When the Republic was first founded, more than 25,000 years ago, it had become clear that it was necessary to have a universal way to refer to the passage of time. Now that civilization was interstellar, the old methods of tracking time relative to one’s homeworld and its rotations and revolutions around its primary star simply weren’t practical, since every system had subtle differences—and sometimes drastic ones. So, among its first acts, the early Republic Senate created a standard calendar that did not precisely match that of any single system, but could be referred to universally. It is a testament to its utility that this calendar system has remained largely unchanged, save for the names of certain elements and the epochal events used to indicate the current year, since its original adoption.
The individual day more or less matches that of Coruscant, as do the subdivisions thereof: the hour, minute, and second. The length of an official standard galactic year is 368 days, consisting of 10 months broken into 7 weeks of 5 days apiece, with the addition of 3 special fete weeks and 3 holidays at various points. Although there is actually no system with a local stellar revolution that precisely matches this length of time, and, as such, local seasons wander across the calendar at various rates over time, the benefits of a universal notation to track the passage of time are undeniable.
Currently, the epochal event that demarcates the year notation in the Galactic Alliance is the Battle of Yavin, at which the first Death Star was destroyed and the war to restore the Republic system of government first turned against the Empire. Thus, the current year is marked on official and historical documents with the notation ‘ABY.’ In the Fel Empire, the year is still marked by the foundation of the Empire by then-Chancellor Palpatine, and so the current year is always 19 years further advanced than in the Alliance, and denoted by ‘NO’ for “the New Order.” In the Chiss Ascendancy, though they have adopted the standard calendar of the rest of the galaxy now that they have more regular contact with it, this has only been done within the last 75 years – previously the systems in Chiss space had their own standard calendar modeled after the movement of Csilla around its primary. As a nod to their history of independence, the Chiss have maintained their own year demarcation, which counts back to the original foundation of their government. This makes the year in the Chiss Ascendancy 4,960 years higher than in Alliance space. It is denoted by ‘AU’ for “After Unification.” The various factions within Hutt Space similarly use the standard galactic calendar to mark time. Unlike the other politically distinct regions of the galaxy, however, the Hutts do not bother to maintain a different year from the Alliance – much of their financial dealings are within Alliance space, and it simply isn’t worth the trouble to them to concern themselves with conversions, not to mention that it would be difficult to get any statistically significant number of Hutts to agree on a single event in history that is more important than that of each of their births. The systems in use for measuring time in other parts of the galaxy are either not known, or too provincial to be of note.
-New Year Festival Week (denoted as 01:00:XXX ABY – 05:00:XXX ABY)
Celebration of the New Year; festivities concluded with the Galactic Fair on Coruscant.
1. Killik (01:01:XXX ABY – 35:01:XXX ABY)
2. Vella (01:02:XXX ABY – 35:02:XXX ABY)
3. Notron (01:03:XXX ABY – 36:03:XXX ABY)
Remembrance Day (36:03:XXX ABY): Formerly Republic Day; celebrates both the founding of the Old Republic, and remembers the sacrifices of those who fought and died to bring down Palpatine’s Galactic Empire.
4. Ranadaast (01:04:XXX ABY – 35:04:XXX ABY)
5. Knylenn (01:05:XXX ABY – 36:05:XXX ABY)
Productivity Day (36:05:XXX ABY): This holiday celebrates what can be accomplished when peoples and cultures work together. Typically, though Productivity Day means a day off from work, individuals will form volunteer groups in their communities to perform good works and assist those in need.
6. Axum (01:06:XXX ABY – 40:06:XXX ABY)
-Festival of Life Week (denoted as 36:06:XXX ABY – 40:06:XXX ABY)
Celebration week marked by parties, get-togethers, and gift-giving.
7. Manderon (01:07:XXX ABY – 35:07:XXX ABY)
8. Hanna (01:08:XXX ABY – 36:08:XXX ABY)
Harvest Day (36:08:XXX ABY): This holiday celebrates the ‘harvest’ in all its forms. In some cultures, Harvest Day is a time for giving thanks; it is a reminder of the first harvest that supported long-term colonization. In other cultures, it is a time to give thanks for continued survival; in Mos Eisley on Tatooine, it is a celebration of the year’s water harvest.
9. Esseles (01:09:XXX ABY – 40:09:XXX ABY)
-Festival of Stars Week (denoted as 36:09:XXX ABY – 40:09:XXX ABY)
Festival week that celebrates interstellar space travel. Many beings took vacations to other planets to mark this occasion.
10. Faros (01:10:XXX ABY – 35:10:XXX ABY)