Written by The Mad Professor
There are a number of holidays throughout the year in Adylheim, varying from large celebrations to small social gatherings, some only celebrated in one town or city, others across the entirety of Adylheim. Some of these are recorded here.
Spirit's Day: The Rite of the Ending Year The inhabitants of Adylheim gather in a solemn and silent ritual, the citizens of Adylheim say goodbye to the past year, laying to rest old feuds and contemplating the events of the last year.
Air's Day: Priests and soothsayers spend this day observing the sky for omens relating to the weather for the coming year.
Gods' Day: The Vigil of Disappearing Light in Aram is a ritual that stretches through the entire night, wherein priests of Luxor pray and perform rituals intended to protect the city from evil spirits in the new year.
Fire's Day: With Primus safely behind them, the inhabitants of Adylheim gather on Fire's Day for a great celebrations including large bonfires and even fireworks in some cities. This is the Celebration of the New Year and the is often a noisy and wild counterpoint to the solemn month of Primus.
Gods' Day: The Priests of Eirwin go out among the people and answer their questions on all subjects as best they could. On the Day of Questioning it is said that no sage can refuse to answer a question and must answer it truthfully or risk the displeasure of Eirwin.
Fire's Night: The Night of Palaver is celebrated all over Adylheim, where people meet over fires, exchange gifts of food and wine as they discuss peaceful ways of overcoming their differences. For scholars this night is often spent discussing more cerebral matters than merely overcoming boundary disputes and similar, and it is one of the few times tradesmen willingly share (at least some of) their secrets with each other in the hope that knowledge shared is knowledge doubled. A small gift is generally left for Eirwin through the sacrifice of a small portion of meat on the fire.
Children's Night: All across Adylheim, young men and women go out into the woods at dusk to find the first blooming flowers of spring. It is believed that the those who return with the pure white flowers called Akar's Stars will find their husband/wife before the year is over and that the year will bless them with healthy children. Whereas those who find lesser flowers will be less fortunate, and those who end up with none will have a bad year. Strangely enough with all the men and women so busy looking for flowers, there are generally a lot of babies born nine months later which are generally referred to as Akar's babies.
Gods' Day: The Feast of Tirell and the beginning of Tirellus is celebrated across Adylheim by impromptu singing and dancing, small parties centring around poets and bards are held this night and sacrifices made in the honour of Tirell.
Earth's Day: The Glorious Day, an anniversary of the day the Snakeslayers recaptured the city from its Naga conquerors is celebrated in Lionport. This is considered to be the greatest celebration of the year by Lionporters and the people in its environs. Besides a great feast for the highborn hosted by the Bractons, the Slayers perform an annual mock-battle with half its ranks dressing up as Naga, and the other half "vanquishing" them by chopping off their snakehead masks. The snakeheads are then hoisted onto a carriage, paraded around the town (with the cityfolk throwing mud, garbage, and rotten food on them at every turn) and finally left at a pyre to be burned into a great bonfire.
Air's Day: The inhabitants of many fiefdoms, excepting Arameia, celebrate Lord's Day and give praise to their betters, the aristrocrats. Nobles throw feasts to show their generosity towards their lessers and many eat well this night.
Earth's Day: Crowning Day takes place throughout Arameia. The Priesthood of Luxor grants their worshippers gifts and warm meals this day to celebrate the ancient date of the Crowning of the Arameian Emperor.
The first week of Adiennus are referred to as the Week of the Undine in the northern parts of Adylheim. During this week Undines are said to be especially active and enjoy coming out of rivers to lie on branches by the shore, which would be fine if their idea of playing with humans generally end up with the humans drowning. Swimming during this week is forbidden and almost always leads to a drowning.
Gods' Day: People throughout Adylheim give praise to Adienna and hope that she will shepherd them safely through her month. As is befitting the goddess of doorways and mysteries, most of these rites are held behind closed doors and in the confines of the home.
Spirit's Day: In Salen, the night of the full moon is marked by the celebration of the Librarian-knights, they gather at the crossroads, fully dressed in formal uniforms and armour and walk from crossroad to crossroad throughout Salen. Reminding everyone of who guards the secrets and mysteries. Earth's Day: The Fairy Queen gives audiences in a secluded circle of stones, during these audiences she is said to grant wishes for those lucky enough to be given an audience.
