Turelite Birth Eve Feast
Across Turelion Province, and wherever there is a strong presence of Turelites in the Empire, groups and families will hold feasts to celebrate an individual’s birthday. However, these feasts are not intended as a way of celebrating the coming of a new year in the person’s life, but they are actually intended to be retrospective events, where the actions of the individual over the past year are celebrated. For most Turelites, these celebrations will be fairly simple affairs and will really only consist of a group of friends or a family sitting down to a communal meal, ideally one that has some additional special dishes to heighten the sense of celebration. However, for the most affluent members of Turelite society, these celebrations are lavish affairs that have had additional elements and rituals added into over the centuries. Examples of these additional traditions include: The processing of the celebrant – where the one whose birthday it is, is paraded around their local area, born on a chair by their friends and relatives. Toasting the parents – where the celebrant actually presents gifts to their parents, if they are still living; or lays offerings at their graves, if deceased and then raises a toast to thank them for bringing them into the world. Mumming of the year – where friends or relatives of the celebrant re-enact key events from the last year of their life, normally in a mocking, but jovial manner. In more affluent households troupes of mimes or bards are often paid to carry out this ritual instead. Burning of the wishes – where the celebrant writes down all of the things that they would like to do in the year ahead on a piece of paper or parchment, which is then soaked in a strong liquor of choice and then burned, the idea being that the wishes are thus released from the paper, allowing them to manifest in the real world.
The feast is actually observed the night before the birthday of the individual concerned, rather than on the actual day of their birth. Although the feast is technically held on the night before the celebrant’s birthday, there is no actual restriction on when it should end, a fact that has led many of the more affluent individuals to truly let loose. It is not uncommon for Turelite Birth-Eve Feasts to last several days and the longest Birth-Eve feast on record is the 47th birthday of Emperor Machestaro III which was held on board the Imperial Peacock Model Firewing and which purportedly lasted three weeks and spanned across three continents. The amount of money that this particular Imperial celebration cost the Empire’s tax payers is unknown as the sum was declared an official secret and redacted from all Imperial Accounts for the year.