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Binding of Lovers

A Danatelian Wedding Ceremony

From this day on, you will be for one another what the waves are to the beaches they embrace ceaselessly, what the stars are to the night sky they love. By the powers vested in me by the gods, I pronounce you bound.
— Priest of Samara

The Binding of Lovers is a special wedding ritual found in the Danatelian Lands. For a couple to be able to partake in the Binding, they must be habayan for one another, which appears as matching loss of pigments on the skin of the lovers. The ceremony can only be conducted by priests of Samara, the goddess of love.

Celebrations

The lovers must first present themselves to a priest of Samara, who will execute a series of rituals and prayers to attest that they are indeed Habayan. Once that is proven to be the case, preparations are started for the ceremony. In most villages and sometimes even smaller towns, the celebrations will occupy the entire population. In cities, they might instead limit themselves to a neighbourhood.

The celebrations themselves last 9 days, each day in dedication to one of the seven gods of the Saohri pantheon while the last three celebrate exclusively the goddess Samara, patron of love. Feasts are thrown in honour of the gods, with many traditional dances including the famed "Dance of Lovers", a ball that takes place on the night of the 7th day right before the shooting of fireworks.

Ritual

During the first 8 days, the to be wedded couple goes through a series of purifying rituals. They must learn a series of rites and vows that they will have to recite during the Binding. They are guided through this process by a priest of Samara, who is generally high ranking amongst their local temple.

The actual Binding of Lovers takes place on the dawn of the 9th day. The couple, priest and close family members gather together in a temple of Samara. The guests are sat in a demi circle on the floor, with the priest and couple sat in the center.
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by Camila Quintero Franco

Love Gems

The Love Gems are precious stones meant to be gifted to newly wed couples on their wedding days. The tradition dates back all the way to the birth of the Danatelian civilisation. They are meant to bring good fortune to the couple, and are also a symbol of the love they have for one another.

Love gems are usually kept within families: poorer families might pass down their own love gems to their children, while richer people tend to accumulate them as generations pass and turn them in fusahabi by embroidering the stones onto them.

There are no requirements regarding the size, colour or quality of the love gem. In some small villages, it isn't uncommon for the entire population to come together to gift a stone to a couple.
I know it isn't much, but me and the family managed to come together to get these for you. May they protect you in your future endeavours, and guide you through whatever comes.
— Karim Quelbar to his sister on her wedding day.

Origins

The tradition is based on a Saohri myth, in which the god KirĂ¯al made two legendary birds which he gifted to his husband, the god Aher. The birds, named Zafir and Burias, each had a gem embed in their foreheads that had been enchanted by the god to bring good luck to their future lives.

Habayan

The Danatelians have a few different concepts of love, as most cultures do. Amongst them are platonic love, the love a parent has for their children, or romantic love to name a few. But most holy amongst them, and unique to the Danatelians, is Habayan, best understood as "pure love". It is the gift of the goddess Samara to mortals, and only a few people are ever so lucky as to ever carry habayan in their hearts.
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by Lewis Zhao

Technical Details

Age: the couple must be of legal age, defined in accordance to the rules applied to their race.

Materials: During the ceremony, the lovers are united together with a red thread. Later, it is used to make necklaces the betrothed wear for the rest of their lives.

History: The Binding of Lovers is a ceremony that dates to the earliest days of the cult of Samara, around 12th century before A.A.

Other Rituals

For people who are not habayan, and hence cannot partake in the Binding of Lovers, other traditions exist. These are a lot more common, but also a lot smaller in size. They can be officiated by priests of any gods, and require the presence of a city official to register the wedding.

Related Artilce

Habayan
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Dec 10, 2020

Habayan is a unique form of love in the Danatelian culture.


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Cover image: by Mohammad Ali Berenji

Comments

Author's Notes

Another article! This one got out of hand, plus I don't know how to complete it- I feel like something is missing but can't figure out what.


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Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
4 Dec, 2020 22:35

This is beautiful. I love the quote at the beginning. I feel as though I would cry if those were my marriage vows.   Is there another marriage ritual for those who are not habayan? From what you said that's kind of a rare form of love.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
5 Dec, 2020 08:34

Thank you :'0, that really means a lot. There are actually other ceremonies, I made a quick edit to specify that- as for how rare habayan is, I'm thinking of writing a short article about it to explain it a little better. Thank you for your comment!

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
4 Dec, 2020 23:30

Love it so much. I definitely want to know more about Habayan. Is it just a pigment discoloration that happens to match another's or is it truely a gift from a goddess? Well done. I love the idea behind it and the quotes do alot to illustrate the idea.

5 Dec, 2020 08:38

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it! The way I picture it, the pigment discolouration only happens once you have met your habayan. I'm considering writing a full article about it, explore the idea a little more ^^   Thank you for your kind words, and for taking the time to comment!

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
5 Dec, 2020 09:30

Of course! I'll be watching for the article if you do it. Till next time.

Yarik
Rafael Martin
11 Dec, 2020 21:26

I absolutely love that you started the article with the quote of what I assume is the peak of the ceremony. Using pigment discolouration in such a way is sooo interesting! Fiction often forgets people can even have "patterns" on their skin and I love seeing a world that makes use of this! I also really like that you included controversies in the Habayan article. It makes the world feel very alive when people have different views on such a powerful element.

11 Dec, 2020 22:22

Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm really glad to hear you enjoyed all those details, it means a lot :) <3

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
13 Dec, 2020 15:50

As I said on Discord, this kind of worldbuilding is my absolute favourite to write and read and I have to say the wee Origins section at the end topped it off for me. I absolutely love when there's an origin myth cultures hark back to for the reason why these traditions are important and this sold it for me and made it all come together in a nice believable way! The little details like the red thread necklace as well is beautiful

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides - Welcome to Destiny!
13 Dec, 2020 17:25

Thank you so much, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed all the details! I'm quite a fan of baking up my traditions with historical or mythical elements so I'm glad I'm not the only one to enjoy these types of things.

sending good vibes <3 - Author of Interarcanum and Shakiraverse