Samstag, 21. Oktober 2017

Thursday, 20 October 2941 T.A.: The last new moon of autumn

Two men observing the first light of the new moon
(
Caspar David Friedrich, 1819/20)
Which is not Durin's Day!

Not yet. On this day, in 2941 T. A., the moon was for the last time in autumn closest to the sun, but it was of no help for Bilbo and the Dwarves. For the occurrence of Durin's Day - and, hence, the possibility of opening the Secret Door - was dependent not on the astronomical event but of the first actual sighting of the moon and the sun in the sky together. English does not seem to have its own term for that event: in German it is called Neulicht "new light" and distinct from Neumond "new moon".

Since the weather is a factor here, too, this might of course mean that Moria would at times celebrate a different Durin's Day than Erebor or the Iron Hills. Strange enough that this tradition had been forgotten by Thorin's people. Maybe, like in the ancient Jewish culture, the pronunciation of the new Dwarvish year had been left to a few selected specialists (priests) - all of which Smaug had burnt up?