by T.A. Saunders ©2010 v1.2
The following is a list of holidays celebrated across Imarel; some are only celebrated in certain nations, others are celebrated across the world. Notations for such will be marked with each holiday and holidays will be separated by the Terran and Imarelian month they take place on. Since the Asyndi were the first to make many of these holidays, they are noted in their language. Some are Elvish holidays Humans have adopted and still others are exclusively holidays celebrated by certain races.
Tiri 1, The New Year (Imarel-Wide): The celebration of the New Year is as it is in many cultures with wild celebrations and festivals. Many pubs and taverns will give free drinks on this night and it is customary to gather at the city’s square, regardless of the weather to sing and dance the New Year in. In Sundown, the Coliseum is opened at night for special games and war reenactments to celebrate years gone by. The Asyndi never celebrated the coming of a new year; this custom was started with the Humans, who picked up the tradition from the Kaal`Kor Dwarves of Ishaela.
Tiri 21, Ghanos D`Shael (Tal`Rah and Zoda): Ghanos D`Shael, or Festival of Lost Spirits is an Asyndi holiday other races have adopted, to remember friends and loved ones lost during times of war. It is a holiday that black and silver are used and special sweet cakes made from orashoo fruit and honey are made. While a sober occasion, there is a measure of celebration on this holiday, where drinks are shared and tales of those lost are told in fond memory of their lives and deeds.
Karo 11, Rasa Belogh (Sovereignty of Anthalas): This holiday commemorates the defeat of the Dragons at the gates of D`Mir and the close of the War of the Betrayers. Not celebrated anywhere else on Imarel, perhaps for obvious reasons, the Shar`Vaire take particular relish in this holiday and celebrate it with war reenactments across the Sovereignty and fireworks displays in Anthalas City.
Karo 20, Festival of Hearts (Tal`Rah, Zoda and Shalzaar): The Festival of Hearts was originally an Elvish Holiday that Humans and later other races have adopted into their own culture. The festival favors the colors white, pink and red to symbolize love and affection. This celebration involves giving gifts of candy and sweets to loved ones, as well as small gifts of affection. This holiday is not only for showing affection to those beloved, but to those friends dear to one’s heart.
Jah’ti 3, Mirshiana Dal-Ryn (Windsong Republic, Grand Duchy of Brookshire and Kingdom of Vyss): Mirshiana Dal-Ryn is an Elvish and Human holiday that celebrates the arrival of Elves and Humans to Imarel, from Ishaela and those who died to make the voyage possible. This holiday is a somber one that require those who celebrate it to dress in white and wear a simple silver ring or necklace. Silver is Zorah’s metal and white is a color of mourning on Imarel. Stories are told by bards in the street, hailing the heroes of Am-Shei and their valiant sacrifice against the vampires and Khavos.
Jah’ti 10, Bahla Riguhn (Windsong Republic): A holiday celebrated almost exclusively in Tashran, it is a festival of many gods and many decadences. It’s said that during the week that Bahla Riguhn takes place, all of Tashran loses its mind in a glorious euphoria of thistleweed, wine, and hard partying. The temples in Tashran put together large parades that citizens attend, where they aim to catch little baubles and sweet foods thrown from the floats. It is as extravagant as it is enthralling, and having the biggest and most extravagant parade is often a point of contention and pride for local churches. The main gods of the holiday are Wijennah, Vanidyr, Cihal, Nahzaheer, Trent, and Jadaia, with the local Kaalian church throwing a big party on the last day of the celebration. However, this is by no means a holiday for just those gods.
Jah’ti 21, Lasa Jirune (Imarel-Wide): This is a celebration of the coming of Lasa, renewed life and warmer weather. Celebrated with green and silver, this holiday is marked with parades, festivals and games of skill across Imarel. Lasa Jirune is also a time for traveling carnivals to come to cities and add to the celebration. Music and general merry-making are both expected and demanded in taverns and pubs everywhere. Elves in particular enjoy this holiday and will often have bonfires on the eve of and the night of this holiday to celebrate. Lasa Jirune is also celebration of life, both literally and as concept. Shei and Humans populations in particular have a small ‘baby-boom’ nine months after this particular holiday!
