Common Scarterran Holidays
Holiday's marked with an asterisk* are not always on the same day in every year and every place. The date is only approximate. The following holidays are holidays what are recognized in some form in most/all of Scarterra. Nearly every region has some of their own local holidays too commonly celebrating the birth of their nation, historically important military victories, the death of local heroes, the local prince's birthday, among other things. Not every holiday is celebrated equally or even celebrated at all. You can sort of gage the general welfare of a realm by looking at their holidays. A prosperous realm is going to be able to have the time and resources to recognize more holidays than a struggling realm.The five days of the Month of Turoch/Month of the Nike have traditional things associated with each day based on what supposedly happened during the Divine Rebellion. Scarterrans don’t always use the same sequence of events, many prefer to have their big party on day five rather than day three. Technically these five days are collectively the Winter Stellar Day. The Cult of the Compact really likes to push polytheism on the Stellar Days but they don’t need to bother during these five days. Since the story of the Divine Rebellion is told over and over again, nearly every Scarterran is a polytheist on this day. 1st The Poisoning of Turoch: For most people this day is spent in somber reflection and/or fasting. There is often a wake for all friends, loved ones or members of the community who died in the last year. 2nd Charge of the Dragons: Major accomplishments of the last year are recognized. Major goals for the next year are announced. 3rd Death of the Traitor: the turning point of the battle against Turoch. This is where feasting and partying tends to occur. 4th Turoch’s Last Thrashings: While this was when the Nine probably spent most of their energy, this day is traditionally spent recuperating from the night before. 5th Death of Turoch: Ritual re-enactments of the Rebellion are the most common form of celebration (though they can be done on any or all days). Those who take the annual zodiac seriously make a ritual out of this, thanking the deity who presided over the last year and welcoming the deity presiding over the next year.
Dawn of Maylar: Maylar 1, Afternike 1: Also the start of the calendar year. This day tends to have a very toned down worship ceremony for Maylar, unless it's the start of Maylar's Zodiac year in which case the Testers make a big deal out of this and there is probably going to be lots of important challenges.
Hearth Day * Maylar 10, Afternike 10: Dedicatd to Mera, the purpose of Hearth Day is to enjoy a meal with family and friends around a nice warm fire on a cold winter night, give thanks for what you have, and tell a lot of uplifting stories. Some cultures memorialize their honored dead on this night.
Apex of Maylar Maylar 20/Afternike 20: Most Scarterrans just make some simple offerings and prayers and leave it at that, taking less than 30 minutes observing this. The Testers of Maylar make a big raucous party out of this with feasting, boasting, and ceremonial combat.
Maylar's Solace Maylar 40/Horning 10: Observed almost exclusively by the Testers of Maylar. This is when they memorialize their honored dead and reflect on the previous year.
Imbolc the Herald of Spring (Tween Day ) Mera 6/Horning 16: Imbolc marks the midway point between winter and spring. Not every Scarterran culture observes this. When it observes it usually involves a modest party and a procession of people with candles, torches or lanterns to symbolically chase winter away. This is the Scarterran equivalent of Groundhog Day and there are a variety of superstitions and omens to try to figure out if the spring is going to come early or late.
The Great Hunt* Mera 15/Horning 25: The month of Horning is a popular time for sport hunters. Late in the month some rich people like to trump up their hunt with extra pomp and circumstances making a minor holiday out of it.
Mera's ZenithMera 20/Horning 30: Mera’s Apex is often called Water Day. In arid environments it is common to have rain dances or other rituals to encourage rain. Wise woman will try to douse for new well digging sites on this day. Of the coast, it’s common that fishermen offer praise and offering to Mera in exchange for a year of good fishing. In inland regions that are not very arid or very wet, this holiday is barely observed. It’s viewed as a good day for family gatherings and little more.
Mera's Solace Mera 40/Stirring 20: Mera’s core followers generally put less weight on Mera’s solace than others put on the other eight solace days. It is common to memorialize those who died in the past year, bless those born in the past year, and maybe engage in quiet reflection but the Tenders don’t make a huge deal of this day.
