Find The Rainbow In The River Tradition / Ritual in The Rosepetal | World Anvil

Find The Rainbow In The River

Public anthropological record
Property of the Royal Atheneum of Hövnís, Eörpe

“Find the rainbow in the river” is an annual tradition practiced at the Royal Atheneum of Hövnís by the students attending any of the programs at the Creatives Lyceum.  

Etymology & Definition

The name of the tradition originates from a lusoyan saying that goes ‘beauty and meaning can be found even in the most simple and mundane of things’. It was a commonly spoken piece of encouragement to students and coworkers alike by a former Head of Community Arts, Setsuvah.  




The tradition originates from what was intended to be a one-time event honoring the memory of the Head of Community Arts Setsuvah, after she had passed away due to illness. Anyone who wanted to contribute to the memorial event was given access to the Creatives Lyceum to create a piece of visual art that’d be put on display in the stretch of the Vilde River running through the academy grounds.   The Creatives Lyceum was open for a full month in order to give everyone ample of time to finish their contribution, and the attendance number was far higher than had ever been anticipated. One week before the students’ official summer vacation began the river was filled with a myriad of colorful works of art. It was covered in several news reportages and became a primary target for tourism for the rest of the summer.  

Modern Practice

The original event was so widely appreciated that requests for a repeat started dropping in en masse already the following autumn. The event has run annually since but with a much more limited scope.  


The event is run annually, with preparations starting two weeks before the student’s summer vacation. The event is typically publicly announced on all common forms of media in Hövnís to draw attention and tourism.  


Today the tradition is limited in involvement and only includes attendees to any of the Creative Lyceum’s art programs. Participation is voluntary.   Most art teaching will be involved in preparing and organizing the event, and there'll be a number of maintance workers aiding in setup and removal of the artworks.  


All students at the Creatives Lyceum that’d like to participate in the event are asked to spend the last two weeks of their semester to look through and reflect on all their creations made over the course of the year. They’re then to choose the piece they’re most proud of and submit it before the end of the semester. Along with the submission they're also able to give a short request on where and how they'd like their art piece to be displayed.   Once the deadline for submitting pieces of art has passed, the art teachers involved in organizing the event, alongside local maintenance workers, are responsible for setting up the art displays during the following weekend.   Depending on the nature of the art piece, different methods of assemblage is used. The most common method is using transparent podiums fastened on the river’s bottom with the art piece placed on top which will give the illusion of it free-floating above the water under certain lighting conditions. Sculptures and other physical art objects, with their creator’s approval, have been seen partially submerged or fully placed on the river’s bottom.  


The art exhibit remains up through the entirety of the summer and is a highly popular target for tourism during that time. At the beginning of the autumn semester the exhibit is ended, and the art is recovered and given back to their respective creators.

The River Artworks

Below is a selection of the artworks displayed at the original memorial event. Due to being dedicated to the memory of Setsuvah, most of the art that went up on display touched on subjects known to have been dear to her.  

The River Flower

The former head of community arts was named after a common but famously beautiful flower found abundantly in the calm rivers of her homworld, Cajlu.   This particular piece was a composition made from a shellstone frame with the petals and leaves shaped from colored keishun-silk. By letting the colors increase in transparency toward the edges it gave the illusion of melting in with the water when set to float on its surface.

Seeing Beyond the Rainbow

Setsuvah sometimes expressed that having eyes that can see far beyond the spectrum of colors of most of her peers and coworkers were both a blessing and a curse in her line of work.   This small rounded dome with a light-catching orb at its center, was placed on the bottom of the calmest river bend. As light shone on the orb, the reflective dome around would scintillate in an impressive range of hues and tones.

Life of Color

Art in all its forms were a lifelong passion of Setsuvah, and before her exile from the Ascendancy she had been on her way to renown as a sculpter and painter on her homeworld of Cajlu.   A bust of Setsuvah was placed on a podium close to the lyceum itself. Thin and carefully shaped luma-thread, powered by a minimal energy pack, gave it an etheral shine during the darker hours.

Soul on Cajlu

Though she rarely, if ever, spoke of why she had to leave her home, it was always clear that she dearly missed Cajlu. Many hoped that her soul now finally could return home where it belonged.   One artwork featured a photo of the vast Calju ocean, supposedly close to her birth town, as its base with a silhouette of Setsuvah and a colorful rainbow thinly painted on top.


Author's Notes

This article was lovingly inspired by a local real-life tradition.

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Jul 5, 2023 13:20 by Catoblepon


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Jul 5, 2023 17:12 by Nimin N
Jul 5, 2023 15:06

I like that it was only meant to be this one time thing honoring someone and people liked the -event- so much that it's the event that is repeated. While that in and of itself is nice, I feel like that means the initial intent of it is sort of lost. And that is sad in its own way. I'm sure Setsuvah would be happy that the event, and thus the creation of art, persists but I just thought it was a bittersweet sort of thing.

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Jul 5, 2023 17:30 by Nimin N

I imagine there exists a quiet level of discontent among some art teachers that'd like to do the art exhibit in the 'intended spirit' (or not at all). And then there's the unfortunate truth that its very much a large piece of advertisement and point of income due to the attention and tourism it generates. The exhibit visitors may or may not even be aware of the origin and meaning behind the tradition. So yeah, bittersweet seems like a really good description of it.

Jul 6, 2023 18:00

Exactly that. It isn't so much that the spirit of creation is -bad-, but the initial intent and honor is not only lost but likely unknown to many of the tourist. Nothing inherently wrong with the spirit of the event, but it is bittersweet because of how it started and what it was meant to be. I like the layers to this article. Very well done.

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Jul 14, 2023 17:30 by Clarissa Gosling

What a beautiful idea!

Jul 14, 2023 20:13 by Nimin N
Jul 28, 2023 10:08

I adore the original idea and intend of the event, honouring a beloved headmaster who encouraged students and colleagues alike. Yet, I can also appreciate the commercialism you showed that turned the event from something personal to a tourist attraction. It is the hard reality of the world and you're showing that with grace.   Well done! Keep up the good work! :D

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Jul 31, 2023 09:37 by Nimin N

Thank you! I think this is my favorite submission, and likely one I'll give a bit more love post-SC - especially to touch a bit more on the background and maybe add something more on different people's views on it.

Jul 29, 2023 11:54 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Aw, I love this. I know the original intention is gone, but I feel like Setsuvah would appreciate the pretty art nonetheless. I particularly enjoyed how you took the stock photos and gave them meaningful descriptions. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 31, 2023 09:42 by Nimin N

Thank you, makes me glad to hear the stock photos and their descriptions were well received. <3   had initially planned to add my own art, but alas my hands don't want to cooperate at all. Sometimes I feel bad for resorting to using royalty-free stuff.

Jul 31, 2023 10:03 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Ahh, me too, but I don't think we should feel bad. Sometimes we need to prioritise. :) Besides, can always change stuff up later if you want to!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 31, 2023 10:55 by Nimin N

That's very true, thanks for the encouragement and reminder. :)

Aug 10, 2023 05:49 by Han

ohhhh the imagery in this is beautiful

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Aug 12, 2023 14:04 by Nimin N