Elanthian Holidays/Vernal Holidays

The official GemStone IV encyclopedia.
< Elanthian Holidays
Jump to navigation Jump to search
GS4 shield png normal.png

Elanthian Holidays/Vernal Holidays is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.

A selection of various spring celebrations found across Elanthia. This collection encompasses ceremonies from the spring equinox to just before the summer solstice.



Name of Holiday/Celebration: Wyaegleim'Latha
Date of Holiday/Celebration: When the first purple saxifrage blooms
Who celebrates it: Migrating Giantkin
Where is it celebrated: Across the breadth of Elanith as giantkin begin their spring migration
A short description of the holiday: As the giantkin prepare for their spring migration, the tradition of dyeing and decorating eggs takes center stage. Originally, eggs were hard-boiled to preserve them during travel, ensuring they remained edible for the journey. Over time, this practical necessity evolved into a fun and decorative part of the migration preparations.
The eggs, boiled and readied for the journey, are dyed using natural pigments and adorned with intricate designs. Vinegar and wax, once used as preservatives, now serve to create vibrant colors and patterns on the eggs.
This age-old practice not only preserves the eggs but also adds a festive element to the migration festivities. It symbolizes the cycle of life, the promise of renewal, and the joy of coming together as a community. As such, the task of collecting eggs is given to children, with elders to guide them. Practicing a preservationist attitude, the elders teach the children how to find nests, how to carefully collect the egg without disturbing the nest, and to never take too many eggs. Indeed, to ensure that the avian society is not hindered by this mass collection, the children are taught to always leave behind half plus one of the eggs they find and to leave any nest with only two eggs completely alone.
It is not unheard of for families within the clans to have contests of the collections, just as it is also not unheard of for families to have specific decorations and designs that they place upon their decorated eggs. Some families have incredibly famous patterns and designs.
On the Term Wyaegleim'Latha: The Old Kannalan name appears to be a portmanteau of sorts, with the term for egg (wyaeg) and one of the many terms for spring (leim) creating a new word used really only during the last weeks of winter and first weeks of spring. It's come to be translated as "new spring" but its literal translation would be "egg spring." The celebration's name, "Wyaegleim'Latha" includes the term for blossoming or flowering of plants. This then means "new spring's flowering" and the Common translation is simply "the Spring Flowering" or "Ceremony of the Spring Flowering."


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Rarisukan or the Ceremony of the Labyrinth
Date of Holiday/Celebration: On the vernal equinox
Who celebrates it: All erithi
Where it is celebrated: Throughout Atan Irith
A short description of the holiday: Throughout erithi culture, walking labyrinths is a meditative experience, and it is not uncommon to find small labyrinths throughout erithi towns and gardens. It is important to note that these are actual labyrinths and not mazes; the goal is not to create a puzzle one must solve but rather to provide a twisted and convoluted path one must follow.
As spring puts winter to rest, the erithi take a moment to reflect on the winter they are leaving behind and the abundance that is before them. In the weeks leading up to the vernal equinox, erithi either create a large labyrinth (if their area does not have a permanent one) or decorate their existing one with fresh flowers, greenery, carved statues, and other items of meaning or significance to the town. Each labyrinth has at least four free-standing dalrai or moon gates at various points. These are elaborately decorated and are meant to signify a passing between one moment and the next -- a time to put aside what one was meditating upon and move on to the next.
Participants gather at sunrise on the vernal equinox and queue up to walk the labyrinth. This carries on throughout the day, and after completing their walk, erithi gather to prepare a traditional rai'kan (tea ceremony). After everyone has had an opportunity to walk the labyrinth, the rai'kan is held, completing the rarisukan. This typically occurs in late afternoon in order for the erithi to join their Inyexat brethren in the Inyexat vernal equinox celebration. Local Inyexat often join their erithi compatriots in the rarisukan as well.
On Moon Gates: The dalrai or moon gate is an important component to erithi architecture. Moon gates are circular openings, typically in a garden wall, that range from the simple to the elaborate. Festival areas for several erithi festivals utilize dalrai as ingresses to the grounds, and meditation gardens often feature them as well. In addition, the Ceremony of the Labyrinth held in the spring uses multiple freestanding dalrai placed across the labyrinth.
There are other races and cultures that use these circular gates, of course. For example, the Lyx'Valyn or Order of the Moons in Evashir has numerous moon gates at their Order's main hall. These valynta (Dark Elven for moon gate) have different flourishes that represent each moon. These are always freestanding moon gates, and circular gates within a wall do not hold any specific significance other than aesthetics.
Special Note: The Lyx'Valyn, or Order of the Moons, is an order in Evashir dedicated to all celestial bodies, but specifically the moons of Elanthia. Their factions are the Ivory Shadow, the Nebulous Flamedancer, and the Dark Orb.


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Liriviaes or the Song of the Falcon
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Vernal Equinox
Who celebrates it: Ta'Vaalor residents
Where is it celebrated: Ta'Vaalor city-state
A short description of the holiday: Look to the skies around Ta'Vaalor on the vernal equinox as the first hunt of the spring is heralded with the beloved sport of falconry. Liriviaes is celebrated across the city-state, primarily by elves, though other races living in the borders have adopted the practice in recent years. In remote hamlets and villages, the day's events are typically limited to a morning falconry hunt and a communal rabbit stew at noon.
The holiday has significantly more pomp closer to the metropolis. It begins with the ceremonial release of the king's raptors from atop Guardian Keep, their bounty used in a feast for the nobility later that evening. For the commonfolk and nobles alike, the day is full of activity and competition, as the Guardian Falconer puts on demonstrations for the children, and falconers face off for the largest catch of various prey and the first successful catch of the day. It should be noted that the winner of the latter is determined by which falconer first manages to coerce the prey from their raptor, not the first bird to return. Small markets pop up around the fortress and environs, where merchants trade raptors, food, wares, and occasionally, run festival games.
A popular childhood legend says that if one uses a quill fashioned from a feather found on the vernal equinox, one will have all the answers to questions in one's school studies. As such, children are commonly found scouring the ground for lost plumes. Students will guard their Liriviaes quills with fervor.
A final note: Liriviaes translates to "Song of the Falcon" in Common. This often generates the misconception that the bird of prey itself sings (it does not). However, the Elven word for "battle cry" is ilirin, derived from liri for "song." As the cry of falcons is frequently compared to Vaalorian battle cries, which are in turn colloquially known as the "Songs of the Vaalor" or liri'Vaal, it's believed the name of the holiday is an intentional play on words.

