Klingon Holiday Speculation


         Several important dates exist in the Klingon calendar system. Some of these are examined here, along with conjecture on my part about their significance and method of dating. Some are commemorated weekly, some monthly, some yearly, and some by unique dating systems. 

         This is a far more speculative portion of this Klingon calendar examination than the other pages in this topic. There is also quite a bit of information used here that is not gained from novels connected to the Lit-verse. I have included all the information on Klingon holidays I could, regardless of its' connectivity with the rest of the literary continuity. None of the speculation here is contrary to anything in the Lit-verse continuity, but it does contain quite a bit of theorizing on my part. If anyone out there wants to offer changes to some of these speculations to make the overall system more coherent, I would love to hear your ideas.  And anyone, including any Star Trek authors, are totally free to use any of this for whatever purpose they would like.

The Origin of the Klingon Dating System

The Evidence

         The Kenson-Bennett Klingon Calendar begins in 1375. The years of the system are referred to in canon and in the Lit-verse as "the year of Kahless." However Kahless lived around the 9th or 10th Century according to TNG: "Rightful Heir" and DS9: "The Sword of Kahless." Given the Kenson-Bennett Calendar's assumption that Klingon years roughly correspond to Earth years, this leaves us with the conclusion that Year of Kahless 1 cannot be Kahless' birth year, death year, or any other event surrounding Kahless' actual life.

My Speculation

         One important event in Klingon history did occur around the 14th Century: the Hur'q Invasion. According to TLE: The Art of the Impossible, after the defeat of the Hur'q, the Hero Ch'gran constructed a fleet of warships from Hur'q technology and was the first Klingon to venture into the stars. Whether it was this occasion, the defeat of the Hur'q, or some other specific date, it appears the Klingons reckon time from some event in this era of history.

         It seems likely that the first system the Klingons would have devoted their effort to visit is Boreth. I speculate that the Empire restarted their calendar at Year of Kahless 1 on the day that Ch'gran set foot on Boreth, and that Ch'gran planned this event to coincide with the start of a new year under the old numbering system. So only the year changed, not the days and months. In my speculations below, it is assumed that this took place on 48 A'Kahless, the same day Kahless had made The Promise centuries before to return to Boreth, and then departed this life. The next full day, 1 Jo'Vos, is the first day of Year of Kahless 1. With 48 A'Kahless being the last day of the week, the day of The Promise, the eighth day of each week is therefore a holy day in Klingon culture.

Kahless' Birthday

The Evidence

         Kahless' birth date has never been mentioned in canon or the literature. However speculation on its' timing is part of my overall dating scheme here.

My Speculation

         If Kahless' was born on 48 A'Kahless, that explains why the month seems to be named after him. Then the first full day after that would be the start of the Klingon year, 1 Jo'Vos. I speculate that the first day of each month is set aside for celebration and religious observance in Klingon culture, in honor of the start of Kahless' life. This comes into more importance below.  In my system of speculation, however, there is widespread doubt over the exact date of Kahless' birth in modern times. The coincidence of Kahless being born on the exact date that history also records The Promise takes place has led many to refrain from commemorating the first of each month.

Empire Union Day

The Evidence

         In the audio reference "Conversational Klingon," Empire Union Day is said to take place "in the third month." It honors the uniting of the Klingon people into the First Empire by Kahless the Unforgettable. The third month under my version of the Kenson-Bennett calendar is Lo'Bral.

         As we've seen in the examination of the Klingon Defense Force's calendar system, they seem to reckon each year as beginning on 14 Lo'Bral, 109 days after the start of the Kenson-Bennett Klingon year.

My Speculation

         I speculate that Empire Union Day takes place each Klingon year on 14 Lo'Bral, and it is this occasion that the Klingon Defense Force is reckoning the start of their year by. Perhaps in order to avoid the controversy surrounding the dating of Kahless's birth, they simply placed the start of their log dating system on an unrelated, but still major, commemoration.


         This completes the triumvirate of important events in the life of Kahless, his coming, his uniting of the Klingon people, and his departure and promise to return.  Other commemorations of lesser events in Kahless' life, and other holidays mentioned below, all depend on these three occasions for the determination of their dating.


The Day of Honor

The Evidence

         The most widely known holiday of the Klingon year is the Day of Honor. Eight Days of Honor have been depicted onscreen or in the books and comics, and one other has been mentioned. Their timings during the year have never been consistent during any of those usages. Fandom has commonly placed the Day of Honor on March 23rd in the Earth calendar, in honor of the airdate of the first appearance of the Klingons in "Errand of Mercy." However this date does not align with any of the specific dates given for the Days of Honor shown onscreen on in the literature.

