Wintertide Tradition / Ritual in The Encyclopaedia Tellurica | World Anvil


Wintertide is a week-long festival observed in many parts of Hyperborea for five days before and five days after the Deadwinter Solstice. From its roots in ancient dwarven druidry, its pervasive themes of hospitality, fellowship, and togetherness have found their way into most of the civilizations across Hyperborea and beyond.


The Hyperborean winter is no joke at any point during its tenure, but it's never meaner than at the start of the year, when night-time teperatures can easily freeze to death those caught out of doors and unprepared. In the places where settlements are few and far between, turning anyone out into the dark and cold is tantamount to murder.


Local customs exist to flavour events, but in general Wintertide festivities include the following aspects.

  • The Long Night: As the days shorten, the work for the year is finished and Households are assembled. After the sun has set for the last time that year, the Long Night begins; typically, this is celebrated by feasting and sharing in the bounty of the Autumn's labours.
  • Deadwinter: The Winter Solstice, ergo removed from Time and Fate. As the three moons align the Rising Cold reaches its peak, the Wheel pauses in its rotation and the worlds stop moving. The Aurora reflects the coming year's planned Destiny, illuminating the dark with a light show that the wise can interpret, but most just enjoy.
  • New Year's Dawning: The winter begins on the first day of the year, as the sun begins its slow return to its Midyear glory. Households rise early and prepare a feast to greet the first sunrise of the new year. Around midday, gifts are exchanged to convey esteem for fellowship shared.
  • Reverie: The world returns to its normal pace over the first few days of the year. Houshehold rituals are observed, and families settle in for the winter. Annual wards and other magical protections are renewed, and the world prepares for the coming year.


Wintertide is observed for five days before and after the Deadwinter solstice, from 27 Vidar - 5 Reverie.
A picture of Krampus, the Christmas Devil, in profile.
Bram the Krampus by Surk3

The Krampoi (singular: Krampus) are a merry band of devils who scourge the truly wicked each Long Night.

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Author's Notes

Prompts used: "Describe a tradition of gift-giving in your world — #WorldEmberGift"
"Describe a winter tradition which exists within one culture of your world. What is celebrated, and what's involved in the festivities?" World Anvil Writing Prompts by Janet

I've had this holiday in my mind since I was a kid but I've never managed to codify it before, so this year's WorldEmber participation is the time for that.

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