Festival of the Hearth Tradition / Ritual in Arrasgoth | World Anvil
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Festival of the Hearth

The Festival of the Hearth is a celebration of family life as well as a thanksgiving to the god, Govlous, God of Life. The festival is celebrated every year within Dawnminster as well as other homes that worship him. The celebration is focused on developing stronger relationships within family, and to help bless those that are carrying new life. It is believed that the festival protects those that thank Govlous with divine interventions at the time they are needed.   The festival normally lasts for only one day, but the build up to the day begins a week before. Preparations tend to start in the lead up to the end of the Spring Season when the flowers are at their most mature state. The clerics and paladins of Govlous tend to prepare for the month before due to the acknowledgement of the Chosen of Govlous being decided on that day.  


The Festival of the Hearth began at the creation of Dawnminster Cathedral, with the followers of Govlous feeling that something should be done to celebrate their devotion to him. It began simply, with a lighting of the large hearth within the building, and decorating it with the colours of a warm fire out of flowers in wreaths. It was a small affair and the small group of five shared a meal in front of the fire. As the embers died out, a feeling of warmth settled over one of them, like the fire was inside them, and a fatherly voice blessed the matriarch of the family as his Chosen.   Following this, the cathedral was made bigger, more followers were found and lived within the cathedral itself, and the celebration on the first day of Summer was made bigger and bigger. Each time, the hearth's embers would die out and one would be Chosen to stand for Govlous on the material plane. The previous would lose their divine favour but would feel that connection still to their god unlike any they had had before.   In current times, the festival is large in Dawnminster. The flowers used for the wreaths are grown specifically in the cathedral gardens for this event every year. The largest hearth is lit on the setting of the sun on the festival day, but the other hearths are left lit throughout the year in celebration of Govlous. There are also a lot more tourists that come to visit for the Festival of the Hearth than when it first started. This has increased over the last thirty years.


The Festival of the Hearth has always followed a familiar pattern in their celebrations. The day starts with a large breakfast with all present around the currently unlit hearth. Bread is broken and blessings are given by the clerics to all that are present. The children are then taken to begin picking flowers for the wreaths, whilst the adults set to lighting the hearths around the cathedral other than the main hearth. The paladins and clerics tend to the shrines and make sure everyone has been blessed who may not have been at the breakfast.   At noon, all are gathered once again at the still unlit large hearth and share another meal together. The flowers are left to dry out some to make them easier to manipulate into wreaths. Once the food has been finished and another blessing is exchanged, the different families work on one wreath together to hang up in the cathedral. Once this has been done, all congregate at the altar to take part in a service given by the current Chosen of Hestia.   After this is done and just as the sun is setting, the followers will surround the hearth. The chosen will lead the blessings to Hestia and light the large hearth in the middle of the cathedral. All will sit in front of the hearth for the rest of the evening, sharing prepared dishes, celebrating their family life and praising Hestia. Any that are carrying children are gathered in one area with the clerics of Hestia and a specific blessing is placed upon them and the child using specially prepared herbs and spices entwined with divine magic.   When the light of the hearth dies out around midnight, the last ember will flicker before a warmth will fill one of the clerics or paladins that are assembled at the hearth. They will become the new Chosen for the year.   Those that are unable to attend the cathedral practice these at home but no Chosen is decided within the family home.  
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