Korus' Verdance Korus 1/Stirring 21: The start of Korus' Zodiac month. Mostly used as a formal meeting day for the Stewards to make plans for the next year.
Spring Stellar Day Korus 11/Verdance 1: The official start of Spring. The Cult of the Compact honors all the Nine on this day. Most Scarterrans just honor Korus briefly and move on with their day.
Apex of Korus Korus 20/Verdance 10: This is the peak of planting seasons and Korus is praised by most farmers to try to ensure a good year of crops. Nomadic hunter/gathers celebrate this day as a fertility festival and like to have weddings on this time of year. Children conceived on this day are said to be especially hearty and strong. If the local Stewards tend to test their would-be new recruits all year long, but this is day that the hardest tests usually fall on.
Korus' SolaceKorus 40/Verdance 20: Korus’ Solace is mainly observed by Korus’ Stewards and lay people are rarely invited even if they are staunch Korus worshipers. The observances usually extend anywhere from three days before and after the day to ten days before and after the day. During this time, the Stewards of the Gift and the Stewards of the Dominion ritually meet up en masse and celebrate their shared ties. Even when the Stewards of the Gift and the Stewards of Dominion are experiencing a full-out civil war, this peace is observed. This is also the period of time when new recruits who pass all their tests are formally initiated.
Beltaine, Spring Fertility Festival (Tween Day) Nami 16/Afterverdance 16: This marks the midway point between Spring and Summer. In general a very light-hearted festival with drinking and merrymaking. Nearly every Scarterran culture has some kind of fertility festival on this day and this is considered an auspicious day for weddings and betrothals. It’s also viewed as a good day to seal peace treaties and alliances. Staunch Mera and Korus worshipers will also ceremonially bless children on this day. Children typically lead the candle procession and wear symbolic woven crowns of grass.
Nami's Zenith/Freedom Festival Nami 20/Afterverdance 20: This day is often called the Freedom Festival. For the more stodgy nations and tribes of Scarterra, this is the one day they can let their hair down with a wild festival in Nami’s honor. Most less stodgy tribes actually prefer to have their Nami celebration outside of Nami’s month because Nami herself does not like to stay in her lane.
Nami's Solace Nami 39-40/Thrimlich 9-10: This holiday is mostly observed by Nami’s core followers and ignored by almost everyone else. This is the one day where the Rovers are universally a somber lot. Sometimes they even stretch this for the entire last week of Nami’s month instead of just the last two days. The Rovers fast and suffer deprivation, take on ceremonial burdens and do other similar observances so they can better appreciate the freedom they usually enjoy. This is when the Rovers memorialize their honored dead.
Summer’s Eve* Greymoria 16/Thrimlich 26: Also, called the Day of Testing. This is the Maylar holiday most mainstream Scarterrans observe. Scarterrans undergo tests of strength and endurance to show to Maylar that they are strong and thus do not need to be tested with disease or strife. These demonstrations vary widely by region and culture including but not limited to: fasting, tests of endurance, athletic competitions, and non-lethal combat.
Apex of Greymoria 20/Thrimlich 30: This holiday is generally ignored entirely by most Scarterrans who are not among Greymoria’s core worshipers (given that the first day of Summer is literally tomorrow), especially if they are not involved in arcane magic in anyway. Reagents harvested on this day are usually more potent than those harvested on other days (the Tweens are also good days to harvest reagents). This is said to be an auspicious time to enact major magical rituals, consecrate magical items, or begin wizard apprenticeships. A disproportionately high number of young sorcerers hit magical puberty on this day manifesting their first accidental magic on this day.
