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Holidays of Avalon
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HMTaylor
Wed Oct 03 2012, 04:44AM
HMTaylor
Registered Member #22
Joined: Mon Aug 08 2011, 09:51AM
Posts: 204
There are twelve holidays which are commonly held all over Avalon. There is one holiday observed each month, though the specific date on which it is celebrated varies from region to region. Typically the commoners celebrate it sometime during the weekend of a noble gathering or market day.

January - Telling of the Cadence - Each community throughout Avalon has a person who leads the traditions for that year. This person is given a ceremonial title of "Cadent", or in some regions, "Master/Mistress of the Seasons". The Cadent is usually a local leader, though often not of the noble caste. He or she is responsible for ensuring that all the local
traditions are observed, including the Avalonian holidays. In January, the Cadent reads aloud the history of that land in a public square. This is done to get everyone mentally prepared for the coming season and the trials which lie ahead.

February - The Tournament of Lodai - The Tournament of Lodai is held in February of each year. Though the format of the tournament varies regionally, in many lands it is traditional for each contestant to use only a single one-handed weapon in the fight. There is a story associated with this tournament, detailing the triumph of Lodai over his father, Tarran.

During the eighth age, there was a great battle that stretched all over Avalon, called the War of the Great Cycle. Mortals battled many elementals,and each other. For his service, Tarran, a champion of the Barbaric people, was granted a boon by Death himself. He wished for immortality during the daytime and the nighttime. Unable to be killed, he demanded the service and fealty of every Barbarian. Tarran's son, Lodai, was disgusted with his father's hubris and tyranny, and would not serve him. Seeking to teach his son a lesson, Tarran attempted to kill his son. Lodai was burned by flame,
crushed by elephants, and drowned in the sea, but always emerged unharmed (storytellers typically embellish the various ways in which Tarran tried to kill Lodai). After a full night of surviving these trials, day broke. Lodai battled Tarran all day, until the dusk, when it was neither day nor night. In this moment of vulnerability, Lodai slayed his father and became champion of his people.

March - The Festival of Desatha - named for a Dwarven hero of the first Dark War, in the ninth cycle of ages. In a great battle, Desatha's axe had nine shatter spells cast upon it but did not break. When he returned from the war, he hung this weapon above the threshold to his manor as a display of its superior craftsmanship. Others followed suit, hanging items important to them above their door. To this day, it is common to hang something representing one's trade above the front door. This is done in respect for the tools one uses to live. Warriors will hang a sword above their door, whereas mages may display spell books. Farmers commonly mount sickles and merchants often hang a small pouch of copper or silver pieces. The theft of an object stolen during Desatha is believed to bring extremely bad luck, perhaps even arousing the ire of fallen Desatha himself.

April - The Feast of the Rain - During the month of April, the people of Avalon praise to the rain which will water the young crops. It is traditional to take a cup of water and sprinkle it on a young plant. In jest, some people splash water on their friends. In the evening, a feast is held. Everyone in attendance toasts together, using a glass of water.

May - The Spring Hunt (known as the cortage hunt) - there is debate whether this holiday originated first in the Ash Forest of Evendarr or in the Sarr Kingdom of Myrr. Both cultures celebrate the tradition in a similar way. A young and quick member of the community is chosen, called the Cortage. All
those who participate in the Hunt will gather at the edge of the forest. Every participant gives the Cortage a leaf or petal, representing youth, fertility, and good wishes. The Cortage has one minute to run into the woods, before the hunters give chase. All one needs to do to "capture" the Cortage is to tap him with the flat of one's blade. The Cortage tries to evade capture for one hour. If someone successfully captures the Cortage, that person is celebrated as that season's Hunter. If the Cortage is not captured within the hour, the Cortage becomes the Hunter. The Hunter is given respect and praise. Elves, Sarr, and those who feel a close kinship with nature will take it upon themselves to join the Hunter and protect him or her at all costs.

June - Petal-Moon - In the month of June, during the weekend of the Petal-Moon, it is common to give a flower or small gift to someone you admire. If the recipient accepts this token of affection, he or she will wear the token openly. As such, many courtships and romances begin in the month of May.

July - Midsummer - Midsummer is one of the oldest Avalonian holidays. It originated in Quentari during the third cycle, before the arrival of humankind. Though most Midsummer celebrations aren't as elaborate as the Quentari tradition, there is one element which is common. Each village, city, and settlement builds a fire. This fire wards off bad luck in the coming autumn. Everyone present fetches at least one piece of tinder to help build the fire. In cities, this becomes a large bonfire, with the entire populous dancing and celebrating in its light. At the very least, a campfire must be built, or it is believed an ill fate will befall the area in the Autumn.

August - Open Air Festival - Various crafts and talents are on display during this festival. Artisans and musicians garner good luck by playing or presenting their work during the Open Air Festival. Conversely, it is considered very bad luck not to tip musicians who fill the air with their music.

September - Feast of the Mentor - For one weekend in September, Avalonians celebrate the Feast of the Mentor. Veterans and those of experience pick out someone who is new to the community. The experienced will take the ward under his wing and guides him by word and deed for the duration of the weekend. The ward's last act of the weekend is to wait on his mentor for dinner.

October - All Hallow's Eve - In October, the graveyards grow closer to Tyrra. It is thought that those who dwell in the land of the dead will be able to hear stories told about their deeds. Tales are recounted of fallen friends and departed heroes. If possible, one should toast to a lost friend when the graveyards are closest, at midnight.

November - Winter Sacrifice - In November, it is customary for each person to make a sacrifice of some sort. The sacrifice is intended to ward off a harsh winter. If a monster or animal is killed, the celebrant will declare that kill property of the winter. If one isn't capable of or is unwilling to kill a living creature, an offering of gold is buried in the ground. A traditional dedication is "Look here, Winter Wind, look here. I am so-and-so, and I dedicate this offering to you."

December - The Nights of Light - As the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer, Avalonian people once feared the sun would disappear and never return. To protect against this fate, they would bring lights into the home, putting candles in their windows. During the Nights of Light, a ceremony which lasts a full week, no work is done. People stay at home with their families and friends and exchange gifts and other tokens of good will.
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HMTaylor
Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:02PM
HMTaylor
Registered Member #22
Joined: Mon Aug 08 2011, 09:51AM
Posts: 204
An OOG note about this post:
I sent this as a PM to a person but just in case there are other people who have the same thoughts~

This is not an exclusive list, there can be other holidays. It is a sampling of holidays inspired from several different cultures and not just Evendarr. One of the holidays is of Quentari, another is from a Dwarven Kingdom.

I would love to add "holidays of X place" under it and have a whole thread of holidays for different places if you want to submit them.

[ Edited Fri Oct 05 2012, 03:53PM ]
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