November 13, 2012

Hari Ragat: Calendar

The Vijadesan year is based on the cycles of the moon, but is also linked to the cycles of life as dictated by the monsoons. Months are held to begin and end at the full moon.

sunset over the paddies, Bukidnon

Waisaka
The first month of the year celebrates the Creation of the world and the triumph of Aman Bathala over the Serpent, as well as the rice harvest. The month begins with the hard work of harvest, and ends with feasts, marriages, and gift-giving. Corresponds to November.

Pagdayo
This month is named Pagdayo, “arrival,” because it is the month when the northeast monsoon is expected to bring the first traders from the northern lands of Tien Xia and Lu Tzu. Corresponds to December.

Paglayag
Clear, cool weather and constant winds from the northeast make this the ideal season for trading expeditions and raids by sea, thus its name of Paglayag, “sailing season.” Sailing is relatively easy going south or west, a little more difficult going north or east. Raiders are most active during this month and the next. Corresponds to January.

Tawagang-Usa
This month is the peak of the deer rut, when the jungles resound to the challenge calls of stags, thus its name – “the calling of the deer.” Hunters take advantage of the deer’s distraction to harvest venison and enjoy the sport of the chase. Raiders active.  Corresponds to February.

Daung Habagat
This hot month marks the turning of the monsoons, as sometime during the month the weather becomes increasingly humid, heralding the rains to come. The month’s name means “arrival of the Habagat monsoon.” This however is the month for people of the southern Janggalans to sail north. Raiders active. Corresponds to March.

Makulog
This hot, humid month is marked by frequent thunderstorms, thus its name, “the time of thunder.” It marks the start of the rainy season in earnest. Traders from the south visit the northern islands, specially the wealthy kingdoms on Irayon, Namaya and Tundok. Raiders start to return to their home islands. Corresponds to April.

Punlaan
Its name meaning “sowing,” this month marks the end of the dry season and is the time for planting rice. There are usually no wars at this time, as most of the available fighting men are busy planting.  Corresponds to May.

Bantayan
This rainy month is named for the main occupation of every community’s men and boys, that of watching over the rice fields. Birds, deer, and wild boar often try to eat the young rice shoots, and only a close watch day and night will keep the crops from disaster.  Corresponds to June.

Bagyuhan
This month typically sees at least five or six typhoons roaring through the islands, moving across them from the southeast to the northwest. This is the time of the heaviest rains and the most dangerous sailing conditions.  Corresponds to July.

Amandusa
The hungriest month, its name means “Father of Woe.” By this month the stores from the last rice harvest are usually running low, and bad weather often prevents fishing or hunting; hunger is thus a constant threat until the harvest. Corresponds to August.

Daung Amihan
The end of the rainy season, this month’s name means “arrival of the Amihan monsoon.” The weather starts to turn cool and clear, though rain is still frequent.  Corresponds to September.

Paghinog
The clear, dry Amihan weather has set in by this month, giving the rice a chance to ripen in the sun. Farmers pray the rain and storms have ceased, and look forward to the harvest. Corresponds to October.

The Vijadesans do not have the concept of the week, but instead refer to the day in relation to the phases of the moon. For example, a Vijadesan challenge to a duel may stipulate that the combat be held “at high noon on the fourth day of the waning moon in the month of Waisaka.”

[Note: this calendar is entirely fictional.  It’s not based on any of the native Filipino calendars, which are actually more complex as they’re entirely lunar.  I have however tried to maintain themes that evoke life in the pre-Hispanic era, such  as the importance of the rice harvest, raiding season, deer hunting season, etc.  The calendar’s still in the works, so comments and suggestions would be most welcome!]

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