The Beginning of the End
There are 365 days in the year, split up into 12 months of 30 days each with 5 holidays that fall between some months. The names of the months are given in both the formal names and the common ones. The seasons run like they do for us; Hammer is like January and Flamerule is like July. Each week consists of ten days. The days do not have names, but are instead referred to by number: first-day, second-day, and so on. (Most people count using their thumbs as first-day; halflings, however, are famous for using their pinkies to count first-day, and thus the phrase “counting like a halfling” has come to mean someone is being different just to be difficult.)
Midwinter is a feast where, traditionally, the local lords of the land plan for the year ahead, make and renew alliances, and send gifts of goodwill. To the commonfolk throughout the Realms, this is Deadwinter Day, the midpoint of the worst of the cold.
Greengrass is the official beginning of spring, a day of relaxation.
Midsummer, called Midsummer Night or the Long Night, is a time of feasting and music and love. It is very rare indeed for the weather to be bad during this night—such is considered a very bad omen, usually thought to foretell famine or plague.
Highharvestide heralds the coming of fall and the harvest. It is a feast that often continues for the length of the harvest so that food is always on hand for those coming in from the fields.
The Feast of the Moon
This festival, also called Moonfest, is the last great festival of the year. It marks the arrival of winter and is also the day when the dead are honored. Graves are blessed, the Ritual of Remembrance is performed, and tales of the doings of those now gone are told far into the night. Much is said of heroes and treasure and lost cities underground.
Once every four years, another day is added to the year in the manner of February 29 in the Gregorian calendar. This day is part of no month and follows Midsummer Night. It is known as Shieldmeet. It is the day of open council between nobles and people, a day for the making and renewing of pacts, oaths, and agreements.
MARKING THE YEARS
The most widely recognized method of marking the years is Dale Reckoning (DR). Dalereckoning is taken from the Year of Sunrise, when the Standing Stone was raised by the elves of Cormanthor and the human Dalesfolk. Since this time, humans were permitted by the Elven Court to settle in the more open regions of the forests.