The Oxford Companion to the Year explores the fascinating history of calendars in general and our own in particular. The calendar used in the West today is just one of a multitude of systems for parcelling up time and naming its divisions. Each of its days has over the centuries acquired its own peculiar significance: the feast day of a saint, the celebration of a historical event, the subject of prose or poetry, the commemoration of a significant historical figure. And for these feasts and seasons there has grown up a rich body of traditions, beliefs, and superstitions, many of them only half-remembered today. Now, for the first time, this body of knowledge is combined with a wide-ranging survey of calendars in an authoritative, absorbing Companion. The first section of The Oxford Companion to the Year is a day-by-day survey of the calendar year, revealing the history, literature, legend, and lore associated with each season, month, and date.The second part is a broader study of time-reckoning: historical and modern calendars, religious and civil, are explained, with handy tables for the conversion of dates between various systems, and special attention is given to the calculation of Easter.
There is a helpful index to facilitate speedy reference. This is a unique reference source, an indispensable aid for all historians and antiquarians, and a rich mine of information, inspiration, and delight for browsers.