Ediri - The Spring Festival (eh-DEER-ee)
Ediri, or New Year's Day, set at the Vernal Equinox, is the largest and most beloved celebration in the Gnome calendar. Beginning on Inabirin of Scensbivaik, the people of Prosperity will celebrate for three whole days in honor of the return of spring.
PreparationEdiri actually begins several days prior to the festival, itself, when all households are in a flurry, cleaning their houses for the new year. There is much airing of linens, opening of windows and doors, and repairing things that have gone neglected over the winter. At the same time, the kitchens are afire with preparation for the traditional feast foods that will be consumed in that three day span, and decorations of budding flower and tree branches are arranged around the dwelling.
General TraditionsNew beginnings and fresh starts are a running theme for Ediri. Throughout the next few days, loans will be repaid, borrowed items returned, and settlements made between arguing neighbors. The Land Office remains open throughout this time for those wishing to resolve boundary disputes before the New Year. In the same vein, folks in Prosperity will generally have at least one new set of clothing to wear for the festival, three or more if they are wealthy. The festival has several special events that mark the progression of the holiday, but two things are a staple throughout. First, in the River Market District , a large open-air bazaar does brisk business. Many merchants return here from out of town, now that winter is officially over, knowing there is profit to be made. Street vendors sell food and drink from small stalls or portable trays, hawking annual favorites. The second staple of the festival, naturally, is music and dancing. Every square has musicians set up playing lively country dances, their hats set out for spare coins. At night, bonfires are lit so that the revelry can continue. Pubs and taverns do brisk business, as well, selling mead and ale to the thirsty dancers. The overall tone of the festival is one of celebration and thankfulness, for surviving another winter season. No matter how cold the early spring night gets, the Gnomes dance themselves warm, and stand close to the fires.
The First DayThe first day of the Ediri Festival begins with a tradition that is older than anyone can remember. It is considered a bit quaint, and few actually believe it holds power, but it is part of the ritual and festivities of the holiday, so even the least superstitious Gnome will abide by it. At dawn, all the windows and doors are opened, no matter the temperature. Then the household rushes through the house, from top to bottom in a sunwise direction, wielding brooms to sweep old emotions and stale humours from the house, as well as ringing bells and other noisemakers, to ward off any evil or negative spirits that have lodged there over the last year, sending them fleeing through the open doors. The head of the household brings a basin of clear water, then, and pours it over the threshold of the door, washing the home clean for the new year. The benevolent spirits of Spring are invited in and welcomed by the whole family. The festival has then officially begun. Near noon on the first day, folks begin gathering in Zinhana Square in the Old Town District , one of the larger open areas in the city. The Gnomes meet here for the observance of Shelunba, when couples who have agreed to marry within the past year announce their intentions to the town, making the engagements official. This is not an official requirement, but it is the traditional custom, and is said to bring good luck upon the upcoming nuptials. There is much cheering and rejoicing as each couple takes their turn on a temporary stage set up for the ceremony. This custom also gives an additional excuse for the normal nighttime revelry, as the newly engaged are toasted and celebrated.
The Second DayThe second day, Rondirin, is divided between two activities. The daytime is a treat for anyone interested in the brewing arts, as there is a large tasting contest for newly brewed wines and meads from the winter past. Set up in Thalwiss Court, in the River Market District, there are usually a multitude of competitors, and a good number of folks just wanting a taste of everything. Awards are handed out for both categories by a panel of judges, and the competition for bragging rights is fierce. As dusk falls, though, the mood shifts to something more solemn and staid. For the day before Ediri has been decreed by the council as the time of Felziver, or The Choosing. This is when all young people from as small as ten years all the way up to twenty-five gather in front of the Founders' Stone to see if they have the talent for magic. Each mage-to-be, in turn, will have their tuition and travel costs paid for by the Council. The age range is so broad because the inborn ability can take years to show itself. Each youth in turn places their hand upon the granite obelisk, and waits to see if it begins to glow. This indicates that they are, in fact, one of the rare individuals that can channel magics and control them. Once all the candidates are tested, the night's celebrations are dedicated to the new mages.
Ediri DayEdiri, itself, is dedicated to family celebrations. The market and the musicians begin to pack up at midday, and the smells of home cooking can be scented everywhere. This day will end with a sumptuous feast of fresh flavors that have not been tasted in nearly a year. Each family provides as large a meal as their means allow. Richer businessmen and those among the Pactkeepers often have multi-course feasts. Despite the limited amount of fresh food available, the Gnomes have learned to make a variety of tasty dishes that speak of spring to the happy diners. That night, folks gather around their fires and tell stories of winters past, winters when they almost didn't make it, winters where some did not. Ancestors are remembered and knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Families can spend hours retelling stories both poignant and amusing about their kin, until late in the night. For Gniprac, the first day of the new month, is a day of rest and recovery from the excesses of the festival, set aside for late slumber and light meals before the working week begins. Thus, the Gnomes of Prosperity celebrate the dawning of a new year.
- Nettle tea with sorrel
- Samyra - deep-fried dandelions
- Hesza Soup in Bread Bowls
- Candied Dandelions and Violets
- Lankas Rolls - egg bread with a honey glaze and chopped nuts atop
- Zanbar - flatbread with lamb, spring greens, dandelions and garlic sauce
- Balvahas - A beef dish served with horseradish sauce
- Ananki- A fish and egg pie, usually trout
- Movakni - An egg and cheese pie with fiddlehead ferns mixed in.
- Blanched Nettle Leaves
- Wild Asparagus
- Young Greens Salad - often including cattail shoots and fennel
- Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
- Lankas Bread
- Serviceberry Custard
In the Gnomish method of timekeeping, the Zalkist Calendar, the actual day of Ediri is not included in the physical calendars. It is a day unto itself, and everyone knows which days it falls inbetween. This ensures an even number of days in each month, and a year so regular that a Gnome only needs to keep track of what year it is, and can reuse the same calendar year after year.