Fisher's Feast Tradition / Ritual in Pathfinder: Crusades | World Anvil

Fisher's Feast

Upon the arrival of autumn, otherwise known as the harvest season, catfolk communities on the mainland prepare for a three day long celebration. While celebrated by catfolk families, it's common for said families to invite any outsiders that they consider a close friend. On the first day of the Fisher's Feast, the younger members of the family are tasked with fishing. They go out in groups, some of them choosing to fish at dusk, while the others wait until later in the day. They don't return home until they have full baskets of fish, at least enough for everyone at the party to have a full plate of food.   While they tend to that, the elders prepare the yard and home for the festivities. Tables are placed and set outside, garlands of autumn leaves are strung around banisters, and side dishes are picked for the coming feast. Popular decorations for the holiday include pumpkins, dried maize, and crafts made from things like acorns and pinecones. These crafts are used to adorn the tables, as well as candles carefully surrounded by leaves.   The second day of the Fisher's Feast is devoted to the preparation and cooking of side dishes. While the elders usually tend to this role, it isn't uncommon to find the grandchildren working alongside them. Desserts are baked to compliment the rest of the dishes, usually in the form of pies or cookies with dried fruit baked inside of them. Perch and pike are the easiest fish to obtain in a short amount of time. After the fishers return home with their catches, the fish are cleaned, and then stored in a gardenia based butcher paper. The fish are pulled out the next day and are cut down into fillets, given a second cleaning, and then prepared for a dry rub.   The seasoning leans into the autumn theme, leading to a flavor that is sharp and refreshing with a hint of warmth provided by garlic and salt. The fish fillets are covered in the seasoning completely, wrapped up once more, and set aside overnight. On the third day, the Fisher's Feast is in full swing. The fish fillets are passed off to the matriarchs of the family, who fry them up while singing songs that they learned from their mothers long ago. Stories are shared between everyone, some detailing the hardships the family's ancestors faced when settling on the mainland. Others are light-hearted memories or stories of remembrance, ensuring that even the departed are included in the festivities.   While the main celebration is the fish fry, some catfolk families enjoy playing games during these gatherings. Given the season, pumpkin carving is a common activity during the Fisher's Feast. Some other activities include playing horseshoes and tug of war. The Fisher's Feast is brought to a close with a candle ceremony. Each family member writes a wish or a prayer on a slip of parchment. A matriarch holds out a golden candle and one by one, the family steps forward to burn their parchment over its flame. In order for these wishes to be heard, they're not shared aloud. Once the ceremony concludes, people come and go as they please, often dragging the party on until the early hours of the morning.

History

The Fisher's Feast started as a simple celebration for the original catfolk settlers on the mainland. They had migrated from The Isles of Basilla and founded Felidae, further cementing their independence from the royal families of Basilla. The original affair was a celebration for the nation as a whole. Families would gather in the center of their towns, eagerly awaiting the fresh meals that were prepared by the elders among the community.   Felidae was a nation in crisis and far too often, families would go without fresh food and seldom had any valuables to call their own. The Fisher's Feast was a time for everyone to come together and make sure no one went home hungry. It was also a holiday of trade, every catfolk bringing anything they could in the hopes they could secure resources for their families. Crocheted items would be traded for baskets of bread, skilled carpenters would trade their labor for a month's worth of rations. As Felidae fell into further ruin, many of the catfolk that called it home began leaving to place down roots elsewhere.   This led to the forming of small enclaves all around the Caelsimilian Peninsula and Teme-Rasadar. The tradition of the Fisher's Feast was nearly forgotten until mainland catfolk were able to carve their way into society. While they still face discrimination, catfolk have more opportunities to build a life on the mainland than before. This led to a resurgence of the Fisher's Feast because these families wished to celebrate their accomplishments, whether they were major or minor.
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Cover image: by Kal V, derivative work created with the Canva Content License

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