Inye'saq yt'Aka

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Inye'saq yt'Aka or Star Ceremony of Spring
Date of Holiday/Celebration: This is held on the evening of the vernal equinox
Who celebrates it: The Inyexat
Where it is celebrated: Atan Irith
A short description of the holiday: The Inyexat's most important ceremonies throughout the year revolve around the stars, especially constellations of great import to them. In the spring, a prominent constellation known to them as the Toadstool (and to others as the Hammer) shines high overhead.
Occurring on the evening of the vernal equinox, the Inye'saq yt'Aka, or Star Ceremony of the Spring, is held across Atan Irith by the Inyexat. Erithi close to the Inyexat often participate in this, much as the Inyexat often take part in the erithi's labyrinth ceremony earlier in the day. As the sun sets, a trio of elders comprised of a Child of the Starlit Wilds, a Star-Spear, and a Star-Evoker gather everyone together. Each elder burns a sprig of one of the three celestial sedges and recites a welcome to spring and a farewell to winter.
A late evening meal is then served with ample food and drink and socializing. As the stars take over the night sky, the Inyexat turn to divination and readings for all who wish it. Mycomancers, oneiromancers, and other mystics offer their services, and those not participating continue the celebrations well into the night.
While the initial ceremony is a solemn welcome to spring and its bounty, the rest of the yt'Aka is more casual and festive. Erithi skyfire displays meld well with Inyexat-provided meals that include some of their more... interesting... fungus-based drinks and dishes, and musicians, storytellers, and other artists will ply their trades as well.

Seafarer's Carnival of Selanthia

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Seafarer's Carnival
Date of Holiday/Celebration: First Weekend after the 21st of Charlatos
Who Celebrates: Citizenry of Selanthia
Where is it celebrated: Selanthia in the Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: Spring winds bring trade and promise to the citizenry of Selanthia as their annual Seafarer's Carnival. Shops and houses have their windows and doors open to the streets, inviting customers and guests to enter after the long winter months. Pennants representing the various merchant vessels and companies are strung across the streets to create a colorful air. This is a very big shopping day for the citizenry as imports are hawked on every corner as the first merchant vessels come to the cities for the first time in three to four months.


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Yshollis
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Within the vernal season
Who celebrates it: Iyo and distinguished guests
Where is it celebrated: Iyo Grove, Four Winds Isle
A short description of the holiday: The Yshollis is a traditional three-night festival held in the Spring. Initially a simple festival of reawakening and gratitude, it has evolved through the generations to its current form, which acknowledges and gives thanks for any who have died in the year preceding.
Night One: Mzholl
Mzholl can be thought of as a night of cleansing. The Iyo ritualistically wash away any bad fortune or lingering negativity from the year, noting the ways in which it has changed them for the better. This can take many forms, but includes individuals acknowledging the burdens they've carried, the injuries they've absorbed, and then pointing out how they have been made stronger for the experiences. A key portion of these acknowledgments is always a recounting of those close to the speaker who has died, including ways that the newly created spirits have made themselves known, and any assistance attributed to them by the speaker. The culmination of the Mzholl is generally a single toast, where all gathered bid farewell to the hardships of the past, and beckon to the hardships of the future, signaling their readiness for the lessons yet to come.
Night Two: Shayer Doss
The second night of the Ysshollis is known as Shayer Doss, which translates to approximately mean, "Evening of Assessment". A staider celebration than the Mzholl, Shayer Doss is fairly traditional, and involves the sharing of a meal, generally prepared with game from a ritualistic hunt held in the days before Yshollis officially begins. During the meal, which is pleasant if somewhat formal, speeches are given by the heads of Families, speaking on the present times. This can be an explanation of current events, a recounting of items from the very recent past, or slight speculation about the near future. The intent is to emphasize that the Iyo are one, and that through their unwavering unity, they can handle any situation that may arise. Shayer Doss can vary somewhat in length and complexity, depending on the long-winded nature of the speakers as well as how much current news there is to share. Still, the speeches generally finish before the meal.
Night Three: Peshys
The final night of Yshollis is meant to remind the Iyo that we are all one, and that we will face the coming challenges together. This generally is a celebration of life and family, and some traditional rituals accompany it. Every attending member is required to wear a ceremonial stola, which is an oversized garment somewhat like a painter's smock. For those attending Peshys for the first time, their stolas are pristine white. However, there are bins of brightly colored powders available, and all are encouraged to help themselves. The powder is flung into the air, or on each other, as music overtakes the celebration. The powder quickly binds to the stolas, staining them with a unique color combination that belongs solely to its owner. Each attendee only gets one stola, and that's the one that they wear each time they attend Peshys. There is music all night, and the entire event is meant to be a high-spirited celebration of togetherness. We are all painted with the same colors, we have all gone through the same obstacles, and yet here we stand, marked to be certain, but still ready to face what awaits us.

Ayd L'Naereen

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Ayd L'Naereen
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Vernal Equinox
Who celebrates it: Mrae'ni, Vaer'sah, Gaeh'deh aelotoi
Where is it celebrated: No set location
A short description of the holiday: Initially, this was the day the original aelotian cultures that migrated from Bre'Naere recognized their connection to L'Naere, the arkati who first brought their race to Bre'Naere during the Ur-Daemon War. It involved a subdued gathering of family members for fellowship and food and was neither somber nor joyful. The elders of the families, particularly those who were adults when coming through the portal, would often fast for the day, allowing the younger generations to feast on what fare had been prepared. This particular celebration, if it can be called that, is slowly fading out and is expected to disappear altogether as those who lived on Bre'Naere pass away.

