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Burning Moon

When do the cultures celebrate the new year in your world? What does it involve?   Every year at the zenith of the winter solstice the peoples of Dyrburg celebrate not only the beginning of the year but the beginning of the end of the brutal winter. The Burning Moon Festival is a symbolization of purity, sacrifice, and vengeance. The festival celebrations are simple, though some of the wealthier cities include some city wide decoration and more elaborate costumes, but the core concept remains the same.    The inhabitants of the city bundle up in thick costumes and armor made up to represent heroes, guardian spirits, or ferocious dragons. Then they make fetishes to picture whatever they hate. Beastmen, hunters, the viscount, and monsters are all common choices. Every citizen makes their way to the feast hall/village hall of their town, where a giant icon is raised up in worship of Lunalirium, their chief Aavar. A procession made up of guards, volunteer citizens, and the mayor then spread themselves from one end of the town to the other, arms linked, and search every house, nook, and cranny of their street for possibly infected. They sign traditional hymns while they do so, Dyrburg's anthem, praise to Lunalirium, honor to the natural world. Anyone found who is thought to be infected is either killed or chained up until they make their way back to the feast/village hall.   There, a great flame has been stocked around the icon of Lunalirium and the influential and passionate members of their town give rousing speeches, sign songs for the city, or prophesy fortunes for the next year. The fetishes and any infected are thrown into the fire, followed by either more signing or a closing speech. Then there is a feast, all eat and drink well to celebrate the coming of the new year.    It is named thus because the evening of the winter solstice there is a blood moon that hangs in the sky all night, replaced by the blazing sun in the morning. It is thought that the great fire and sacrifice of the unclean to Lunalirium  is what drives the blood moon away, and brings the sun again in the morning.

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