.C. for short, placed before the numerals. The Gregorian year is a few months later than the civil year. Thus A.D. MMXX began on the 1st of October, A.D. 2019.

In general use, years are normally expressed in Gregorian or 'calendar' years, rather than the civil year terminology.


The four terms of the civil year are according to the Determination of Years and Terms Act 2 Edm. VI p. 34 named Michaelmas term, Christmas term, Lady term and Midsummer term. These are named for the feasts of St Michael, Christmas, the Annunciation and St. John (Midsummer).

Michaelmas term is often called New term, as it marks the start of a new year. Christmas term is more commonly known as Epiphany or Candlemas term as the academic term begins after Epiphany and before Candlemas, and also Hilary term in legal use after St Hilary's Day, as the corresponding legal term begins near St Hilary's Day. It may also be called Lent term. Lady term in legal and common academic use is known as Whitsun term, for the important feast of Whitsun always falls within the term. It is known as Easter term at the University of Aldesey. Midsummer term is also known as Marymas term after the Nativity of Mary or Johnmas term.

In normal and official reckoning, Michaelmas term is Autumn, Christmas term is Winter, Ladymas term is Spring and Midsumer term is Summer.

Regnal year

Since 1780, beginning in 2 Edmund VII, the regnal year has been synchronised with the civil year. The first regnal year is cut short by the 29th of September. Thus the year 1 Alex. II, the first regnal year of the current Sovereign, Alexander II, began at 5·32 a.m. on the 30th of April 2003 when the late Catherine II passed. It finished on the 30th of September 2003, and on the 29th of September 2003, the year 2 Alex. II began. A regnal year also is cut short by the passing of the monarch. The current regnal year is 19 Alex. II which began on the 29th of September 2021 (2020 in the Gregorian calendar).

Regnal years prior to 1780 are not synchronised with the civil year, but rather are dated according to the accession to the throne. The shortest regnal year was that of John of Hall, who acceded to the throne on the 27th of September 1783. The year 2 Johan. began only two days later, on the 29th of September 1783.

Legal, parliamentary and academic year

The legal year begins in the first term, Michaelmas term and ends in Marymas term. Legal cases are generally cited according to which civil year wherein judgment was delivered. Thus, the case of Nanby v. Oldman, Whit. 7 Alex. II, vol. 713 Mod. Term Rpts p. 563 was decided in the Whitsun term of the 7th year of the reign of Alexander II, or in the Gregorian calendar, on a day between the 25th of March and the 24th of June in 2008.

The parliamentary year also begins in Michaelmas, the ceremony of Exordium Parlamenti normally being held in early November. It lasts until mid-June term, when Parliament is prorogued for the Midsummer term. Most Parliamentary business occurs during Michaelmas and Whitsun terms, owing to the Christmas and Lenten recess.

The academic year also begins in Michaelmas term, and lasts until the end of Whitsun term. Marymas term is known as Marymas vacation, wherein no classes are held, owing to the historical exigencies of harvest time.