Flyr Keh'Nira

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Flyr Khe'Nira
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Around the Vernal Equinox
Who celebrates it: Aelotoi
Where is it celebrated: Cysaegir
A short description of the holiday: Flyr Keh'Nira, also known as Beautiful Flowers, is celebrated around the approximate time as the vernal equinox, though it is flexible dependent on when flowers begin to blossom. It is quickly replacing Ayd L'Naereen amongst the younger aelotian generations as they move away from celebrating L'Naere and focus instead on the spring bloom, recognizing the continued renewal not only of the seasons, but of their people. Bouquet arrangements are common during these days, and are often gifted amongst friends and family members, as are various intricately woven items.

Ta'Ardenai: Vernal Court Celebrations

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Return of the Sharythian Hunters, Rains of Amelanchier, and Birth of Aquendilon
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Throughout the spring season
Who celebrates it: Ardenai elves
Where is it celebrate: Ta'Ardenai
A short description of the holiday: See the Vernal Court section of the Ta'Ardenai Seasonal Courts document

Winterberry Festival

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Winterberry Festival
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Spring
Who celebrates it: River's Rest residents
Where it is celebrated: River's Rest
A short description of the holiday: Winterberry Festival is a small festival that occurs occasionally in River's Rest. Held typically during the spring, Winterberry Festival, like Picklefest, is a celebration of a particular River's Rest fixation, in this case, winterberries. Merchants hawk winterberry-themed wares, and brewers compete for best winterberry brew. While Winterberry Festival is not an annual event, it is a fond tradition of modern River's Rest.


Night of the Luminous Rose (Arathsela)

Name of the Holiday/Celebration: Night of the Luminous Rose (Arathesela)
Date of the Holiday/Celebration: 1st week of Olaesta
Who celebrates it: Nalfein Elves
Where is is celebrated: Ta'Nalfein
A short description of the holiday: The Nalfein tradition of arathsela, or Night of the Luminous Rose, signals the end of the summer and winter seasons, bolstering the last-minute income as tourists flood in to witness the celebration. A variety of activities culminate in the releasing of the lanterns. These elaborate lanterns, painted in vivid colors and representing diverse subjects, are purchased from the night markets, and lit at the setting of the sun, when they are released across the piers, ships, and paddle boats filling the bay. Many poets have written verbose words regarding the release of the lanterns, referring to them as trailing constellations and even fireflies illuminating the amethyst-orange colors of the sky.
In the rainy vernal season, many participants choose to bring their own lanterns and candles, as a particular stormy arathsela festival halted the release of the delicate paper lanterns. Young children often gather around the lanterns as they observe the constellations, while songsmiths and storytellers wax poetic about the tales of the heavenly bodies. Bottles of moonflower-crafted liqueurs and other floral-themed treats are often sold along the promenade, the market stalls engulfed in flourishing naefira.

Day of Zelia's Warning

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Day of Zelia's Warning
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 1st day of Olaesta (April 1)
Who celebrates it: Various.
Where is it celebrated: Various.
A short description of the holiday: Reflecting on the Arkati's history, the Day of Zelia's Warning marks the occasion when the Arkati Zelia traversed the moons to forewarn her kin about the impending Ur-Daemon threat. While the exact date of this event has faded into the annals of time, it was collectively decided in Elanthian history that the 1st of Olaesta would serve as its commemorative day. Across Elanthia, societies vary in their observance of this holiday; some disregard it entirely, while others embrace it as a time of playful mischief and fanciful antics. Tricksters delight in orchestrating pranks and practical jokes, adding a whimsical flair to the day's festivities. For some, it's a moment of solace, a time to honor those gifted with visions, while others use it as an opportunity to pay homage to loved ones who have succumbed to Zelia's influence. Regardless of one's stance, the presence of Zelia's devotees—both willing and unwitting—makes the Day of Zelia's Warning unmistakable across the breadth of Elanthia.