TOS: Day of Honor- Treaty's Law

  • Stardate 3629. This calendar date is hard to nail down because of the inexact nature of TOS stardates. But it is sometime in 2267 or 2268.

TNG: Day of Honor- Ancient Blood

  • There is very little chronological information to go on in the novel. Alexander is said to be 12 years old, so it must occur late in the service of the Enterprise-D. Alexander's age onscreen was always problematic. His mother died around his first birthday, yet he later said he was three at the time. Perhaps those around him were in the habit of "converting" his age to the equivalent human age, since Klingons develop faster than humans. He was said to be nearing 13 in "Firstborn" during 2370. So this probably takes place at some point that year or the years surrounding.

DS9: Day of Honor- Armageddon Sky

  • April 13, 2372. Two chronological clues in this novel point us to this exact date. Worf says that the upcoming Day of Honor will take place on the fourth day of the ninth month under the Klingon calendar. It is also said to have been about 100 days since the events of "The Way of the Warrior."  The stardate for that episode converts to January 5, 2372. Around one hundred days after this would be some time in April 2372. 
  • As I've explained elsewhere, these two facts are what has led me to adjust the last (ninth) month of the Klingon year from Christopher L. Bennett's iteration of the Kenson-Bennett Klingon calendar from Nay'Poq to A'Kahless. The months still fall in the same order, but under my version, A'Kahless would be the final month of the previous year, instead of the first month of the following year. 
  • This results in allowing the "fourth day of the ninth month" to become 4 A'Kahless 997. And this falls into the one hundred days after "The Way of the Warrior" timeframe we are looking to coincide with. The Klingon date then converts to April 13-14, 2372 for this Day of Honor.

VOY: Day of Honor- Her Klingon Soul

  • Stardate 49588 occurs a short span of time after the Day of Honor in this novel. This date converts to August 3, 2372. So the (apparently second) Day of Honor this year is in very late July or very early August 2372, about three and a half months after the one depicted in the Deep Space Nine novel.

DS9 (Young Adult): Day of Honor- Honor Bound

  • There is very little chronological info in the this novel, but it takes place early in Worf's tenure on Deep Space Nine. However this can't be the same Day of Honor as the one seen in the Deep Space Nine novel.

Star Trek Unlimited comic story: "The Warrior"

  • This story is full of contradictory chronological information. Worf is said to be part of the House of Mogh and is wearing a Star Trek: First Contact style uniform, so it must take place in late 2373 or later. However he encounters Lursa's infant son, who was born in late 2370 or early 2371. It is impossible to reconcile these data points. However, the fact that Lursa's son is still an infant seems to be more integral to the story than the other clues, so an earlier date would be preferable.

Marvel DS9 Issue 13: Day of Honor

  • Stardate 50796. This converts to October 18, 2373. However, this issue is part of the Telepathy War crossover event, which spans many days, and the stardates for each issue are all the same. This error would give us some leeway if necessary for the exact date of this Day of Honor.

Voyager episode: "Day of Honor"

  • No exact stardate is given for this episode. It is even debatable what the stardates for the surrounding episodes would be. It was the third episode of season 4 aired, though it was the fourth produced. No details in the episodes themselves would be contradicted by either order. So we can't concretely narrow the surrounding stardates down to any closer than between 51008 (4x02) and 51186.2 (4x05). These stardates convert to January 3, 2374 and March 9, 2372. So this Day of Honor must take place at some point between these two dates. This is a short amount of time  after the Day of Honor depicted in the DS9 comic.
  • The novelization mentions the events of the Voyager Day of Honor novel as being the previous Day of Honor, thereby ignoring the Day of Honor mentioned in the Marvel DS9 comic.

The Klingon Art of War

  • No specific date is given, only a mention that a Day of Honor falls in the year 2383.

         So we are left with only this concrete information on when Days of Honor occur, which is neither consistent about the time of year, nor the duration between celebrations.

  • April 13, 2372
  • Late July or Early August 2372
  • Mid October 2373
  • January or February 2374
My Interpretation

         Given the fact that the two Days of Honor B'Elanna commemorates are said to be concurrent celebrations (despite the fact that they occur more than one Klingon year apart, and despite the fact that another Day of Honor takes place between them) I decided  to divide the four dated celebrations into sets of two. A "High Day of Honor" and a "Low Day of Honor." This accounts for B'Elanna only bothering to take note of the "High Day of Honor", while the "Low Day of Honor" celebrations are only mentioned by Worf and Martok, who would be more observant of a lesser Klingon occasion.