Bira 9, Shimzune Kagasaki (Taijun): This holiday commemorates the selection of the first Shogun (Warlord) of Taijun by the Vocorian terrestrial god, Adnor. After much war between rebels, led by Scythe-Witches and the Samurai loyal to the Emperor, Adnor stepped in and arbitrated a peace between the two warring factions, which eventually led to the current political system, where a samurai of great distinction is chosen, rather than a royal bloodline. Celebrations consist of small children singing songs for Adnor, while a procession of paper lantern-carrying men and women wearing kimonos tours the city. Reenactments of the battles between Samurai and Scythe-Witches and plays dedicated to the era are also common.
Bira 28, Founding Day (Windsong Republic): Founding Day is the celebration of the founding of Windsong in 520 AC when Mourne Dur`lane gave the entire eastern quarter of Tal`Rah, once controlled by the Shar`Vaire Empire to the Grand Duchy of Brookshire, to populate with all the excess refugees displaced during the War of Eternals. This day is celebrated with citizens of the Republic dressing in the official colors of the nation, which are blue white and silver. Republic banners and flags are flown everywhere and great feasts are held in honor of Windsong and the nation that blossomed from its founding.
Jirah 5, Jhar Noch Jharga (Zoda): A holiday celebrated by the Voraath and many Northlanders who call the Voraath friends, the name Jhar Noch Tur roughly means Day of Days in the Voraath language. This particular day marks the crossing of the first free Voraath into the lands of Zoda where they would eventually conquer the Masoq in their way and claim the sub-continent as their own to wander. This day is celebrated by contests of drinking and combat skills. Northlanders compete right alongside Voraath, which is looked upon with great admiration and honor for the Voraathi people’s part. This holiday is also when non-Voraath earn the title Vrog Danok, or Warrior-Born. This great honor is bestowed to those who have fought and bled alongside the Voraath people, have learned their language, customs and are viewed as Voraath in the eyes of the tribes.
Jirah 16, Banah Lor (Kingdom of Farwind): A holiday commemorates the unification of the Quar`Vess and Xinntu Dragon peoples for the common goal of peace and advancement through knowledge. This is also considered a celebration of the founding of Farwind in 514 BF. This day is celebrated with a great festival held on the third tier, The Court of Lights. There is Master Bard chosen for this event each year as an honorific position; this individual is tasked with going around the Court of Lights, singing and telling stories of the Xinntu Dragons and the ancient Quar`Vess sorcerer-kings of old, so their heritage is not forgotten. It is also common practice for inspiring magi to take their Test of Sorcery on this day.
Jirah 22, Kalasina-Iru Sirailor (Kingdom of Vyss): The name of this holiday literally translates into Dawn-Breaking Day in the Elvish language. This day celebrates the Shadow Elves’ return to the surface world and their solidarity as a people against those who have oppressed them. It is tradition to wear golden robes on this holiday and celebrate the rise of the sun and its setting with songs and dances performed throughout the night. Since Shadow Elves are sensitive to sunlight, they conduct this time of celebration beginning at sunset and continuing to sunrise the next day.
M’saro 22, Nisa Jirune (Imarel-Wide): The coming of the season of Nisa is celebrated on this day, across Imarel. Outdoor activities, such as swimming contests, barefoot dances and games of skill are commonplace on this day. The Festival of Flame is also a part of this holiday, where seers and priests across Imarel pay homage to Kaal, who it is said favors this season. The colors of this day are bright red and gold, to celebrate the warmth and light of this season. Children are often given magic Sparkle Candles that blaze with a sparkling flame that does not burn but changes color. The children are supposed to take these candles and bring them to the Temple of Kaal in their city, in return for a sweet treat.
M’Saro 28, Brightest Dawn (Imarel-Wide): As a celebration to commemorate the defeat of the Avatar of Fear, people across Imarel pay homage to the many people and the heroes who died both on that day and throughout the Second Godswar. The celebration begins at dawn, where a morning vigil of song is conducted, followed by a carnival-style fair in the afternoon, where various candies, fruits and fried snacks are sold. In the evening, at sunset, white candles are placed within windows as a means to remember the dead.