Summer Stellar Day Greymoria 21, Embers 1: The first day of summer, the equivalent of the Summer Solstice on real world Earth. Most cultures observe this but not everyone observes this the same way. Khemra worshipers of course give the sun goddess praise on the start of Summer. Maylar worshipers often have a ceremonial hunt. Nami worshipers often have a party, Mera worshipers often have a family feast day. Some princes have a festival to provide free food and entertainment to the commoners. Other princes have a tournament to impress their peers and vassals among the nobility. The Cult of the Compact likes to make a formal worship of all the Nine (they take the Stellar Days very seriously). Some cultures like to have weddings or courtship on this day.
Greymoria's SolaceGreymoria 40, Embers 20: Greymoria’s Children do not make waves on this day, lest they be too predictable to their many enemies. The Children often keep symbolic or literal trophies of enemies slain. They ceremonially destroy their trophies in secret rituals on this day, confident that they will get more. Then the Children will write down a list (or chant a list) of all the enemies they want to bring low in the next year, often complete with litanies of their targets’ many crimes against the Dark Mother.
Khemra's Dawn Khemra 1, Embers 21: The first day of Khemra's Zodiac month is typically when the Keepers formally recognize new members and promotions of old members, it also the marks the start of a donation collection drive.
Gift Day* Khemra 11, Midsummer 1: Gift Day is also called Commoner Day, Mask Polishing Day, Festival Day, Market Day, Circus Day, or Bread Day among many other names. Gift Day is a holiday originated by the Masks of Phidas that has been co-opted by mainstream Scarterrans. The god Phidas might be a tight fisted miser and so are his followers but Phidas is very concerned with his public image and so are his followers. On Gift Day the Masks go around giving out food, entertainment, magical services and other nice things free of charge. The holiday has been co-opted by secular princes who often choose to sponsor a festival or some other gesture of generosity to the peasantry at some point during the summer Local princes often symbolically humiliate themselves in some way. Sometimes the king or local lord steps down and names the court jester (or a random lucky commoner) “King for a Day.” You can guess the prince’s general attitudes towards the little people by watching him or her closely on this day. Is the local lord smiling and laughing merrily or is his hiding his disdain under a fake smile?
Khemra's Zenith Khemra 20, Midsummer 10: The main holiday for Khemra’s core worshipers and is at least passively observed by most mainstream Scarterrans. In additional to formal offerings and praise, this is viewed as an auspicious day to seal formal oaths be they oaths of fealty or oaths of marriage. This is also a common day to memorialize the honored dead. This is also when Khemra’s core worshipers feast and celebrate but many Scarterrans joke about the Keeper’s celebrations being very tame and boring compared to everyone else’s celebrations.
Midsummer's Night (Tween Day) Khemra 26, Midsummer 16: This tween day marks the halfway point between summer and fall. In Scarterra this kind of combines the Celtic holiday of Lughnasadh with the modern holiday of Valentines Day. While the harvest day for staple crops is still a long way off, this is usually the start of harvest season for fruiting trees and shrubs. There is feasting and celebration and this is often viewed as a couple’s holiday both for formal proper marriages, cute puppy love courtships, and illicit affairs.
Khemra's Dusk Khemra 40, Midsummer 30: Celebrated almost exclusively by Khemra’s core worshipers. This is the time the Keepers make sacrifices, review their long term plans and memorialize their honored dead.
Zarthus' Dawn Zarthus 1, Hayweed 1: The Lanterns recognize new members and do some community outreach that may or not involve harvesting or sharing hay.
Zarthus' Zenith Zarthus 20/Hayweed 20: This Zarthus holiday is observed in some fashion by most mainstream Scarterrans because it’s fun. There are usually parties, lots of drinking, athletic contests, craftsmanship shows, and lots and lots of music. Also, this has a Mardi Gras/Carnival atmosphere where carnal acts are more permissible than usual.
The Autumn Stellar Day Zarthus 31/Harvest 1: The official start of fall. Not too surprisingly there is usually some kind of ritual of thanksgiving to Korus and the rest of the Nine for a bountiful harvest. Per usual, the Cult of the Compact like to honor all of the Nine of this day as per all the Stellar Days.