Race, Culture, or Area Details

  • Atan Irith: Neither the erithi nor Inyexat celebrate this day
  • Evashir: The Evashir do not celebrate this day
  • The Great Piratical Flotilla: The transient residents of the flotilla enjoy any cause for celebration, and the chaotic nature of the Day of Zelia's Warning is no exception. Many privateers and pirates do no business on this day because of the overall hijinks and practical jokes that abound across the flotilla.
  • River's Rest: While Torre in general has no formal or official recognition of this day, individuals here and there may choose to partake. In the town of River's Rest, where quirkiness is celebrated every day, the 1st of Olaesta is often a day of extra pranks and merriment, and one may find its many adventurers enjoying several of their local pastimes such as Dodge the Void, Dice of Fate, or Gnomeflinging.
  • Ta'Vaalor: Most Vaalor elves quite pointedly do not acknowledge this holiday, most likely due to the destroyed settlement of Zelian monks in the environs outside the fortress. On rare occasion, one may find a home with a candle in the window on this evening, in memory of the elves lost to Zelia in the Lunule Weald, but this practice is generally frowned upon as it's believed to bring undue attention to a notable historical failure.
  • Ta'Illistim: Illistim elves do not celebrate this day, as previous attempts have resulted in the introduction of the winged Aies parchment acariformes to the Library Aies.
  • Ta'Nalfein: Nalfein elves do not celebrate this day, the belief that intentionally causing woe (albeit minor) will in turn bring it upon themselves tenfold.
Vision Circles of the Forest Gnomes
Recognizing the significance of visions and prophecy in Zelia's lore, the Wendwillow gnomes hold a community vision sharing circle on the Day of Zelia's Warning. Gnomes gather around a central bonfire, each taking turns to share their dreams, premonitions, and insights into the future. Whether whimsical or profound, each vision is honored and respected as a glimpse into the mysteries of fate and destiny. Through this shared experience, the gnomes strengthen their bonds of kinship and reaffirm their connection to Zelia's divine wisdom, finding solace and guidance in the collective wisdom of their community.
It is not unheard of for other Bloodlines to visit these vision circles to seek wisdom for the year ahead.
Ritualistic Vaikalimara Dance of Shadows
In the twilight glow of the northern steppes, the Vaikalimara Clan emerges from the shadows and into secluded clearings. Beneath the canopy of stars, they assemble, a silent congregation adorned in elaborate masks and draped in dark ceremonial attire. Each garment tells a story, woven with threads from each clanswomen's past life and bound by pieces of their new one. At some unbidden signal, the clanswomen begin a mesmerizing dance, a testament to the fluidity and grace that defines their existence. Their movements are sinuous, weaving intricate patterns in the air as they pay homage to the enigmatic Arkati. Haunting chants rise like smoke from their lips, mingling with the rhythmic drumbeats that echo through the night and infusing the atmosphere with a primal energy.
Should fortune align and the day coincides with any of Elanthia's pale sisters being full, then the dance takes on an otherworldly intensity. Howls pierce the silence, offering homage to the celestial bodies that watch over them, punctuating each movement with a primal cry of acknowledgment. As the night unfolds, the dancers lose themselves in the rhythm, their bodies becoming vessels for the chaos that guides them in battle. Exhaustion becomes their companion, yet they press on, driven by a deep-seated reverence for the traditions that bind them together.
With each passing hour, the dance grows more fervent, the boundaries between their physical presence and mental trances blurring into obscurity. Those who falter, succumbing to the weight of their exertions, are left behind, their prone forms a testament to the physical and mental trials of the night.
Yet for those who endure, there is a profound sense of honor that accompanies the breaking of dawn. As the first light pierces the horizon, casting its golden hue upon the land, the surviving dancers emerge from the darkness, their spirits unyielding, their bond with chaos reaffirmed once more. Often, the title of Chaosweaver is given to those that survive the dance.
Dragon Kites of Olaesta
On the Day of Zelia's Warning, while the focus ostensibly lies on honoring Zelia's pivotal role, the citizens of Mestanir venture en masse to the hills or converge upon religious sites like the Crown of Koar. However, their purpose diverges from the expected reverence for Zelia. Instead, they gather to pay homage to the Great Drakes and commemorate their legendary triumph over the Ur-Daemon threat.
At these gatherings, elaborate contests unfold, centering around the creation and flight of kites. These contests are not merely about the flight itself but delve into the intricate craftsmanship of the kites. Participants vie for supremacy in categories that scrutinize the size, shape, and design of their creations, each kite a testament to the creativity and skill of its maker.
What sets these contests apart is the stringent adherence to tradition. It is strictly mandated that no magic be employed in the construction or propulsion of the kites. Instead, participants must rely solely on their ingenuity and craftsmanship to ensure their kite takes to the skies. This prohibition underscores the reverence for the Great Drakes' achievements, emphasizing the importance of honoring tradition and the intrinsic value of human effort and skill.
Temples of the Moon
In an attempt to embrace the Chaos of the Day of Zelia's Warning, temples to Zelia will frequently conduct wild ceremonies throughout the day that have no discernable schedule. The ceremonies can be brief and simple or long and elaborate. Doomsayers frequently flock to the temples during this day as they have a platform for their ramblings. Some ceremonies that have been noted in recent history are:
  • Study of the Doorknob - In this strange ceremony, doorknobs are either stolen from local homes or simply collected and anchored to walls within the temple. It is unclear what the symbolism is here.
  • Destruction of Chains - This ceremony is in honor of breaking the bounds and constraints of sanity. Enormous chains, those frequently used by ferries, are collected in the streets, and laid upon the cobbles. Using any means necessary, wild men and women will come together to break the chains.
  • Fire is the Mother of Chaos - Though frequently dangerous, there is a sub-cult of Zelians known as firebugs that believe they are honoring Zelia's will by raining chaos down upon the ordered life of cities. They are basically arsonists who utilize this day to sate their hunger for fire. The craze began sometime in the early half of the 49th century in the Human Empire and lasted until the latter half before fading. Ever since, that day is monitored by local watch and many reserves are brought forward to watch the streets to prevent any true damage.
  • Chasing Color - In 5102, a small village to the north of New Myssar in the County of Oire, there was a woman who was reportedly "gripped" by the hand of Zelia. She dyed all of the local roltons and sheep in vibrant colors. Anywhere that she saw white, she hurled full bottles of dye in an attempt to paint the world in color. Though largely harmless, there were some injuries when the "enlightened" woman forgot to uncork the bottles of dye, causing bruising on the people that they landed on.
Asylums of Chaos
In various corners of Elanthia, there exist sanctuaries dedicated to the care of the "enlightened" or "mad," commonly referred to as asylums. These establishments play a crucial role in providing support and treatment for individuals grappling with the complexities of their minds. Interestingly, the Day of Zelia's Warning serves as a unique opportunity for these asylums to gather support and resources.
On this auspicious day, a curious phenomenon unfolds: the staff of these asylums mysteriously find themselves absent from their duties, either taking the day off or calling in sick. As a result, the patients, now unattended, spill out into the streets, their presence drawing attention from the surrounding communities.
What transpires next is a testament to the power of collective compassion and communal responsibility. Rather than turning a blind eye to the spectacle of the "enlightened" wandering the streets, the residents of these communities spring into action. They converge upon the asylums, armed with brooms, buckets, and benevolence, ready to extend a helping hand.
With remarkable efficiency, the volunteers set to work, transforming the neglected asylums into gleaming sanctuaries once more. Dust is banished, cobwebs swept away, and neglected corners are revitalized with care and attention. As the day progresses, the community spirit swells, infusing the air with a sense of camaraderie and purpose.
But the impact of this day extends beyond mere physical cleanup. As word spreads of the asylums' plight, so too does the outpouring of support. Donations pour in from generous benefactors, eager to lend their aid to a cause that touches the hearts of many. The funds raised on the Day of Zelia's Warning often prove sufficient to sustain the operations of these vital institutions for the remainder of the year, ensuring that those within their care continue to receive the support and compassion they deserve.
In this unexpected convergence of chaos and charity, the Day of Zelia's Warning emerges not only as a day of remembrance but also as a beacon of hope and solidarity for all who call Elanthia home.