Tano 10, Rinah es Lor (Imarel-Wide): This holiday is to pay homage to the Spirits of Imarel, regardless what sphere of influence they may stem from. It is a day of story-telling and learning, where tales of the origins of the Spirits are told and those mightiest of heroes that have made the ascension to Spirit-hood. Largely a quiet holiday, it is celebrated in greater part by seers and those who worship a particular Spirit over the Old Gods. Priests and Seers of a particular Spirit in some of the larger cities across Imarel, will often go to taverns to tell these tales and expect hospitality from these establishments.
Kasita 12, Dimar Taviq (Irys): This holiday is to commemorate the return of the Zissah to the surface of Irys where they had been banished for over several decades as they evaded the Shar`Vaire within underwater caves. Days of celebration are rare amongst the reptilian people, as the Spirit of Tranquility requires they do not revel too often, nor remain somber for great lengths of time, so when this holiday comes around the Zissah take great relish in it, with wild parties within every city and village, where bright yellow robes are worn by the men and red robes are worn by the women. While dressed in this fashion, they dance in the street with brightly colored streamers on long sticks. Often women will throw their robes in the air and the male who catches the robe on their streamer stick (called an uzak) may have that female’s attention for the day.
Kasita 22, Uba Lasoona (Albadosia): The Uba Lasoona is a celebration of the founding of the unified nation of Albadosia, under the rulership of the first Warlock King Albados Mahrana. Before this unification, Albadosia had been a collection of feuding city-states that left the region submerged in conflict for over 300 years. The celebration of this day calls for lowborn citizens to bring their eldest, unwed daughter to be brought to a procession that runs the entire royal quarter of Kazban. As the procession makes its way around, noblemen are free to simply take a girl out of the procession and claim her as his for the next 24 hours.
In that time, the nobleman is expected to copulate with the claimed girl as much as possible, to give her a nobleborn bastard. If a child is produced from the Uba Lasoona, the family of the girl is given minor title and the mother and bastard are seen to financially. Many Albadosian families see this tradition as a blessing for a normally impoverished lower class. The tradition itself is believed to come from a time where there was so much bloodshed between the city-states that noble princes would have to rely on bastards to continue their bloodlines.
Irasi 10, The Festival of the Huntress (Tallis-Kah Territories, Windsong Republic, Kingdom of Vyss, Kingdom of Moonfall): This day is the closest Ishaela comes to Imarel; the night sky is quite literally filled by the blue moon Ishaela as it crests across the Ring of Falling. This is a solemn occasion where druids across Imarel dress in white robes and gather the faithful to bonfires held out in open fields where Ishaela can be seen most clearly. This festival is traditionally a time where druids tell tales of the ancient Sivanoshei and of the Old Gods, especially Zorah whom the Elves revere.
A ritual hunt is also held on this day, where hunters are tasked for finding a Dimrah, a mythical horned and tusked boar thought to symbolize all the evils in the world. As dimrahs are rare (and insanely ferocious) these ritual hunts do not always meet with success. To succeed means evil has been cleansed from the land for a year and the dimrah’s meat is consumed in a great feast held afterward. Failure means evil endures another year and the feasting is replaced with a vigil to Zorah.
Irasi 21, Miro Jirune (Imarel-Wide): This day is the celebration of the coming of the season of Miro. Much like other celebrations of the season, Miro Jirune is filled with outdoor celebration and games of skill, the most popular of which is the Gajir. This event involves teams of five, that must push a heavy log up a slotted track of mud for one hundred feet. The first team to accomplish this feat wins the event. Winning the event gives the winning team bragging rights for the next year and free mulled apple wine throughout the course of the festival. The colors for this celebration are yellow, orange and red.
Disai 1 Lasa Tor Vexxah (Kingdom of Farwind): Inspired by their Wild Elf neighbors, the Quar`Vess of the city of Vexxah hold a celebratory hunt of a creature called a Ghora, which resembles some horrific cross between a polar bear and a shark. These beasts are particularly active around Vexxah this time of year, as the snow has just begun to become heavy in this part of the world, which is their preferred environment. A city-wide feast is held for the ghora hunters and those who have made kills are honored with pelts from the creatures.
