Winter Solstice Celebrations in Enarion Tradition / Ritual in Shireon | World Anvil

Winter Solstice Celebrations in Enarion

Ah, the winter solstice. Good food, good company, and a huge bontfire.

It surely is the most wonderful time of the year.

— Random enari

On the longest night of the year, most of Shireon stays inside. This is not the case in Enarion. As all religious and most secular celebrations of the enari, the winter solstice is celebrated with good food, good company and a huge bonfire.

Encouraging the Sun's Return

The tradition of bonfires have ancient roots in enari culture, and was originally done at this specific time of year to try to encourage the sun to return to its summer glory. In their ancient collective mind they thought the sun was slowly leaving them, however why it started leaving is lost in the millennias. Nobody knows exactly why a huge bonfire will bring it back either, but if one thing is sure about the enari, they never shy away from a reason to light a bonfire.

Since the days turn brighter after the winter solstice, the ancient enari believed that their bonfire worked, so they kept doing it every winter solstice. Maybe they feared the sun had gotten used to their yearly bonfire and would truly go away if they stopped.

A Day of Warmth in the Cold, Dark Winter

In later years the ancient story of the sun disappearing has become more of a children's tale than an actual belief. The more modern reason for the winter solstice celebration in Enarion is a vague concept of warmth.

How the day is celebrated varies between families, yet some things are part of the traditional way of celebrating. Most people keep their homes warm during the whole day, using extra firewood to get some extra heat. The huge bonfires are lit around noon, usually in a central part of the community. It's rather cold at this time of year, so everyone tries to get as close to the fire as possible. In more densely populated areas this means that people will need to get there early to get close to the bonfire. The temperature also means that the usual activities done during enari fire festivals are either very short or dropped entirely.

After the bonfires, the rest of the day is usually spent eating in the company of the closest friends and family. Candles and hearths are lit during the whole day, keeping their homes warm and brightly lit. What happens during this period of abundance and warmth varies from family to family, but the food and company are generally important parts.

Honestly, with all the fire related rituals of the enari, it's a miracle they haven't burnt down their whole forest yet.

— Kuprian trader
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The Origin of the Enari Fire Festivals

It is widely believed that the winter solstice celebration was the original enari fire festival. Over the years, more festivals turned into fire festivals, and by this time there are barely any enari festival that doesn't include a bonfire. Exactly why is lost in the ages.

Why the Kael Thalori hasn't Burned Down Yet

As a culture this enamored by fire, the enari are also extremely fond of the forest they live in, the Kael Thalori (literally the Grand Forest in the enari language). It didn't take long to learn that wood is highly flammable. This forced the enari to learn how to use fire safely. Using this knowledge and developing it over a couple of millennia, they are now the civilization with the least amount of great fire disasters on all of Shireon.

Related Reading

The Winter Solstice
Tradition / Ritual | Dec 22, 2019

A day wedged between the old year and the new, this day is considered an important day for most people on Shireon

Tiweni Aer Enarion
Building / Landmark | Jul 6, 2019

The holiest place in Kael Thalori, according to the Enari. Every great celebration is done here.

Cover image: by stokpic


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Aug 5, 2021 22:12 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This sounds like such a nice, cosy celebration. Cold days are definitely best spent by a bonfire.