Dawn of the First Blossom

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Dawn of the First Blossom
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 5th day of Olaesta (April 5)
Who celebrates it: Elves
Where is it celebrated: Public and private gardens (including greenhouses and arboretums)
A short description of the holiday: Dawn of the First Blossom is a yearly celebration ushering in spring, and with it the anticipation of botanicals across both garden and greenhouse alike. From dawn's first light, musicians begin to serenade the plant life, hoping to encourage seeds to take root or sprouts to thrive as the season continues. These instrumentalists range from a single violinist to a full, robust orchestra, the performers filling the air with music from dawn to dusk. Fanciful packets of seeds and garden tools are given as gifts, a symbol of continuing creation and life anew after a season of frost. Children are often gifted small open-woven pouches filled with local, indigenous varieties of seeds, the hope that their rambunctiousness and joy will continue to spread these seeds into the meadows and forests throughout the year.

Cockle's Court

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Cockle's Court
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 9th day of Olaesta (April 9)
Who Celebrates: Citizenry of Jantalar
Where is it celebrated: Jantalar in the Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: The custom of Cockle Court is still followed in some of the villages of this region. This elaborate mock trial is performed to expose quarrelling spouses and serve as a warning to the young. A judge and jury are appointed, along with counsel for the prosecution and defense. All of these parties proceed to the Moot Hall, banging on pots and pans and drawing behind them a wagon carrying two men disguised as the husband and wife in question. Once assembled, the quick-witted counselors present their case and the judge and jury decide upon a verdict (usually something to the effect of charging the couple with keeping the peace lest they be set on the dunking-stool). At the trial's conclusion, all involved adjourn to a nearby tavern to drink to the good health and happiness of the husband and wife.

All Ores Day

Name of Holiday/Celebration: All Ores Day
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 15th day of Olaesta (April 15)
Who celebrates it: Dwarves
Where is it celebrated: Private dwellings and temples of Eonak
A short description of the holiday: On the 15th day of the fourth month of each year, young dwarves are given a small hammer to use during a somewhat ritualistic and ceremonial process of breaking open pieces of rock to discover the ore within them. It is common for friends and family of the adolescent dwarf to give them raw pieces of ore, often still surrounded by the rocky exterior in which it was found. The adolescent then uses their small hammer to break open the rock and discover the pieces of metals within. This is both a learning and cultural experience for the young dwarf, reinforcing the inherent and intrinsic values of metalsmithing in dwarven society.

Prozd BurzKailt

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Prozd Burzkailt
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Sometime between the 10th day of Olaesta and the 20th day (April 10 - 20)
Who celebrates: Krolvin Nation
A short description of the holiday: In the realm of celestial cycles, the vernal equinox ushers in the promise of spring, typically gracing the lands on the 21st or 22nd of Charlatos. Yet, in the frigid domains of the northern isles, where the rule of volcanoes and ice holds sway, the arrival of spring tarries. Here, amidst the icy expanse, the transition to spring unfolds at its own pace, heralded by the enigmatic Holiday of Prozd BurzKailt, observed sometime in Olaesta. This holiday is distinguished by the coastal metamorphosis from border ice to pancake ice, a transformation subject to the whims of weather, dictating whether it arrives swiftly or lingers. Tradition dictates its commencement three days after the initial shelf of ice surrenders to the embrace of the water. Primarily, the holiday serves as a joyous proclamation, signaling the commencement of the spring raids or sailing season. Central to the festivities is the construction of a colossal effigy in the likeness of Charl, adorned with a seaweed beard and fashioned from driftwood. Nested within this structure are offerings of trinkets crafted during the somber, contemplative months of winter, each embodying a hope or aspiration for the year ahead. As dusk descends and the sun gently kisses the horizon, the eldest member of the village ignites the effigy, symbolizing the waning grip of winter. Throughout the night, the effigy blazes, casting its warm glow upon the gathered revelers. Should its flames falter before the break of dawn, auguries portend a bleak season ahead. However, such omens are rare, for the elders possess the wisdom to sustain the fire until the first light of morning illuminates the sky, affirming the promise of a bountiful spring.
A Final Note: "Prozd BurzKailt" in Krolegh, roughly translated to "The Night of Winter's Death" or "The Night of Winter's End."