High Days of Honor

  • Late July or Early August 2372 (VOY: HKS)
  • January or February 2374 (VOY Episode)

Low Days of Honor

  • April 13, 2372 (DS9: AS)
  • Mid October 2373 (Marvel DS9 13)

         Under this way of looking at things it becomes interesting that each Day of Honor is separated by one and a half Klingon (or Earth) years. And the spaces between each set of High and Low Days of Honor could also be interpreted as similar; about three and a half Earth months.

My Speculation

         These four dates led me to speculate a comprehensive system for timing the celebration of the Day of Honor. The High Day of Honor and the Low Day of Honor are separated by 16 Klingon weeks. Each cycle of Days of Honor take place 1.5 Klingon years apart. 

         The exact Klingon dates are:

Set One

  • 4 A'Kahless (Low)
  • 36 Soo'jen (High)

Set Two (1.5 years later)

  • 28 Maktag (Low)
  • 12 Xan'lahr (High)

         In Earth dates this can be shown (in the early 2370s) as:

Set One

  • Around April 13 (Low)
  • Around July 31 (High)

Set Two (1.5 years later)

  • Around October 13 (Low)
  • Around January 29 (High)

         Thus this pattern repeats itself every three Klingon years.

         Despite being spaced 1.5 Klingon years apart, each set of Days of Honor is said to occur yearly. A somewhat complex system of counting the days between Days of Honor allows both of these facts to be true simultaneously. The Klingons reckon each High Day of Honor as taking place one full Klingon year, or 432 days (jar), apart because not every single day is counted in arriving at that total.

         Several days each month do not count toward the 432 day total. The first of each month (a monthly day of commemoration of the coming of Kahless), the 8th day of each week (in honor of the day of the week of The Promise), and the 14th of each month (in honor of the date of the uniting of the Empire) are all sacred days. In Klingon culture, these days are more fitting for celebration and religious observance than active pursuit of honor in battle.

         Starting at the High Day of Honor, and counting through the appropriate 432 following days, we then arrive at the Low Day of Honor. The devout Klingon will then do a preliminary examination of their previous year's honorable deeds and determine his success in living an honorable life. The following 16 weeks (leading up to the full 1.5 Klingon year) are known as the Glory Quest, a final season of opportunity for honorable achievements. Then comes the High Day of Honor, celebrated as a major observance by all Klingons. Many traditional rituals are observed along with a final examination of honor for the year.

         This method of arriving at 432 days over the course of 1.5 Klingon years is illustrated below. Also keep in mind that the festival leap day each 5 years also does not count toward the total, as it is a celebratory day as well. Therefore this exact pattern repeats each three years, regardless of festival leap years.


Reexamination of the Evidence

         With this system of arriving at the dates of Days of Honor in mind, we can reexamine the mentions of the Day of Honor we looked at previously, and determine the success of this speculative explanation, and what dates the novels would therefore take place on.

TOS: Day of Honor- Treaty's Law

  • Stardate 3629. If we calculate the High Days of Honor in 2267 and 2268 the only one which falls in a similar range of stardates is 36 Soo'jen 893. This date converts to July 22-23, 2267. This falls into a very similar range of stardates around the episode "The Apple."

TNG: Day of Honor- Ancient Blood

  • We determined this novel should take place around 2370. I would speculate that it takes place on a High Day of Honor, and the nearest one would be 12 Xan'lahr 996. This date converts to January 28-29, 2371.

DS9: Day of Honor- Armageddon Sky

  • April 13, 2372. As I used this date as one of my most important establishing facts for developing this explanation, we know a Low Day of Honor falls on this day. The relevant Klingon date is 4 A'Kahless 997, which converts to the Earth date April 13-14, 2372.

VOY: Day of Honor- Her Klingon Soul

  • Stardate 59588 (August 3, 2372) occurs a few days after the Day of Honor in this novel. A High Day of Honor under my explanation takes place on July 31, 2372, working out acceptably.

DS9 (Young Adult): Day of Honor- Honor Bound

  • This story had no chronological details, besides taking place early in Worf's time on DS9. There is only one Day of Honor available for Worf to celebrate between "Armageddon Sky" and the "Day of Honor" comic. So this must be it.  July 31, 2372 fits the evidence for this story's placement quite well. So this story is concurrent with "Her Klingon Soul."

