Bounty of the Sea Festival
A celebration of seafood and fishing
The Bounty of the Sea festival is an annual celebration of Nereus, Lord of Water, held in Port Haven. This ten day festival attracts people from all over Serukis, both for religious reasons and for the sheer variety of seafood available during the celebration.At dusk, the priests head back to the beach for the second ceremony of the day. They watch the sun set and more prayers are said. During the night hours, the priests are free to wander the city, telling tales of Nereus and partaking in the bounty of the sea.
HistoryPort Haven is the capital city of the Lordship of the High Lord Vaifale, whose patron Lord is Nereus. Almost as a consequence of this, Port Haven grew into Serukis's biggest port and fishing hub. Originally, the Bounty of the Sea festival was a celebration of the end of the major fishing season as a way to give thanks to Nereus for keeping the fishermen safe for another year. The festival is traditionally held in mid-autumn, when most fishermen returned home to the city for the winter. As the years have gone by, the festival has also become a celebration of the food that comes from the sea. Whilst religion still plays a major part in the festival, whole streets become markets and a party atmosphere descends over the whole city.
Religious RitesEach day of the festival, Priests of Nereus hold two ceremonies - one at dawn and one at dusk.
The ceremony at dawn is held on the beach. The priests head to the water to say prayers and welcome the sun as it rises over the sea. During daylight hours, the Priests of Nereus remain in their temples to pray and give blessings to anyone who wants them. Fishermen in particular usually visit the main temple of Nereus in Port Haven at least once during the festival to give their thanks for a good summer's fishing.
Street MarketsThe street markets of the Bounty of the Sea festival are famous across Serukis. Normal city streets, for the duration of the festival, become bustling markets selling all manner of food and trinkets that have come from the sea. The food stalls sell both Seruic staples and exotic delacies. Grilled fish, fried tentacles and sea vegetables are sold alongside candied crab legs and seaweed jam. There is also one memorable stall that sells wine made from seaweed, though the beverage is not a delicacy most people try twice. Other stalls sell items such sea shells and painted pebbles as lucky or religious charms. At the stalls of artisans, wind chimes and jewellery made from shells are common in the markets. At night time, massive street parties take over the markets, with dancing, singing and flowing ale.
On the last day of the festival, High Lord Vaifale holds a feast at his castle, a place known as the Palace of Shells. One hundred people are invited from across Port Haven for a sumptuous ten course meal - all seafood, of course. It is not known what makes a person eligible for an invitation to the Palace. Anyone can find themselves with an invite, from city guards or tavern keepers to beggars or prostitutes.
A Feast at the Palace of Shells
Example MenuFirst Course
Three oysters, served in their shells.
Shellfish soup made with whelks, clams, cockles, and mussels.
A wolf shark steak with crushed potatoes.
Spiced crab meat served in the shell.
A whole chargrilled fish served with sea vegetables.
A shrimp bouquet in a savoury pastry cone.
Fish roe served on toasted bread.
Candied crab legs.