Tundea's burning day Tradition / Ritual in Iphars | World Anvil

Tundea's burning day

Iphars is being reworked! Please bear with me!

On the summer solstice the people from Vagrigh have a tradition to apease the gods and avoid their isand being burned down by the now awaken volcano. This tradition prepares the island for another year of Tundea's awakening and the participants give offerings to the spirits asking for their blessing and protection.

The week before that day, hundreds of people get ready for the day, and on the solstice, people burn down part of the island forest in a controlled fire and then celebrate all night long, offering offerings to apease the gods.

It is hold on the summer solstice since it is believed (by the Ipharians inhabitants of Vagrigh) to be the day where they are closest to friendly spirits (and thus easier to contact them) and it allows the controlled fires to do their job for longer. It also allows for people to cook more calmly the food for the night.


The preparations of the festival start a week before the solstice, hundreds of people work on it, and it consist in preparing the forest for the controlled fire. Some of these preparations are:

  • Digging pits to divide which parts of the forest will be burnt.
  • Make sure there are no organic connection between the two parts of the forest.
  • Cutting down the amount of plants on the shurb layer of the forest.
  • Cutting down healthy trees, saving the logs for the festival (the amount of trees cut vary depending on the amount of time they have)

  • Primary Related Location

    The Solstice

    Early in the solstice day's morning, as soon as the sun raises, the forest fires start. During all day, the people who had been preparing for the fires will be watch over them, making sure it does not become wild and uncontrollable, and that everything is under the norm. Meanwhile, other people ready the festival and specially the food.

    When the sun finally hides and the night starts, people make sure to stop the fires and then, the celebration begins. Multiples places around the island hold food, music and a wood-carving competition. The party and the competition keeps on going through all the short night. On the next sunset, the best wood figurine will be picked; the prize tends to differ on each place.

    On the next morning, people make sure that the fires did the job, killing possible surving plants and taking out anything that could be a hazard. This work might take a couple of days to finish or even a week. After all has been done, the carved wooden figures done during the solstice night will be put in the healthy part of the forest, as offerings to the spirits so they protect the forest from the Tundea's awakening.

    It is believed that, if spirits accept the wooden figures as offerings, they will take them as their new houses and that will protect the forest from any possible fire from the volcano.


    This tradition started three decades ago, after the great fire that almost caused the island to be evacuated, also known as the Tundea's wrath. Since then, this yearly tradition is done, believing that it will calm down Tundea and cause more harmless Tundea's awakenings. Other than calming down the volcano, the traditions helps avoid the volcano eruption starting a fire that can easily spread through all the island and cause the risk of having to evacuate the island.

    The whole island gets together for this celebration, even some townfolk from Etetol (as it all happens in the interior of the islands, Sirens, who are a big part of the population, cannot physically attend), who tend to be more reserved to themselves.

    Since its start, people have slowly learn more tricks and techniques to apply to the forest before the controlled fires. And, because its a theme affecting all the island, everyone is obligated to tell if they learned more tricks and techniques and share it with all the island's towns. As magic is being learn, there have been investigations on how to attempt to control water (with the intention to eventually being able to control the weather as the mysterious couple did three decades ago).

    No fires provoked from the volcano's lava has affected in big scale since the start of this tradition.

    Cover image: by VVertixico


    Author's Notes

    I have no idea of how controlled fires work, so it probably isn't faithful to proper useful techniques.

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    Jul 6, 2023 23:35

    It's a really neat dichotomy of celebration and setting something on fire for the purpose of destruction... You've set it up in such a neat way. And while I can't speak to what the proper useful technique might be - not being a firefighter myself nor having googled any of it - I think what you laid out makes sense to the people of the island. And I think that matters, too.

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    Jul 7, 2023 07:30 by Catoblepon

    Thank you <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    Jul 7, 2023 00:01 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    What a great and believable festival. I like that part of its purpose is to stop potential volcano fires from spreading too badly.

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    Jul 7, 2023 07:30 by Catoblepon

    AWw thanks! Im glad its believable

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    Jul 28, 2023 08:16

    I love the spiritual idea behind the forest fires in an attempt to temper Tundea's wrath, but also the practical thought behind it. The woodcarving is just adorable and fantastic (and also hits a soft spot, because I want to learn it too!).   Well done, keep up the good work! :D

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    Jul 28, 2023 10:58 by Catoblepon

    Woodcarving sounds amazing, ngl. I'm glad you liked it! :D (For a moment I panicked cuz I didn't remember if I cleaned the article or not xD)

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    Aug 30, 2023 23:27 by Rachel Bentz

    As someone who grew up in an area where controlled burns were common and done on a regular basis, I love this! You hit all the important points very well. Have the villagers noticed an increase in the soil quality over time?

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    Aug 31, 2023 10:32 by Catoblepon

    Thank you! I'm glad you think I've talked about the important points and in a good way! I hadn't thought about the soil quality! They don't really approach too much to where they burn the forest but maybe they see each year a bit more vegetation at the border!

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