Star Trek Unlimited comic story: "The Warrior"

  • Another story without solid chronological data. But it seems very possible to me that this story could be set as Worf is returning to Deep Space 9 directly after the events of "Honor Bound." I would set it on the same Day of Honor, July 31, 2372.

Marvel DS9 Issue #19- Day of Honor

  • We made some allowance for the given stardate, 50796, to be a bit off for this comic. I assigned this exact date as October 13-14, 2373. This converts to around Stardate 50783. 

Voyager episode: "Day of Honor"

  • January or February 2374. The High Klingon Day of Honor which takes place during this span is January 29-30, 2374. This date would result in the stardate for this episode being around 51079. Incidentally, this stardate favors air date order for the rearranged episodes in early season 4.

The Klingon Art of War

  • The claim that a Day of Honor takes place in 2383 corresponds to my system, as at least one Day of Honor takes place each Earth year (at least during the era we are examining). This one falls on January 30.
Final Date List

         As an easy overview, I've calculated the Days of Honor as they would fall under this system for the 2360s-2380s. Low Days of Honor are followed by High Days of Honor in groups of two.

2360
2360
 
2361
2362

2363
2363

2364
2365

2366
2366

October 12-13, 2367
January 29-30, 2368

April 13-14, 2369
July 31, 2369

October 12-13, 2370
January 28-29, 2371

April 13-14, 2372
July 31, 2372

October 13-14, 2373
January 29-30, 2374

2375
2375

2376
2377

2378
2378

2379
2380

2381
2381

2382
2383

2384
2384

2385
2386

2387
2387

2388
2389

4 A'Kahless 985
36 Soo'jen 986

28 Maktag 987
12 Xan'lahr 987

4 A'Kahless 988
36 Soo'jen 989

28 Maktag 990
12 Xan'lahr 990

4 A'Kahless 991
36 Soo'jen 992

28 Maktag 993
12 Xan'lahr 993

4 A'Kahless 994
36 Soo'jen 995

28 Maktag 996
12 Xan'lahr 996

4 A'Kahless 997
36 Soo'jen 998

28 Maktag 999
12 Xan'lahr 999

4 A'Kahless 1000
36 Soo'jen 1001

28 Maktag 1002
12 Xan'lahr 1002

4 A'Kahless 1003
36 Soo'jen 1004

28 Maktag 1005
12 Xan'lahr 1005

4 A'Kahless 1006
36 Soo'jen 1007

28 Maktag 1008
12 Xan'lahr 1008

4 A'Kahless 1009
36 Soo'jen 1010

28 Maktag 1011
12 Xan'lahr 1011

4 A'Kahless 1012
36 Soo'jen 1013

28 Maktag 1014
12 Xan'lahr 1014
The Original Day of Honor

         One might speculate that the date of the Day of Honor was changed after the events of "Treaty's Law" and the tradition of uniting with one's enemies in commemoration of the events of that novel was added as well. If the Day of Honor predates those events, and had a different set of dates before hand, perhaps that final "original" Day of Honor took place on March 23, 2267. This would account in universe, in some way, for the tradition in fandom to celebrate the Day of Honor on March 23 each year.

         Indeed the Klingon Empire Travel Guide states that the Day of Honor predates the events of "Treaty's Law." It places the tradition's origins in the final years of Emperor Kaldon, not long after the era of Kahless.

         If the first High Day of Honor under this new system took place on 36 Soo'jen 893 (July 22-23, 2267), then the final instance of this hypothetical previous Day of Honor dating would be March 23, 2267. Interestingly this does end up taking place on the exact date of the episode "Errand of Mercy", the episode whose airdate many fans use to arrive at the assumption that the Day of Honor is March 23. This date converts to 36 Nay'Poq 892 for this final "original" Day of Honor.

         If the "original" Day of Honor dating system worked exactly like the one I have developed above, then the other High Day of Honor would take place 12 Maktag. By total coincidence the two dates are simply 3 months earlier than the their "new" counterparts. This ensures that the 432 day dating scheme works with these dates as well.