Gods' Day: On the Day of the Shield the people of Adylheim sacrifice and pray to Adienna to protect them throughout the remainder of the year.
Spirit's Day: Every year the ancient battle between Therium and Arthium is played out via proxy in the Display of Valour. As tradition dictates, a chosen champion from the priest of Therium meets his counterpart from the priests of Arthium in Starkwater. Many gather to watch the battle of the death, filling the capacity of the Ice Arena completely.
Fire's Night: The Night of Courage is celebrated in most of northern Adylheim where the men great bonfires are lit and men show their courage by jumping through the flames.
Earth's Day: A grand tournament is held in Dagonet in honor of Therium on Earth's Day and Fire's Day. The tournament includes jousting for knights and warriors, a grand archery competition and melee combat open to all.
Water's Day: A test of strength called Erina's Run is held in Spire City, where the strongest swimmers in the city brave the treacherous waters outside Spire City and the winner wins fame and glory for himself and his family.
Gods' Day: The Blind Bull's Sacrifice is a quiet ceremony performed by miners and priests of Maadrth, it asks for his protection in the underworld for the coming year. The specific rites are kept a secret from outsiders and the only celebration takes places deep underground.
Noble and peasant alike celebrate the beginning of the harvest season by offering the cream of the first harvest (or a selection of goods, as appropriate) to the god of life, Akar, and the twins Gaern and Gaela. The night before the first harvest is traditionally celebrated with bonfires and merrymaking.
Children's Night: The Women's Rite is celebrated all across Adylheim, it is celebrated solely by women, men are specifically barred from taking part. The rites involve sacrifices to Akaril and Adienna to ensure pregnancy and an easy birth.
Gods' Day: Elron's Feast celebrations are had all across Adylheim. Markets and merchants sell their goods at prices slightly lower than usual. In truth though, nothing matches the celebrations in Nander, where the priests of Elron stage a feast and market the likes of which is only seen once a year.
Spirit's Day: The Vigil of the Tharen in Spire City, on this night Rivertown in Spire City stops working altogether, all doors are closed, all curtains are drawn and no one is out in the street. It is said that the strange statues that haunt the shores of the Tharen walk the streets this day, celebrating for one night of the year, before returning to their vigil along the river bank. Those who dare may even ask the statues for advice, though few have done so.
Spirit's Day: Children all across Adylheim gather for the Night of the Wild Hunt and as horrible thunderstorms and weather wrack the fiefdoms, little children run around in the street performing pranks while dressed up as members of the Wild Hunt.
Air's Day: All of Adylheim observes Quarter Day, the day all animals not required for work or breeding stock are slaughtered for the winter.
Gods' Day: On Gods' Day, the inhabitants of Adylheim all sleep in. Items of importance to them are placed under their pillows as they hope and pray these will guide them to prophetic dreams on this night.
Children's Day: The Midwinter's Feast is celebrated throughout Adylheim, marking the midway point between autumn and spring. Large feasts are held where everyone partakes in the bounty of the earth and celebrate till the sun rises.
Gods' Day: The winter solstice occurs on God's Day of the third week. Across Adylheim, villagers hear the crystal song of moonspiders serenading their goddess's holy day. Dukes and nobles--even the Archprelate himself--travel to consult Nih-ki regarding the omens for the coming year. Fortune tellers and diviners do brisk business.
Hocktide takes place on different times all across Adylheim, but is generally situated sometime in the autumn, after harvest. Hocktide is the day when taxes are paid and thus a man comes out of hock. In cities and settlements not tied strictly to the growth seasons Hocktide may take place more than once a year.
In a tradition believed to have been started to spite the Naga, villages and towns all across Adylheim perform the Snakebeat, a partly ritual and partly practical observance where the inhabitants search all over the village or town for snakes and try to rid themselves of them using clubs and sticks. This occurs at different times in different places but generally takes place in the beginning of autumn. It is particularly popular in Longmoor where poisonous snakes are a difficult problem.
On the night of the first snowfall people all over Adylheim light candles in remembrance of those they have lost and the ancestors that have preceded them. The tradition of lighting candles at the first snow stretches back to before recorded history and its origins is unknown.