Perhaps the most perplexing issue the delegates of the Great Sync faced was defining a calendar system. The delegates all agreed that a calendar was needed to organize social and religious events, as well as to coordinate commercial and administrative actions, but most were at a loss in regards to what cycles should be based upon. Most linear calendars were based on solar or lunar cycles, but the motions of heavenly bodies did not apply to the Plex.
Some delegates favored simply selecting the most accurate linear calendar and using that, but there were inherent problems with this. For starters, keeping track of dates could get confusing if the calendar of the Plex too closely resembled the linear calendar of a GTL. More importantly linear calendars depended on linear dates as a starting point. That didn’t work in the Plex since all linear dates existed simultaneously. A new system had to be devised and it needed to be based on time within the Plex.
Agreeing on the length of the Plex calendar was relatively simple. Human biorhythms move at the same pace in the Plex as they do in linear time, so it was agreed that the length of a year in the Plex should be similar to a year of linear time, although precise calculation of a true solar year (365.24237 days) was not necessary.
The winning calendar system was proposed by delegates from Olmecca. They proposed a modified version of the Mayan long count calendar. The system designated 18 months, each composed of 20 days for a total of 360 days per year. Further, it counted years using a base 20 system:
- 20 years per tun
- 20 tuns per katun
- 20 katuns per baktun
Most delegates liked this simple, elegant system. However, the delegates were divided on whether 360 days in a year was close enough to a linear year. While five fewer days in a year did not seem like much, over the course of a lifetime it could mean the difference of a full year. This debate stretched on for weeks. Finally the delegates from Inkarri proposed a solution. To maintain simplicity, each cycle above a month would add five ‘non-days’ to a year. So each year would have five extra days. Each tun would add five more extra days. Each katun would add five more extra days. And each baktun would add five MORE extra days, essentially resulting in an extra month each 8000 years.
This solution, while slightly longer than a true solar year (365.263125 days vs. 365.24237 days), was simple, easy to track, and differed enough from most linear calendars to avoid confusion. The delegates of the Great Sync were satisfied that the system would work. The only issue left was to decide on a starting date for the calendar. On this issue there was complete agreement among all of the delegates. The starting date (220.127.116.11.1.1) would be the winter solstice prior to first date in Antoine Eco’s journal, Deceber 22, 1154.
Tempor Months and Days
The month names in the tempor calendar are based on the Mayan calendar. In order, the months are:
There are two 10 day weeks per month. Each week has five waxing days and five waning days:
Most tempors use the first and last day of the week (Imix-in and Imix-de) as days of rest – the linear equivalent of a weekend.
Side note: I’m working on a date conversion calendar so stay tuned for that. Check back next week as we return to our series on life in the Plex: History of the Plex, Part 7.