Calendars of Middle-earth: 3. Days of the Week

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3. Days of the Week

As noted above, the Eldar used a six-day week.

Days of the Week among the Eldar:

Quenya name Sindarin name Subject of the day's dedication
Elenya Orgilion the Stars
Anarya Oranor the Sun
Isilya Orithil the Moon
Aldúya Orgaladhad the Two Trees
Menelya Ormenel the Heavens
Valanya (or Tárion) Orbelain (or Rodyn) the Valar (or the Powers)

The Men of Númenor added a seventh day: Eärenya (Oraearon), "Sea-day," between Menelya and Valanya. They also altered the name of Aldúya to Aldëa (Orgaladh), to refer only to the White Tree. Hobbits used Westron translations of these names.

Days of the Week among Men and Hobbits:

Name in Gondor Archaic Hobbit name "Modern" Hobbit name Modern Equivalent
Elenya Sterrendei Sterday Monday
Anarya Sunnendei Sunday Tuesday
Isilya Monendei Monday Wednesday
Aldúya Trewesdei Trewsday Thursday
Menelya Hevenesdei Hevensday (or Hensday) Friday
Eärenya Meresdei Mersday Saturday
Valanya (or Tárion) Highdei Highday Sunday

In all regions the last day of the week was the chief day, of holiday after noon and evening feasts, thus corresponding more nearly with modern Sunday.

In the Shire, and later also in Bree, an innovation concerning the days of the week was implemented in the time of Isengrim II, in 1083 S.R. From that time on Mid-year's Day (and the Overlithe) were given no weekday name; this meant that every year began on the First Day of the week (Sterday) and ended on the last day (Highday). Unfortunately, nothing is known that would enable us to determine the correspondence between particular dates and days of the week according to the King's or Steward's Reckoning.

[The information in this essay is largely from Appendix D in The Return of the King, pp. 384-390; further information on the reckoning of time before the Second Age was found in The Silmarillion, pp. 38-39, and The History of Middle-earth, vol. 4, The Shaping of Middle-earth, p. 312. Page numbers may vary by edition.]

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Celandine Brandybuck

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Research Article

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/04/04

Original Post: 09/17/02

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