The Flotsam Fling

Name of Holiday/Celebration: The Flotsam Fling
Date of Holiday/Celebration: A weekend in Olaesta
Who celebrates it: The flotilla and its inhabitants
Where it is celebrated: The Great Piratical Flotilla as far away from any land as possible
A short description of the holiday: The Jetsam Court picks a weekend each year in Olaesta to celebrate spring as a reminder to their ties to the land and its seasons. In the winter months, hempen bracelets in bright colors are woven and exchanged between friends and companions. When word reaches the flotilla of spring's arrival in Elanith's coastal towns, the bracelets are hung about the flotilla, and it moves to a remote area in the sea. Ropes, nets, boats, everything are bedecked with these vibrant loops, heralding the Jetsam Court's weekend of revelry known as the Flotsam Fling. It is believed this tradition was brought to the flotilla by someone whose home village celebrated spring this way, hanging the bracelets from the branches of its trees.
The fling consists of the uncasking of the previous year's batch of Charl's Ocean rum, a potent rum distilled and matured on the flotilla (its motto is "Set Sail for Fun"). Shrimp and fish are barbecued and drinking and dancing go far into the night. Most commerce stops during the Flotsam Fling, and while brawls may break out, all grudges and true fighting are put aside lest the perpetrators face the wrath of the Pirate Queen. While rum is the most popular drink, it is by no means the only, and for those who prefer cocktails, large barrels are mixed of the flotilla's signature drink, the blue mermaid cocktail.
The next morning, the flotilla's favorite hangover cure is rolled out to the decks (where many participants litter the area having fallen asleep or passed out where they stood the night before). This cure consists of an erithi noodle and broth dish favored by many on the flotilla and a drink called Niima's Grace (an effervescent lime beverage sweetened with pomegranate juice). Many, however, also take a bit of the "tentacle of the kraken" as the saying goes, sipping watered-down rum. The rest of the morning and into the afternoon is filled with a brawling tournament judged by the Jetsam Court with the winner being crowned Flotilla King or Queen for a night by the Pirate Queen Kyncera.
As the Flotsam Fling winds up, colorfully decorated ships leave the flotilla in a haphazard parade. A few ships inevitably fire off their cannons, and everyone just hopes their crews are sober enough to aim them out to sea.
The Blue Mermaid Cocktail: The blue mermaid cocktail is made with equal parts Charl's Ocean rum, freshly squeezed pineapple juice, and azurelia. It's poured over crushed ice and mixed with a dollop of simple syrup and a smattering of fresh lime. Azurelia, for those unfamiliar, is a lagoon blue liqueur that allegedly came from Kezmon Isle. It is powerful and sweet and a favorite in mixed drinks on the flotilla and other pirate ships.


Oire's Rite of Spring

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Rite of Spring
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 1st day of Ivastaen (May 1)
Who Celebrates: Citizenry of Oire
Where is it celebrated: County of Ore in the Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: The most important celebration of the year is the Rite of Spring, which is held on the first day of Ivastaen. The normally easy-going and somewhat reserved citizens throw all caution to the wind for this raucous (some might say debauched) festival. The Rite celebrates the union of Oleani and Phoen, love, and fertility. Large feasts are held in all the towns and villages, with food and strong drink in abundance. Music and dancing are a central part of the celebrations, and bards often travel from all over to participate. As night falls, couples and groups wander into the fields and woods for trysts under the spring moons. Children conceived on that night are considered to be especially blessed.


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Satimil
Date of Holiday/Celebration: The 1st week of Ivastaen
Who celebrates it: Evashiran
Where it is celebrated: Evashir
A short description of the holiday: While there are ample quieter and more introspective special days throughout Evashiran culture, Satimil is not one of those. During the first week of Ivastaen, Evashiran across the principality celebrate the "Festival of Spring Rains" known as Satimil. During this week, Evashirans tend to wear light-colored, inexpensive clothing because, at any given time, revelers may blow brightly colored powdered dyes over one another and than follow with a stream of water, effectively dying their garments in a polychromatic display. The dyes represent the many colors of spring and the water it rains.
Throughout the week, people may partake in numerous smaller events specific to one or more of the orders they belong to, and different villages, towns, and counties host gatherings and feasts.
In Ata'Lysel, the week is punctuated by parades and celebrations throughout the streets, outdoor markets, and an air of levity that can at times feel at odds to the perception of dark elves in general but is embraced by even the stoic and serious Evashirans during Satimil.

Day of Kuon's Blessing

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Day of Kuon's Blessing
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 1st day of Ivastaen (May 1)
Who celebrates it: Various
Where is it celebrated: Various

Race, Culture, or Area Details

  • Atan Irith: While erithi and Inyexat do not celebrate this day, per se, they do place great importance on the blooming of plants and flowers in the spring.
  • Evashir: Evashir, especially those in farming or gardening societies may have specific rites and celebrations around this day, and it is a common day for a town-wide celebration focused on market trades of fresh flowers and vegetables.
  • Aelotoi: The aelotoi commonly refer to this day as Yllira Bre'Flyr or Wind of the Flowers in common, as it is customary for many of the petals from blooming flora to be swept by the winds into the air, causing them to swirl about. Celebrations are simple, often in the form of picnics in general gathering areas with vegetarian fare featuring a floral base.

The Battle of Winter and Summer

Name of Holiday/Celebration: The Battle of Winter and Summer
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Ivastaen (Varies year-to-year)
Who Celebrates: Citizenry of Krinklehorn
Where is it celebrated: Barony of Dragach in the Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: Every Ivastaen in Krinklehorn a great battle between Winter and Summer is acted out by the men of the region. The leader of one company dresses in a long robe trimmed with fur and a tall white hat. He is armed with a stick of ironwood and a shield of fleece stretched over a metal frame. The men following him all wear white fur vests and sing the praises of Winter. The opposing company, distinguished by their short coats tied with colorful ribbons, is led by a man in a green robe garlanded with flowers who carries a leafy branch of hazel and a buckler of woven grass. As a group they all parade to a field outside the town where the battle is staged. The men of Winter fling dry brush at their opponents, while the hordes of Summer return fire with ferns and small flowers. After much fun and mock warfare, the victorious Summer leader is carried by his supporters to the town center, where feasting, drinking, and assorted games take place over the next several days.

Stoutfoot Stomp

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Stoutfoot Stomp
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 17th day of Ivastaen (May 17)
Who celebrates it: Halflings
Where is it celebrated: Local farms and villages
A short description of the holiday: A celebration of the birth of new stoutfoot roltons, the Stoutfoot Stomp is a delightful day of merriment lasting from daybreak of the 17th and into the dawn of the next day. Wildflower-crafted mead flows alongside the innumerable dishes served at the farmstead (families and visitors taking their turns cooking and cleaning during the long day affair - everyone contributes in-kind), but the crowning glory of the holiday is the Stomp. Brave halflings volunteer to traverse a pre-determined racecourse through the farm, carrying a tray of sweets in hopes of being the fastest to the finish line. The challenge, however, is that the farmstead's stoutfoot roltons (and their young progeny) are released as soon the contestant crosses the starting line, the scent of a potential meal luring the hard-hoofed creatures to pursue the runner. The winner of the contest is crowned the Fleetfooted Champion of the Stomp, though it is often hard-earned (and a lot of work for the local healers).
Children are encouraged to participate in a less violent fashion by donning a replica of the stoutfoot's short, blunt horns and attempting to ram into tart-shaped pinatas, though many opt to traditionally down a pinata with a stick painted in candy colors.

