Celebration of the Ancestors

The Celebration of the Ancestors is an ancient tradition celebrated by the Crienia people throughout the Empire of Dercia.   The celebration takes place at the end of the month of Fira, and during the celebration, the Crienia people will gather in their local communities. After a short offering to their local temple, the celebration can truly begin.  


The centrepiece of the food consumed during the celebration would almost always be a wild animal that the community hunters or fishermen had hunted. It was not unusual to see a whole pig roasted over an open fire or stage if it was a coastal community. If it were a stag that had been hunted for the feast, one of the antlers would be displayed over the fire, with the other part placed where the one that had shot the killing shot was sitting.   But even with the pig or stag as the centrepiece, there would still be all sorts of meats eaten during the celebration, including mutton, beef, lamb or fish both from sea, rivers and lakes, depending on where the Crienia community were located.   Besides all the meat, their people could also enjoy all sorts of pies and tarts, and there would often also be a large selection of locally produced cheese. If a caravan had passed through the area recently, there could also be more exotic cheese to be found. Up to the celebration, bakers would also be busy baking lots of bread for the celebration. There would be baked a special kind of bread only baked for the celebration, this bread if consumed alone, drier than regular bread, but the bakers would make this on purpose as the bread was meant to be used by having a thick stew poured onto this bread that would have been hollowed out for this purpose and afterwards the bread would have been allowed to soak in some of the stew afterwards it was eaten typically as a snack in between the meals.


For entertainment, there would be plays performed by performers, or if the celebration took place in larger Crienia settlements such as the capital of their empire, Pearlhal, there would also be tournaments were both nobles and cavalry would joust against each other, this took place on a large field where the crowd could gather to watch the jousting. There would be stands built where nobles could sit and watch or, as in Pearlhal, where the Hippodrome Festivus would be utilised to host these games, before each match, the two contenders would parade in front the crowd and come to a stop in front of the local lord were they would great the lord wishing them good health before moving to their positions, afterwards, the two contenders would charge against each other until one either surrendered or were knocked off their horse.   Another form of entertainment that was popular was a sport where two teams, typically the local community against the local army unit, while in Pearlhal, it had become tradition to have a team consisting of members of the Imperial Guard and the regular palace guards compete, the sport consisted of the two teams with 15-20 players on each side with, only wearing their tunic and shoes. In the middle of the field, a ball made of a sheep's stomach full of air would be placed, and on the signal of the trumpet, each team would rush forward, trying to secure control of the ball with the goal is getting the ball to the end of each side's line. This game had a reputation for being extremely violent, with members of each team often losing teeth, or if the rumours are to be believed, even spectators are said to have been injured during a match.


The Celebration of the Ancestors began more as a celebration of the union between the two tribes that created the Crienia people. Still, over the years, the tradition started to shift more toward celebrating the ancestors of the Crienia than the union. However, some would argue that the Celebration of the Ancestors still celebrates the union, just more in how modern Crienia views the two tribes as one side of the same coin.   The Celebration of the Ancestors would play a considerable role during the First unification war , especially during the first few decades of the war when the fear of Pealhal losing and the Crienia people being destroyed were on it highest, here the celebration were used to boost the morale of the population and remind people that the Crienia would always come out on top as they had always done in the past.
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Cover image: The Roman Festivals of the Colosseum by Pablo Salinas


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