Zarthus' Solace Zarthus 40/Harvest 10: Mainstream Scarterrans do not usually observe this day. Most of Zarthus core followers don’t observe this holiday either. The only reason I’m remarking on this at is that Zarthus’ most violent and revolutionary minded Lanterns really like to plan or carry out major attacks against their perceived oppressors on this day. This has led some brinksmanship and saber rattling. Most princes lock their doors and stay inside on this day, but the Masks of Phidas and the princes they support confident in the strength of their iron fists like to make a show of force on this day to dare the Lanterns to try to stop them. A common trick is to publicly execute some Lanterns on this day in order to lure more Lanterns into a trap when they try to rescue them.
Harvest Celebration* Hallisan 5/Harvest 15: This holiday has a different day from region to region. The key here is that most of the harvest is completed and a good portion of it is already cured/pickled/canned or whatever the method of long term storage is being used. Because people have a lot of food, this is a good day to have a feast. The name of the holiday may change and the date of the observance may move around but nearly every agricultural society has some kind of harvest celebration. Harvest Celebrations commonly praise many deities but this is largely viewed as a pro-Korus holiday because he is the agriculture deity.
Winter's Eve* Blooding 1/Hallisan 21 or Blooding 30/Phidas 10: Winter’s Eve either marks the beginning of the time to cull the livestock for winter or the end of it. The first and/or last slain livestock of the season is dedicated to Maylar in somber ceremony. Other ceremonial offers are given. The Testers of Maylar tend to give very serious offerings here. Nomadic people honor this holiday differently making offerings to Maylar to ensure good luck in hunting.
Hallisan's Dawn Hallisan 1, Havesting 11: Typically a minor holiday where Hallisan's worshipers make a donation drive, but sometimes this holiday is folding into a martial tournament or harvest festival.
Apex of Hallisan Hallisan 20, Harvesting 30: This is the major holiday for Hallisan’s core worshipers and a fair number of mainstream Scarterrans observe this holiday. In militant societies there are likely to be athletic competitions, jousting tournaments, archery contests and the like. A lot of societies have craftsmanship contests and expos instead of or in addition to the physical contests.
Samhain, the Day of the Dead (Tween Day) Hallisan 36/Blooding 16: This is tween day marks the halfway point between autumn and winter and is roughly analogous to Halloween. Greymoria’s core worshipers view this as their prime holiday with celebrations (which often have a macabre twist on conventional “celebrations”), ritual sacrifices, and long term plans made. This is a popular day for mainstream Scarterrans to make offerings to placate Greymoria’s wrath. This is also a popular day to honor the dead.
Hallisan's Solace/Day of the Dead Hallisan 40, Blooding 20: This is a somber holiday for Hallisan’s core worshipers that glorifies sacrifice and memorializes the honored dead. In many, but no means all cultures this holiday has been co-opted into a mainstream holiday “the Day of the Dead” for all of the Nine where everyone memorializes the honored dead, or at least everyone that practices filial piety. Careful readers may notice the Day of the Dead was listed twice. This was deliberate. Generally regions and cultures that really hate and fear Greymoria tend to have their Day of the Dead celebration on the 20th and cultures that are pro-Greymoria or at least ambivalent towards Greymoria tend to have their Day of the Dead celebration on the 16th. Ecclesiastical politics at its finest.
Zenith of Phidas Phidas 20, Forenike 10: This is the main holiday for Phidas’ core worshipers and this is generally observed in some token fashion by most mainstream Scarterrans. Phidas is placated with praises and sacrifices (usually symbolizing wealth) and Scarterrans try to get Phidas’ blessing for good luck and prosperity.
The War Against the Darkness* Phidas 30, Forenike 20: Lantern led festivals with a celebratory air where literal and metaphorical darkness is warded off with a procession of chanting lantern or torchbearers.
Phidas' Solace Phidas 40, Forenike 30: Phidas Masks quietly meet with each other and discuss their past and future actions against the Void and the minions of the Void.