Astest Tradition / Ritual in Tower's Fall | World Anvil
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Astest (Ahs-test)

The Stargazer's Holiday

Astest, more literally translated as 'star celebration' or 'star event,' is the last common festival before the celebration of the new year. It's often a lighthearted celebration as the world begins to warm, and a break from planting in many regions.   Though the festival itself is not tied to a particular celestial event, most of the festivities consist of recitations of the stories of the constellations. Figurines in their shapes are often sold, and contests based on identifying the star patterns are held with various small trinket prizes.   Another facet of the celebration is the drawing of 'skin constellations.' Celebrants make use of the Woad Pen to draw the best known or their favorite constellations on their exposed skin. Many will choose their birth constellation, if known.   When the sky is clear (though it is not always) celebrants will star-gaze, dousing all fires in the area and lighting red-glazed lanterns where they're necessary. Most of the time is spent outdoors, with some even choosing to sleep outdoors when they would not normally, typically on the roof of their home.   When the sky is clouded or other weather strikes (as it may well) celebrants gather indoors instead. Impromptu decorations are often strung up to make approximations of the constellations on the ceiling or floor, and the recitations of the stories continue. Children are sometimes told that there are as many stars in the sky as raindrops hitting the roof, and tasked with counting them.  


Orelli Nobility

The Orelli nobility will often host far more extravagant variations of the ceremony. Rather than paint exposed skin, though some still partake in that facet of the celebration, nobles will have festival clothing embroidered or dyed to reflect their favored star patterns. Dancefloors are sometimes painted with the host or honored guest's birth constellation. Glass-domed ballrooms are considered appropriate for the occasion, or garden parties.   For a time, masquerade balls were the most common Astest celebration in Orelli high society. Astest is often associated with romance, so attendees would be encouraged to 'set aside their titles, and let the stars guide them to their partner.' That only nobles attended such balls kept any scandals from occurring, though the idea of a charming commoner arriving at one is a fairly popular novel trope.   The royal family hosts their own every year, with the eldest child often arranging the holiday celebrations once they've come of age, as preparation for future hosting endeavors.


In the islands, Astest takes on a more important role, given the importance of any sea traveler knowing the stars. Aheri celebrations are usually outdoors, and while they also share the stories of their constellations, they also highlight the importance of the Mage's Star and how it led Ahera to the island nation.   Constellations are sometimes arranged on the beach or sand floors in sea-shells gathered expressly for the purpose, and sometimes painted by participants. The Aheri royalty attend the public gathering of their capitol, and it's common for the Queen to set the first constellation, aided by local children. The Consort, and any children, follow suit.
Date Held: 26 Sollin
Celebrated: Across Lialin
Non-feast Holiday

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Cover image: by Zac Cain


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