The Seasons tab in Fantasy Calendar allows you to add seasons to your calendar. Type the name for the season, and then press add, and it will create a new season for you to tweak.
If you are a 1.0 user, you might remember that the old site had date inputs for the seasons, which determined when they were in full effect. In 2.0, we have added two ways for a calendar can determine its seasons.
Date Based Seasons
Not much has changed here. The list of seasons are automatically sorted from the earliest season to the latest season based on their dates, and no two seasons can start on the same date.
Length Based Seasons
Length based seasons makes it so that the season has a static length that doesn't change year to year. This means that there is a risk that your seasons may 'drift' if the total season length is not equal to the average year length. If you have crazy leaping months and multiple leap days, you might need a very specific season duration to get a stable season. You can see a small indicator below the seasons that display whether your average year length is the same as your season length, which helps you configure the seasons' lengths to match your year.
The first input is the name of the season, and with most calendars this will usually be "Winter" or "Summer". This has little effect on the calendar, it's more for differentiating the seasons in the season list.
Date Based Seasons: Date
The next input is which Month the season should be in, together with the Day of that month. This input does not allow you to pick months or days that leap, as it would mess with the seasons significantly.
Length Based Seasons: Duration
If you have length based seasons, the next input is Duration, which is how many days it takes to get to the next season (if you have more than one season). The input accepts numbers equal or greater than 1, which will set the season's transition duration in days.
Length Based Seasons: Peak Duration
With length based seasons comes Peak Duration. This is many days the season remains in full effect. This is not to be confused with how long it takes to get to the next season, that purpose is delegated to Duration. Peak Duration is useful for users who wish to create a Game of Thrones-like seasonal system where the summer and winters can last for several generations, and then rapidly shift over the course of a single year. The input accepts numbers equal or greater than 0, which will set the season's flatter duration in days.
Regardless of which type of season you use, if you have your clock enabled, the next option will be visible, the Sunrise and Sunset inputs. They will accept numbers that equate to the sunrise and sunset for the current season. This will be shown on the clock with a visual representation of the sunset and sunrise.
For example, if you have two seasons and set each of them to have different sunrise and sunset hours and minutes, if you then advance the date, the clock will adjust its face to properly show when the sun would rise or set.
This is how the solstices and equinoxes are calculated with complex events (see below). This is why the blue button below the clock inputs is handy. If you have more than two seasons (ie, you've also added Spring and Autumn), it's hard to know what to put into the clock values to make the start of the middle seasons if the seasons aren't all equal length. This button, Interpolate sunrise & sunset from surrounding seasons, when clicked will make so that the sunrise and sunset values of this season become the calculated middle point of the previous and the next season.
If you have Length Based Seasons, this option is available to you. The first season begins on day 0, which means that if you want to have your solstices on different times than the start of your calendar, you'd need to offset it by a certain amount of days. In the case of the Gregorian calendar (the Earth calendar), an offset of -12 so that the Winter Solstice appears on the 21st or the 22nd of December. The input represents the amount of days that the start of the season should be shifted.
Create solstice and equinox events
This button allows you to easily create season events. By clicking it, you'll be prompted to select simple or complex season events.
Simple Season Events
This will create events based on the date that the season is set to.
- If you're using date based seasons, the event will be put at the exact date that you put into those seasons.
- If you're using length based seasons, the event will be put at the start of that duration, and the equinox will be put in the middle of the duration.
Complex Season Events
This button is only enabled if you have the clock enabled.
In our world, on Earth, we determined our solstices and equinoxes based on the length of the day. That means that the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the shortest day. The equinoxes are based on the day in the year that has an equal day and night length. This is how the complex season events work too.
If you set the sunrise and sunset times on your seasons, you will end up with a longest day and a shortest day in your year.
If you're still unsure how this works, open the events that the button created and take a look how the conditions are set up.