Winter's Wane Festival
When the constellation "The Butcher's Knife" constellation descends and the blade of the knife touches (and falls below) the horizon, it marks the start of the week long Winter's Wane Festival. Small campfires mark the trails from storage caves and cellars culminating in a large central bonfire monitored throughout the day and night. Foods of the festival are derived from the smoked and cured meats, stored root vegetables, and various dried beans in order to clean out these storage areas before the higher heat of the coming summer spoil those goods and seasonal culinary tastes turn to lighter and fresher dishes. Pickled dishes are also widely served to accompany the hearty dishes.
One special event is the collection, sale, and distribution of the winter's collection of animal waste that will be used to fertilize the coming grain and vegetable fields. An assessment is performed of the type, quality, and quantity of the available resource and arrangements can then be made for export of localized excess. This is a community event in which everyone from the children to the elderly can participate. The children help the younger men with the transport and centralization of the fertilizer, the elderly assist with the type, quality, and quantity assessment, and the women haggle over allocations and price, whether through barter or direct financial remuneration.
This festival is noted by indoor events due the chill, still wintry air. These events include musical concerts and theatrical productions which have been rehearsed throughout the winter season. Some events are performed by professional traveling acts, but many are localized amateur productions having been organized to keep the residents involved in the community when their attentions are not focused on agrarian pursuits. The festival celebrates the survival of the livestock herds and farms through the winter months, so a prohibition on livestock slaughter is in effect throughout the festival. Thus the festival is most heartily celebrated by the livestock farmers, butchers, and care specialists (veterinarians) and often is the source of any "over celebration" that occurs during this time.
The date of the festival start is variable, ranging from 105 to 130 days after the Dekuju Festival.