Disai 26, Freedom Day (Windsong Republic): Freedom Day is a very new holiday, that celebrates the defeat of Ko`rashae Ri and the vampire regime in Sundown and the city’s inclusion into the Republic. On this holiday, a war reenactment of the Sundown Civil War’s greats battles takes place, along with a military parade in the streets, in which citizens dance around the marching Sundown Regulars and offer them wine, liquor and praise for their service.
Typically the streets are packed for this celebration with traveling carnivals likewise welcomed within city walls to join in the fun.The colors for this holiday are white, red and black which represents Sundown’s flag.
Disai 31, The Festival of the Harvest (Windsong Republic, Zoda, Kingdom of Moonfall): This is a Human holiday primarily, but other races do sometimes celebrate it. The Harvest Festival is, as the name implies a celebration of the harvest that involves sharing various foods and beers during the day and sharing toffee apples and other sweet treats with children at night. To earn these treats however, the children must dress up in scary costumes to frighten off evil spirits so there will be a good harvest the next year. Colors for this holiday are orange and black.
Lano 5, Celebration of Blades (Imarel-Wide): The Celebration of Blades is a holiday in which all nations choose one champion in which to compete in a tournament of skill. These champions are chosen over a course of months, by a series of duels fought till one person falls from exhaustion or their wounds, so by the time the Celebration comes around, the very best warriors from each nation are present and prepared to do battle. The tournament is hosted by the nation who won the tournament the year before and the winner is guest of honor a great feast and he or she has their name entered in the Tome of Champions. This platinum and ruby-bound book has kept the name of every champion since the tournament was originally held on 1515 BF. The longest standing champion is Darechon Dur`lane, who held the championship for ten consecutive years, until choosing not to compete on the eleventh year.
Lano 24, Dasandai D`Mir (Sovereignty of Anthalas, Kingdom of Farwind): This day celebrates the founding of the ancient city of D`Mir. While it no longer stands, the city itself was pivotal as the Asyndi’s first city in the wake of being expelled from the Bright Heavens from the Old Gods and stricken with mortality. Once a festive day, it is now very somber as Traditionalists will wear white and gray robes of mourning and it is expected on this one day, No Shar`Vaire work magic in observance of the fall of the great city. Quar`Vess also observe this holiday, but do not abide by the tradition of not working magic on the day of Dasandai D`Mir. Instead, storytellers or bards, dressed in white and grey are sent out into the Court of Lights and tell all who will listen about the glories of D`Mir during its time as a shining example of power and wisdom.
Roshat 21, Divashi Jirune (Imarel-Wide): Much like the other seasonal celebration, Divashi Jirune is celebrated with an array of outdoor activities, including downhill sled races, dog sled races and a sport called Kahjun. Originated by the Northlanders of Zoda, Kahjun involves two teams that must protect a netted area, roughly six feet wide and four feet tall. The object is to sling a rock into the net while the other team attempts to intercept the rock from the carrier. The device to throw the rock, called a Ahnlo, has a short wooden handle and a narrow and long netting. The carrier must run up to the scoring net and attempt to sling the rock into the net. Needless to say, Kajun is a heavy contact sport, filled with veteran players that are missing teeth and have had several broken bones. Voraath have also adopted this game. Silverberry wine and sweet-cakes are particular popular during Divashi Jirune and are often served at taverns across Imarel to celebrate the season. The colors of this holiday are light blue and white and worn during the Divashi Siray, a special dance held on the midnight of this night.
Roshat 25, Festival of Remembrance (Imarel-Wide): This celebration is a widely popular one that urges celebrants to remember family, friends and loved ones with gifts of appreciation. Often also called Yule, for the Elvish term for the festival, which is Yulei es Asrinai, this day is also celebrated with a large evergreen tree that is cut down and placed in the center of a celebrating town or city, whereupon people are welcome to put brightly colored decorations or candles to remember loved ones or family that have passed on, that have their names etched on them.
Feasting is also very popular for this day with large, elaborate meals that often include turkey, ham or basted bashrah. Many will also gather and sing at the foot of the Remembrance Tree, regardless of the cold and weather after the great feast has been had and gifts have been exchanged. The colors of this holiday are green and red and comprise the colors of many of the ornaments and clothing worn on this day.