Éppuló grangiús Tradition / Ritual in Samthô | World Anvil
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Éppuló grangiús

General introduction

The city of Remia in the state Tebrina in the far north-east of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia celebrates the festival éppulo grangiús every year on a special occasion. When the end of the warm season draws near the citizens of Remia prepare for winter, the advent of which is announced by the first mist rising from the Paunis river when temperatures drop too low. At this time the kilns start being worked again as their heat now becomes a pleasant commodity rather than adding to the extreme summer heat. This is also the time when people have the last chance to spend their evenings outside with their respective community. To celebrate this a special feast is prepared. The feast as well as the festival both are called éppulo grangiús.

The dish and its preparation

The main ingredient is the woolly crab which is relatively rare so far up north and is thus protected except on this very day of the year. The Remians catch a few dozen woolly crabs which are then publicly prepared in great bronze pans. They are simmered in a broth made of fresh leek, parsnip, carrots and a mix of herbs as well as pickled cabbage. The crab meat and the broth and vegetables are served with dumplings made of spelt semolina that get stewed in a mix of hemp, walnut and hazelnut oil. These dumplings are called niós (pl.: nióré). A part of the dumplings is baked without adding the oil mix and left til the next day. They are then further processed to bérevo.

The festival and its meaning

The festivals connection to the moon
For the people of Tebrina the gods and goddesses of the sky play the most important role in their belief system. It is especially in the winter, when the days get shorter that the moons lighten up the sky. The woolly crabs' carapaces are bright white on the inside and carry a pearlescent lustre that is on the one hand similar to the moonlight on the other hand shines most brightly and beautifully when reflecting the moonlight. They are seen as symbols of the moon god on earth and fastened to poles that get erected all across Remia to show the moons omnipresence and being welcome during the darker part of the year. Indeed the carapaces contribute a lot to keep the streets lighted during the long winter nights, be it by reflecting the light of the moons or the light of the lamps which are set up.

Hunting and preparing the crabs
On the day when the mist rises first from the Paunis river a preselected group of hunters and huntresses head out to catch some of the larger woolly crabs they find by the river. The crabs are caught alive and get sedated with solveo crépulés. They are then brought to Remia and are cleaned from the algae and moss growing on their carapaces. This is process is called rásié. The rásié is accompanied by a libation to honour and express gratitude to Cerré, goddess of fruit, harvest and fertility for the gifts of the passing year. Removing the dirt from the carapace is seen as similar to threshing husks from cereals, an activity that's practiced around the same time of the year. The éppulo grangiús is thus a festival that celebrates the harvest and the end of the agricultural season, but also greets the new season with its important light-givers, Samthôs two moons. This is probably also the reason why the spelt semolina dumplings are part of the éppulo grangiús.

Placement in the circle of the year
The festival itself lasts only for one day but the week after is called noémdiéne meításés. During this time the winter grain is prepared for seeding by dressing them with a brew made of yew and what is harvested from the woolly crabs during the rásié. This is supplemented by adding ash from dried and burned algae harvested from the Paunis river during the summer. While the yew and the fresh algae from the crabs ward off insects and birds because of the pungent smell and taste, the ash prevents fungus growth and works as a fertiliser. On the last day of the noémdiéne meításés the dressed seeds are sown within that one day. In the evening the people cruise through the city to drink the warm spiced and sweetened bérevo that was prepared during the éppulo grangiús. It is also the last day of the year where alcoholic beverages are allowed.


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