The Betrothal Festival Tradition / Ritual in Thaiterra | World Anvil
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The Betrothal Festival

Once a year, the Insignia Council publicly announces the future marriage pairings, as dictated by the central computer and confirmed by the individuals themselves.  

Of note

  This ceremony is not an expression of permanence. It is only a betrothal, or engagement (depending on the popular terminology at the time). While there is some decision involved from those making their choices, and on occasion this event does reflect as a culmination of a longer romantic relationship, it is not legally binding. It is simply an announcement to the world that these people will eventually be getting married. This agreement can change, as people can decide that personalities don't agree, or that there's some point that is not reflected in the data used to set the engagement.   Also of note is the fact that while people do have a choice, it's not set in stone. You get a list (longer if you're lucky, shorter if you're not) and are expected to narrow it down. You can meet the people, whether in secret or overtly (you're both on each others' list, so you'll know who if someone snoops). You can also make your choice based solely on the data associated with the list. Some people even leave it to chance, letting the computer rate things based on its own criteria.   You might make your choice and decide that so-and-so is the right one for you, and that you love them, but if they decide rate someone else higher, that might happen. It's rare for those romantically involved to do this, but sometimes upsets do happen.


Setting the Matches

  Leading up to the event, the computer will generate a list of genetically compatible partners for each individual reaching First Adulthood. Each person will then use that list to guide their dating life and choose a future spouse. Some people will simply take the best recommendation genetically to avoid the need for a lot of relational complications. In all cases, both people are expected to meet and confirm the union. At that point, legally, they are betrothed, and will submit documentation as such to the Insignia Council. The Osperam in particular is responsible for overseeing this.   It should be noted that no one is required to confirm a marriage until sometime around Full Adulthood, but it is typical for most people to do so earlier rather than later. All matches confirmed up to ten days before the Betrothal Festival will be celebrated.  

The Festival

  The event is held in the Arthanion Sector, as is typical for large scale gatherings. Everyone will dress up in their finest, regardless of whether they will attend or not, and the whole day is declared a holiday from work.   A subdued version of a carnival is set up, with games and dancing and music, and most people participate in some way. Later in the evening, there is a massive feast, with the people who are going to be betrothed as the guests of honor. Specialty food that is grown outside the dome is served, after being carefully prepared to remove toxins. Sugar Mold is a particular favorite dessert and must be meticulously imported.   The main event is when the matches are announced at the end of the feast. Not everyone knows who this will be. The majority make some effort to choose, to ensure that they are socially compatible in the ways that it is impossible for a computer to predict. However, there are some people who are unable to choose, or else elect to leave it entirely up to the computer predictions and genetic records. On the whole, there are very few surprises.


The primary celebrants are the new couples, but the celebration is intended for everyone in the Dome.
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