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The Discworld is the fictional setting for all of Terry Pratchett's Discworld fantasy novels. The Discworld calendar was first defined in a footnote in The Colour of Magic, and has been expanded upon in later novels and The Discworld Almanak (2004). It has numurous oddities, the chief of which is its length.
The calendar is based on a Great Year, or Astronomical Year, defined as the time it takes for the Disc to revolve once on the backs of the elephants. This lasts 800 days and contains two of each season (Midsummer occurs at a given point when the sun passes directly overhead, midwinter when it passes perpendicularly. However most people, especially farmers, consider four seasons to be a year, so an Agricultural Year of 400 days is used for most purposes.
The agricultural year is divided into 13 months:
- Ick (16 days) (the "Dead Month")
- Offle (32 days)
- February (32 days)
- March (32 days)
- April (32 days)
- May (32 days)
- June (32 days)
- Grune (32 days)
- August (32 days)
- Spune (32 days)
- Sektober (32 days)
- Ember (32 days)
- December (32 days)
Each week has eight days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Octeday.
The first of Ick is Hogswatchday, the Disc's New Year, and the winter solstice from the perspective of Ankh-Morpork. In the Astronomical Year the second midwinter (the year's midway point) is called Crueltide, but to people using the Agricultural Year this is the same festival.
The 32nd of December, or the day before the New Year, is known as Hogswatchnight. Traditionally associated with pig-killing, to ensure there is enough food for the rest of the winter. Many Hogswatch traditions are parodies of those associated with Christmas, including a decorated oak tree in a pot, strings of paper sausages, and, of course, a visit by the Hogfather. By tradition, witches do not leave the house on Hogswatchnight. No-one knows why, but that's not the point. This is true of a lot of Hogswatch traditions.
The name is a pun on "hogwash", Hogmanay and Watch Night.
In the Omnian religion, Hogswatchnight is called the Fast of St Ossory. Omnians "celebrate" with fasting, prayer meetings, and the exchange of religious pamphlets.