Celebration of Zawamela (zah-WAH-meh-la)

Elysia, in one year's time, you will come of age. Enjoy this last year of innocent youth. May all your future days fulfill the dreams of your childhood
— A toast by a father on the last Celebration of Zawamela for his daughter.
  Spring has always been considered a time of rebirth, of awakening, of renewal. In lore, it represents youth, new beginnings and fresh starts. While there are many festivals that celebrate those who are parents, or those who have passed, the Celebration of Zawamela is focused on the young.

History

After The Cataclysm, birth rates were extremely low. Many families, and most of the world's population was wiped off the map by the initial blast, or perished in the following 30-Year Winter. Few wanted to bring new life into such a bleak and ravaged world. There were some born during the cold winter, but not enough for the population to grow.   When the suns finally began to warm the planet again, and people ventured outside their shelters, they began to realize that to survive, they needed children. So much so that the initial boom of children came at the same time, While birth rates and dates have since spread out over the 10 months of the year, there is still quite a surge in the spring.   To honor those first children and show the importance of their coming into the the world, the Celebration of Zawamela was held. traditionally, it is held one week after the Spring Equinox.

Execution

While the details of the celebration can vary from town to town, the basics are the same. In a nutshell, the festival begins in the morning, with a grand breakfast. The breakfast items are chosen by the children ahead of time. These can be served in the home, but in some villages and towns, a huge breakfast is set at the center of the town, with chefs cooking all manner of dishes.   By midday, the game playing begins. A variety of activities are planned, with the focus of allowing children to be children. There are crafting activities, group and individual games, and a general sense of play. This goes on through mid-afternoon, when an afternoon snack time includes sweets, fruit, and beverages that are created especially for this event.   Storytelling and even some napping is next on the agenda, until the evening meal, again prepared with the children in mind, followed by a wonderful selection of desserts. After the meal, everyone gathers to hear a town elder or storyteller share a local fairytale or myth chosen to celebrate youth and their hopes for the future. The ceremony ends with families taking their children back to their homes and settling them in for the night.
All Images created BY Kahuna the Elder, with source materials from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Artbreeder and public domain sources.

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