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Clearing

Clearing, also known as Winter Clearing or Springtide, is an traditional Castellite holiday celebrated on the first Launderday of Medusi. The holiday centers on clearing out the winter and welcoming the spring.   The Clearing is also a celebration of children. Following the Castellite belief that the soul has four seasons, children are believed to have spring souls. This makes them uniquely capable of ushering in the new season.

Traditions

  Clearing is first and foremost a duty, and there is work to be done before the festivities can take place. The adults take it upon themselves to do most of the work clearing out the winter. This usually includes shovelling leftover snow out where the sun can melt it, and in some cases burning it. Children are tasked with ushering in spring, and each child has their role to play in the festitivites. Newborns are blessed to bring good luck, and the older kids set out to hunt or plant the first flowers.  

Dot Blessings

The youngest, usually those less than a year old, are brought out by their mothers to bless and be blessed. A special colourful powder is prepared for these blessings. Those who wish to participate dip their thumb into the power and press their thumb against the child. The dot left behind contains the blessing.   These powders are also worn by some of the older kids. Red-rubbed cheeks are a common sight during the Clearing festivities.  

Weather Oracle

The youngest child of them all is selected for an even more special purpose. A special wicker basket is placed in the fields, and the baby, dubbed the spring child, is laid down in the crib. The spring child is believed to be able to influence the future harvest. If they reach towards their mother, the harvest will be normal. If the spring child reaches towards their father, the harvest will be plentiful. If they do not reach towards either, the crops are likely to spoil in the fields.   Each village has their own superstitions on how to best encourage the Spring Child to give them the desired result, some bring noisemakers or holler from behind the father or mother to either get the childs attention or to scare them off. Others watch in complete, reverent silence.  

Hunt for the First Bloom

The older children are encouraged to participate in the hunt for the first blooms. The goal is to find the first flowers. When they find a flower, the children sing to them and dance around them. Folklore states this is to please minor fey spirits.   In some villages, the older children also create spring hearts. Spring hearts are small mounds of dirt and local seeds that the children bring with them on the hunt and work into the soil.  

Village Feast

  Clearing usually ends with a village feast. The feast is held outside, and everyone brings their best dishes. This is the last feast created from the winter stores, so the tables are dominated by preserves and long-lasting foods. A special fresh bake, the sunbun, is heavily associated with the holiday.  
Sunbuns
Sunbuns by Annie Stein
Sunbuns are a delightful airy pastry baked for Clearing. The buns are topped with icing, and have a sweet custard center. The sunbuns are often decorated with berries around the custard sun to represent rays or the petals of a flower.   Sunbuns are usually given as prizes when childen find their first flowers.   The history of the sunbun is not very well known. Some claim the pastry originated as a way to use up the leftover yolks after re-starching the family linens.
Blessed Baby
Blessed Babe by Annie Stein
Also calledWinter Clearing, Springtide
Observed byCastellan Kingdoms
TypeCultural
SignificanceWelcoming the Spring
CelebrationsDancing, Flower hunts, Feasts
DateFirst Launderday of Medusi
FrequencyAnnual

Clearing Rhyme

Clearing Rhyme
Sheet Music by Skye Im and Annie Stein
Oh, my dearest, don't wilt for me
Oh, my fear is that you shan't be
Winter's been fun,
but it ought to run,
Oh, my dearest, don't wilt for me


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Comments

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11 Aug, 2021 13:20

The drawings, the sheet music, it all makes this tradition feel so real. Amazing work :)

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
11 Aug, 2021 13:21

Thank you so much!

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
11 Aug, 2021 13:23

Those are very fun traditions :D And great job with those pretty picture and the musisc!

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
11 Aug, 2021 13:26

Thank you! It was fun to do some illustrations, I'm glad people like them!

11 Aug, 2021 15:17

This sounds like a beautiful celebration, and you described it so well that I’m almost sad I won’t get to attend one.

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
11 Aug, 2021 16:08

Aw, thank you so much! Noone's saying you can't arrange your own Clearing next March though! I think March 5th is the first saturday.

12 Aug, 2021 06:06

Thank you very much for writing this, nnie. I found it to be my favorite thing another person's work can be: inspiring.

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
12 Aug, 2021 08:34

That's high praise. Thank you so much <3

15 Aug, 2021 18:31

Wow, fascinating and super detailed article! I particularly like the idea that sould have seasons, but in general all the cultural details make the festival very living :)

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
16 Aug, 2021 17:48

Thank you so much!

Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
21 Aug, 2021 16:17

This is a very delightful read. I love the initial ideas of the soul being having four seasons. I also like how you clarify that there are alternatives to the tradition, which helps expands your world and adds an extra layer of lore and realism. The sheet music, the pictures, they work well to add to your writing! Nice work!

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
21 Aug, 2021 17:55

Thank you so much! I feel like I borrowed the seasons of a soul concept from somewhere else, but I cannot for the life of me remember where. I'm so glad you enjoyed the read!

24 Aug, 2021 01:28

Amazing work! Everything is so realistic :)

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
24 Aug, 2021 08:49

Thank you!

9 Sep, 2021 00:09

So sorry for responding late, but you're welcome! Are there any African-inspired worlds on here?

Journeyman nnie
Annie Stein
9 Sep, 2021 10:40

There isn't a whole lot of worldbuilding for the morning realm inspired by Africa yet. If we're talking about world anvil at large, I'm sure there's something, but I don't know of it off the top of my head. You might have better luck asking on the world anvil discord?