Yearly celebrations for one's day of birth are rare amongst the Utuk'taseg - Those that Seek, but it is an event of great importance when one of their community reaches adulthood. There is no set age in which this occurs, entering into adulthood is a more fluid and debated process. Though it is generally accepted in Raum'alur that when a youth becomes physically, mentally, and spiritually mature, as determined by their family and community, that it is time for them to make their own path in life. Once this has been decided, the Utuk'taseg community, lead by an experienced shaman will prepare for Liluye, a special planting ritual that upon completion ushers the youth into adulthood. Liluye is usually only held once a year, as preparations can be demanding depending on the size of the community. Before the ritual is conducted the local shamans of Raum'alur will speak with each of the families in the community in which they preside over, these discussions usually take place in springtime. If any of these families bring forth their children for Liluye, the shaman will make note of this and agree to consider the youth for Liluye. They will then speak with the rest of the community, collecting their thoughts on the youth in question, afterwards, the shaman will pray and seek guidance from the spirits. If the spirits do not give him a sign indicating not to proceed, and if the community does not bring forth any opposition, the shaman will accept them as a participant in Liluye. Preparations for Liluye begin in earnest with the shaman collecting various herbs, roots, and plants from the local region to be used during the ceremony. The shaman will prepare these for two special items required for Liluye. One is for the brewing of a sweet tea called Ubak that will be served during the ceremony, it is meant to calm and soother the mind during prayers. The other is a loose collection of flowers, herbs, and roots that are drawn together in a bag made of twine. This will be burned as an incense during the ceremony, with the hopes of attracting positives spirits. Once all of this has been prepared, the shaman will collect the families of each of the youths nominated for adulthood. He will speak to those families whose youth did not meet expectations first and will express to them to guide the youth further over the following year. The shaman offers to help these families by offering up a prayer of guidance and ensures that if they require further wisdom to seek them out at any time. The shaman promises to visit the family the following year and ask them if they believe if the youth is now ready. Afterwards, the shaman will tell those families whose youth will be apart of Liluye and gather them then and there and immediately guide them outside of the community to the edge of the nearest forest. There the shaman will request that each of the families, including the youths to participate in a cleansing ritual. The shaman will light the prepared incense and place it in a small stone pot. Usually constructed of stone that has been retrieved from the local region. Holes at the top of this small pot allow the smoke of the incense to permeate through it and create a strong smell akin to cinnamon and cherries. Once the smell fills the air, and the whisps of its smoke curls around those that are present will the shaman continue with the ceremony. The shaman will continue by brewing the Ubak tea for all those in attendance. This may take some time depending on the number of families in attendance and depending on the size of the community several shamans and any number of their students may attend to assist in the ritual. The shaman will speak a prayer of healing and guidance while those in attendance drink the Ubak tea and upon completion, the shaman will ask the youth to approach. Here, they will describe the importance and responsibilities of becoming an adult in the eyes of Utuk'taseg. They will tell them how they must seek out what they are destined to accomplish in life. If your inner self wishes to plow the fields and harvest the fruits of the land, you must do so. If your inner self tells you that you must protect this land, then take up arms and fight. And to most of all, have faith in how the spirits guide them, and to be brave and sure, and to seek out who they truly wish to be and to adhere to those goals and principles, no matter what trials lie ahead. When the shaman has finished speaking they will gift each of the youths with a small sapling and instructs them to enter the forest in which they reside near. They must enter the woods, and walk until the spirits reach out to them and guide their feet towards where they must be. No matter how long this takes, they must carry onwards, and preserve until the whispers of the spirits reach their ears. If they are patient enough, the spirits of the forest will show them exactly where they need to be and exactly where best to plant the tree in which they carry. It is imperative, that the sapling is planted in the area in which the spirits guide, as not doing so will curse the youth and they will endure a life of ill omen for the rest of their days. Once the spot is found they must carefully plant the tree and while doing so they are instructed to pray and tell the tree of their hopes and dreams for their future, this is believed to infuse and intertwine the fate of the Utuk'taseg with the tree and that now as the tree grows tall and strong so too will they. If the youths follow these instructions carefully, they will enter the forest as a youth but exit as a fully recognized adult in the eyes of the Utuk'taseg. After the ritual is completed the newly christened adults return to their home community and celebrate with the other residents of their village or town in a great feast complete with dance, song, and revelry.
The Planting Ritual
The Liluye ritual is only now starting to become common, as the Utuk'taseg is a young community and they have only resided in Raum'alur for the past two decades. Many youths are just now reaching adulthood as most were still young or hadn't been born when their families arrived in the Valley of the Embraced.