         So for years before Year of Kahless 893, the Day of Honor would fall on these dates, in a repeating three year pattern:

Year 1 (890): (NO DAYS OF HONOR THIS YEAR)
Year 2 (891): Low Day of Honor- 28 Jo'vos
                        High Day of Honor- 12 Maktag
Year 3 (892): Low Day of Honor- 4 Doqath
                        High Day of Honor- 36 Nay'Poq

Kot'baval Festival

The Evidence

         In the TNG episode "Firstborn", it is said that the Kot'baval Festival is the celebration of the defeat of the tyrant Molor by Kahless in single combat. Traditions observed this day include reenactments of this pivotal moment in Kahless' life. In 2370 this festival took place one day before Stardate 47779.4. That would mean it fell on October 11, 2370. This converts to 26 Maktag 996. 

         Also of note is that in the original document by Steve Kenson, the Kot'baval Festival was the start of the Klingon year, and Kahless' defeat of Molor took place in the Year of Kahless 0.  Neither of these facts have ended up working out with the system developed here.  The exact date of the Kot'baval Festival, at least in 2370, does not fall on the first day of the Klingon year.  And the evidence examined above about the event that took place on Year of Kahless 1 to begin the Klingon calendar shows that it could not be an event during the lifetime of Kahless.

My Speculation

         I speculate that, like the Day of Honor, as a religious commemoration, the Kot'baval Festival would calculate its' date based on the same method of skipping holy days in its' spacing of the celebration every year. However unlike the Day of Honor, nothing like the 16 week "Glory Quest" would be added to make the Festival fall every 1.5 years in a repeating pattern.  Instead only the 72 holy days of each Klingon year would be skipped in the count up to 432 Klingon days. So each year the Kot'baval Festival would take place 72 days (or 9 Klingon weeks) later than it did the previous year.

         With this in mind a date for the Kot'baval Festival could be easily calculated for any year, based on the starting date of 26 Maktag 996. Interestingly the Low Day of Honor in 2370 took place only two days after the Kot'baval Festival seen in TNG: "Firstborn."

         Returning to the idea from Steven Kenson's original document that the Kot'baval Festival took place at the start of Year of Kahless 0, it is interesting to consider that this could be true of my speculated "original" Klingon year count, before the calendar was reformed in the 14th century. However it is likely that this complex system of determining the date of the Festival would not have been developed immediately upon Kahless' defeat of Molor, so no exact year for this event can be determined based on this assumption.

QI'lop

The Evidence

         The audio reference "Power Klingon" tells of this Klingon Defense Force commemoration. It celebrates the superiority of the Klingon military. Much eating and drinking are done on this day, especially stuffed to'baj legs. As opposed to the dating given for Empire Union Day, which is said to occur "in the third month," the dating of this holiday is said to be "every tenth Klingon month."

My Speculation

         Making note of that distinction in the wording, I take "every tenth Klingon month" to mean that it happens not "in the tenth Klingon month" which would be impossible to reconcile with the Kenson-Bennett Klingon calendar, but rather that it occurs less often than once per year. This is the evidence I used to assume the dating for both QI'lop and the Kot'baval Festival are similar to the Day of Honor's dating system, taking place less often that yearly, because of the system of skipping certain holy days. 

         However in support of my idea above that the Klingon Defense Force has some issue with commemorating Kahless's birthday on the traditional date of 48 A'Kahless, I theorize a different frequency for celebrating QI'lop than the Kot'baval Festival. The controversial date of 48 A'Kahless is what leads 1 Jo'vos to being the start of the traditional Klingon year (as opposed to 14 Lo'Bral for the Klingon Defense Force), and thus leads the first of each month to be one of the days removed from Klingon  holidays day counting. This is not accepted for military holidays. So instead of 72 holy days per year being added to the spacing between observances of the Kot'baval Festival, for QI'lop only 63 holy days are counted. This results in QI'lop being celebrated every 10 months and 15 days. That aligns with a vague reading of the evidence from "Power Klingon." 

         As there has been no specific date for the QI'lop ever given, I have no evidence to develop the dating system any farther.  Any guess I make would be totally random. Granted there is A LOT of speculation on this page, but almost all of it is based on a least some glimmer of evidence from some source, or building upon that previous speculation. So in the face of absolutely no evidence, I will leave the exact date of QI'lop to others to determine.

Festival Leap Day

The Evidence

         As originated by Steve Kenson, the Kenson-Bennett calendar system includes a leap day every five years. This is called a festival year, and originally this day was added to the Kot'baval Festival, as it was said to occur at the start of the year. 

My Speculation

         I have not ended up being able to place the Kot'baval Festival at the start of the Klingon year, so this Festival Leap Day has to be its' own celebration, falling on 0 Jo'vos every fifth year.  And this day, as we have seen, is not counted in the determination of the date of any Klingon holiday, being skipped over.

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