Kiformeła Merz, Birthday Celebration
Since survival in the Dark Lands is not guaranteed, especially for children, in many villages they are celebrated once a year during the Kiformeła merz, which means birthday celebration. All of them receive a new nirć, a doll. In all other lands of Nys, birthdays are individual, with each person celebrating their birthday. In the northern lands, instead, all birthdays are celebrated together in the evening of the first full moon after the summer solstice. This is a compromise to still celebrate while not wasting the already scarce resources throughout the year. In the rare cities near the borders with the Empire and Doujate, birthday celebrations are usually held as in the other regions, for logistic reasons and because of the higher availability of resources.
During the day nobody is allowed to exit the village unless for emergencies, so foraging and some preparation must be done the day before. If travellers are in the village the day before, they are asked to either go away before dawn if they must or remain another night and rejoice with the village. On the celebration day, starting from early morning, people prepare food, dresses for the evening party and possible decorations. All parents of children who lived through less than fourteen birthdays and who can walk autonomously, put a doll they made or bought previously in an established place. If an alńy is present in the village, either because they live close by or because they are travelling, they bless the dolls before lunch. If two or more villages are close enough to one another, people gather in a single of them, different each year. In this case, everyone provides food, not only the host. During lunch, people eat together outside, even if they don't usually do it. Many couples choose this occasion to announce their engagement. This is especially important when the two betrothed live in different villages since this is one of the few events where both their families are gathered in the same place. If someone does so, a flower crown is immediately weaved by the boy's mother, blessed by the alńy, if present, and put on the head of the girl. Before sunset, the alńy if present or the (hosting) village chief otherwise, gifts a random doll to each child. After the dolls distribution, children who have received in their life fourteen dolls are gifted a weapon from their father or mother. From this moment on, they will be considered adults. Once all gifts have been received, the alńy or the chief blesses the village and all people present and the dinner begins. At this point, alcoholic beverages make their appearance and people get almost certainly drunk.