Celebration of Ataelel

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Celebration of the Ataelel
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 19th day of Ivastaen (May 19)
Who celebrates it: Ta'Illistim
Where is it celebrated: Library Aies and The Green
A short description of the holiday: The Illistimi celebrate the ataelel (or bookworm), the lighthearted nomenclature for those with a passion for literary works. Formal events are scheduled within the Library Aies and The Green, book readings and discussions between denizens of the Shining City over (several) cups of tea, although smaller, more intimate book clubs are often held in their stead. Gifts of books wrapped in hand-written parchments are accompanied by woven chains of flora and trinkets, the chains serving as bookmarks to be PULLed (and completed) once the giftee has finished reading the literary works.

Festival of Oleani

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Festival of Oleani
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 20th of Ivastaen (May 20)
Who celebrates it: Various
Where is it celebrated: Various
A short description of the holiday: Honoring the passing of winter and heralding the arrival of Spring, the Festival of Oleani centers upon weddings, the blessing of fields, new love, and new births. While not all cultures celebrate the day specifically as a way of honoring Oleani, there are many celebrations that take place centering upon this day and season.

Race, Culture, or Area Details

  • Atan Irith: In general, erithi and Inyexat do not celebrate this holiday, but many traveling to Elanith partake in local festivities.
  • The Great Piratical Flotilla: With their love for revelry, a fertility celebration is a cause for a raucous meeting aboard the flotilla by many. They focus less on love and Spring and more on the other components. This is not, however, a particularly specific or special flotilla celebration.
  • Elven Nations: While there is no particular celebration practiced within the Nations, elves often host dinner parties and other social occasions in the gardens to better showcase the flora and foliage that bloom with the Spring season.
Chastonia Lifting
A curious yearly custom known as "lifting" is followed by the peasantry of this region, wherein a person sitting on a chair or stool is lifted from the ground three times in succession. In the morning of the Festival of Oleani the men lift the women, and in the evening the women lift the men. The person being lifted is expected to give a few silvers to all those who exalt him in the name of good luck.
Festival of Feathers
After the annual migration to their summer homes, the T'Kirem Bear Clan, Grishknel Wolf Clan, Araime Sun Clan, and Maeramil Wind Runner Clans gather for the Festival of Feathers. This multiday celebration marks the onset of spring and serves as a unique courting ritual. Over several days, giantkin, especially young lovers, roam the mountainsides in search of tertiary and primary feathers shed by the migrating birds. These feathers symbolize the promise of love and the renewal of life. It's a tradition deeply ingrained in the giantkin culture that feathers are never taken but only found, respecting nature's gifts.
During the festival, these feathers are presented to potential mates as tokens of affection and commitment. If accepted, the feathers are carefully woven into the recipient's hair or beard, symbolizing their mutual dedication to the budding relationship. However, this festival is not just for potential mates but also to honor those that have been paired for a long time. Older lovers, having weathered the seasons together, often exchange smaller feathers, recognizing that it's the small gestures and moments in life that strengthen their bond over time. These smaller feathers represent the enduring love built upon shared experiences and the passage of time.
Much as the halflings have their wedding boxes that house their handfasting cords, giantkin have sacred clothes fashioned of supple pieces of suede. These cloths carefully wrap the feathers a couple has shared through their lifetime. When a giantkin passes, the feathers go with them into the flame.
This festival is not only about finding mates, since it is rare to have so many clans gathered together, there are often apprenticeship exchanges that take place.

Shakat's Rite of Spring

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Rite of Spring
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 3rd Week of Ivastaen (Approx. May 21st - 28th)
Who celebrates: Shakat of River's Rest
Where is it celebrated: River's Rest Shakat Communities
A short description of the holiday: The third week of Ivaestan is usually spent devouring whatever food stores are left from the prior year. This cleansing of the closets is combined with layered prayer and dance, as each Shakat hopes the coming year's bounty is better than the last. Not surprisingly, half the week is spent eating and feasting. The other half is spent recovering. It is not uncommon for drownings in the river to occur during this time, as imbibing is almost certain. In a twist from the custom of New Myssar, babies born during this time are also gorged and overfed, under the belief it will make their mouths and tongues grow into mechanisms fitting for a powerful shaman.

Zephyr's Fortune

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Zephyr's Fortune
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 25th day of Ivastaen (May 25)
Who celebrates: Ta'Nalfein
Where is it celebrated: Nielira Harbor and other Nalfein ports
A short description of the holiday: Zephyr's Fortune is a celebration of the spring breeze, the fortunate winds filling the sails of Nalfein ships, and ushering in a (hopefully) prosperous season for fishermen and privateers alike. The Nalfein find the gentle wave of a fan similar to the breeze off of the waters of the Eastern Seaboard, and in turn, artisans travel to the cities to unveil their collections of hand fans, the pieces crafted throughout the winter months to debut in the spring. Performances of fan dances are often held within the city squares or the nearby gardens, the displays of pageantry and grace ever an opportunity to glimpse the fashions of the aristocracy, as well as to establish one's skill in the art of conversation.

Joys of Jes'Tamaline

Name of Holiday/Celebration: Joys of Jes'Tamaline
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Last day of Ivastaen (May 31)
Who Celebrates: Citizenry of Riverwood
Where is it celebrated: Barony of Riverwood in the Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: As well as the Arkati, citizens of Riverwood often practice rites to honor Jes'Tamaline, a local spirit of the many rivers of Riverwood. If Jes'Tamaline is dishonored, it is said that the trees will bear no fruit, that deer will hear a hunter's footsteps from seven miles away, and that all the fish rivers will dry to dust with all their fish transformed to stone. Jes'Tamaline is honored on the last day of Ivastaen by singing songs in her honor, dancing through the woods, and garlanding people and trees with flowers.


