River days are a Tublian
tradition held during the hottest days of the year when the river is too shallow for sailing. All the River Folk
flock to the Jothi river
not only to cool off, but to enjoy in all the river based fun River Days promise.
River days usually last 3-8 days in total. Once the water levels reach deep enough to sail once again, the festivities end and life returns as normal.
The River Days are almost assuredly spent in or near the river. Typically the children and young adults all flock to the river bed, it being no more than waist high to most, bringing buckets and pails to better splash others or collect the many collectibles that would otherwise be covered by the grew waters.
Feasts and picnic tables
While the children are goofing off, many of the adults take this as an unofficial time to try out any new or more complex dishes they might have. These can be from local history or brought from traders along the river, and they almost always include some sort of fish or seafood base.
Tables are set up along the center docks where most of the fun is being had, and the food is all laid out gradually for others to graze and taste to their hearts content. The best dishes are saved until the final night where a large dinner is held after the final activities are held as both a ending celebration and a send of meal for all the merchants that had spent the week.
Since, for the most part, these days of fun are due to a bunch of boats getting stuck, there are several activities that pull history into he fun.
Kids and adults between 13 and 25 can enter pushing contests in groups, where the aim is to see how big of a ship can they dislodge from the river bed the fastest. These are held all throughout the day, getting to the final boat just as the sun is setting on the last River Day of the year. The winners all get first choice at the meal table and bragging rights till the next Pushing Contest.
For those that aren’t interested in testing their strength, there is still boat painting. Local captains or merchants passing though can volunteer to have their boats redecorated by the youth of the river. These redecorations can be ornate or very subtle, from just a new coat of paint to an intericate design organized by the more artistic children. These ships are then launched after the final pushing contest when the waters reach sailing levels.
Back in 780, before the invention of the Tuukefæt
when ships were not specifically designed for river travel, during the hottest days of the year the river would become too shallow for most ships to sail.
To help, all the young men and women from ages 13-25 would get in the shallow waters and help push the ships either to a dock or to deeper waters. During this time, the adults then take a moment to help guide tired sailors to their shops or lead them towards sharing their cultural heritage with the rest of the world, anything to make a good enough impression that they will return for longer periods of time next year.
Eventually this became a habit of sorts, when the river levels reached a certain point the local communities declared it “River days”. Families would then gather along the banks for a day of water based fun mixed in with the work.