The Tiralza Tempest Toss

Name of Holiday/Celebration: The Tiralza Tempest Toss
Date of Holiday/Celebration: Historically, the first Feastday in Lumnea
Who celebrates it: Residents of River's Rest
Where it is celebrated: River's Rest
A short description of the holiday: While the Tiralza Tempest Toss hasn't been popular in years, this was once an unusual and popular River's Rest annual event held on the first Saturday in Lumnea. Wheels of cheese are hauled to the top of Tempest Falls, and participants take turns in trying to fling larger and larger wheels of cheese over the falls. Rolling does not count; the wheel must be in the air as it crests the waterfall.
Large picnics are held, with onlookers cheering their chosen cheese-tossing champion. The drinks flow freely (even amongst the contestants), and invariably, some wheel a few rounds of cheese over to the gnomeflinger and try to take down blood eagles as well.
For the children, wrapped, one-eared chocolate rabbits and aardvarks are hidden throughout the riverbanks, providing additional sources of activity and entertainment.
Despite its name, tiralza is not actually thrown over the falls, since it is a soft cheese not suitable for large wheels. However, it is a very common ingredient in the picnic baskets, and it is believed that the alliteration was the main driving force behind the event's name -- a catchy title more important than accuracy for River's Rest residents. Indeed, the timing of the event was thought to coincide also with the visits by several Vanadre Chiras caravans who joined in the festivities.
From time to time, residents make noises about doing this event again, and invariably, a handful of revelers will wander to the top of the falls and hurl cheese off it in honor of the former town holiday.

The Rite of Scales and Petals

Name of Holiday/Celebration: The Rite of Scales and Petals
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 3rd weekend of Lumnea
Who celebrates it: Citizens and visitors of Nydds, throughout the Turamzzyrian Empire
Where it is celebrated: Turamzzyrian Empire
A short description of the holiday: The month of Lumnea ushers in The Rite of Scales and Petals, a two day fete that celebrates the blending of magic and nature in honor of the colleges of Nydds.
The first evening of the Rite is a celebration over superstition, where students often dress in elaborate costumery in the image of the winged serpents of legend, the creature's wings often hung with tiny lanterns and bells that softly chime along with their movements. These costumed serpents and their lantern-clad companions illuminate the evening sky as they form a processional towards the groves of oaks throughout the city, the people of Nydds using the splendor of the legendary winged creatures to "delight" the spirits of the oaks. The oral histories of the beasts and the arboreal forms are also taught as the procession continues, blending knowledge and folklore well into the early dawn, the market stalls offering coffees and teas as well as small meals for those who celebrated with more vigor than others.
The second day of the Rite is a showcase of gardening prowess, both physical and magical demonstrations of floral care occurring from sunrise until sundown. Farmers travel to Nydds to showcase their bounties, and it is common to see walking forms of florals as many visitors purchase their bouquets and garlands, unable to see before them as they cautiously traverse to the next stall. Young maids of the city are especially fond of wearing the woven flora, utilizing their knowledge of the language of flowers to showcase their marital status, as well as the qualities they seek in a future significant other.
As the classes and lectures conclude, many gather at the colleges, sitting along the hilly terrain as they watch fireworks bloom across the evening sky. These fireworks, of course, are borne of magic and are often a series of tableaus, each mage allowed a small period of time to introduce their work before showcasing their demonstration to those brave enough to gather close to such an explosive phenomenon.

The Trine

Name of Holiday/Celebration: The Trine
Date of Holiday/Celebration: During a moon's cycle in the month of Lumnea
Who celebrates it: Halflings
Where it is celebrated: Icemule, halfling encampments
A short description of the holiday: Information regarding the Trine can be found here.


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Otterstide
Date of Holiday/Celebration: 7th day of Lumnea (June 7)
Who celebrates it: Citizens and visitors of Kraken's Fall
Where is it celebrated: Kraken's Fall and its surrounding environs
A short description of the holiday: As the spring season quickly approaches the summer equinox, the citizens of Kraken's Fall join together to celebrate the warmth of the sun across the waters and the legend of the Otter Queen.  An often (hastily) erected lighthouse is built using planks from ships sunk throughout the year, creating a makeshift diving board from which intrepid adventurers jump into the cool waters, the highest scorer awarded the honor of being the Otter's Queen Consort until next Otterstide.  The title affords very little, although the bragging rights and bravado last for a lifetime.  Stories of the semiaquatic mammal are shared by the bonfire, alongside an astounding amount of rum, the revelers often falling asleep in the sand and ushering in the dawn.


Name of Holiday/Celebration: Sleutspel, or Tinkering Games
Date of Holiday/Celebration: The last day of spring
Who celebrates it: Burghal gnomes
Where it is celebrated: Tamzyrr
A short description of the holiday: Burghal gnomes, especially the Withycombe, gather in Vadzyrr annually on the last day of spring for a competition based around tinkering.
Competitors work all year to develop wonderous new mechanical devices, with prizes and recognition given in a variety of categories to the best tinkerers. The categories run the gamut from the imminently practical (such as best kitchen device) to the unusual (one year had a category for mechanical pinatas) and everything in between.
The unofficial celebrations start up to a week in advance as participants and spectators arrive. There are exhibitions and demonstrations, pop-up markets from past winners and future hopefuls, and an overall aura of merriment across the city.
The competition itself is held in a warren of small arenas and display halls, with the most popular categories housed in a larger amphitheater. The grand finale is the Last Automaton Standing, which pits together all eligible entries in a no-holds-barred, all-out, tinkered creation-on-tinkered creation brawl. All participants are placed in the amphitheater's arena, and the last automaton still functional wins.