Oroaias "Flowering of Love" Tradition / Ritual in Toy Soldier Saga | World Anvil
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Oroaias "Flowering of Love" (o-roh-RAY-əs | /o ɹoʊ 'ɹeɪ əs/ | /o roʊ 'reɪ əs/)

Once a spring celebration, now a celebration of love and fertility

Oroaias is an ancient elven holiday celebrating love and fertility. Likely observed since the dawn of the Avalonian Empire, this popular holiday is acknowledged in different ways, but almost all elven communities celebrate it.   Flowers and flower wreaths feature prominently in dress and decoration. Sidhe and Alfar make use of their tradition of Floriography, the language of flowers, to communicate messages; whether as a subtle signal between lovers, or in complex displays of art.   Communities gather together and great parties ensue. These take different forms, but usually involve a great feast, communal dance, imbibing of euphoric substances, gifting, and trysting. Sometimes there are liaisons that would not normally be sanctioned in the community.


Presumably, this holiday once denoted the height of spring, since it falls right between what were once the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice in Avalon. Over time, the holiday in most places has shifted to focus on love and sexual expression. This is likely due to the proliferation of Avalonian elves on multiple worlds, where the seasonal cycles do not necessarily conform to those of Avalon.


Most elven ethnic groups have their own traditions for this holiday, as dictated by culture and climate. There are far too many to cover in the scope of a single article, but some universal customs do exist:

Elf Couple Romance by DeeDee51

Alfar have a ritual (see Alfar Bower Ritual ) in which those who identify as femme or female weave a bower of flowers. Those who seek to court them then attempt to compose a poem that highlights the qualities symbolized by the flowers the bower-weaver has chosen.   A more mundane tradition is the gifting of jewelry or candied confections and desserts to one's lover. This is also a popular time to gift one's intended mate with an Amber Tear Charm and declare one's intentions to marry. For those who seek love, it's a traditional time to make offerings to the goddess Freya.   It might surprise outsiders to learn that the often stiff and formal Alfar usually maintain the tradition of the maypole dance, in which the community gathers around a tall pole streaming colourful ribbons, possibly with a flower wreath at its crown, to dance a weaving circular dance that winds the ribbons into a tapestry around the pole. The pole is then burned in the evening's communal bonfire, and members of the community relight their hearth fires from the flames.   Sylsani(Feywine) is a traditional mildly euphoric drink that is served with the feast. The evening culminates in a ball, during which it is not uncommon for couples (or lovers of the moment) to pair off and disappear.


Sidhe engage in some of the same traditions as their Alfar cousins, including maypole dances, bonfires, feasting, and pairing off (although they are far more likely than the Alfar to enjoy a friendly tryst). Amber tear charms are also often gifted to one's intended, and offerings to Freya may also be made. Sidhe make extended use of Floriography, from the intentions of their decorations to carefully-composed gifts for lovers or friends.   In the process of a courtship, Sidhe often choose this day to unveil great compositions of artistic merit, from painting, sculpture, and jewelry; to confectionaries and candied flowers (also created with the language of flowers in mind to poetry, music, and so forth, as a gift to their beloved. Sidhe artists agonize for months to create beautiful works that are truly worthy of the one(s) they love.   The feast concludes with Clasalitah "Rose-Honey-Cake," which is a white cake made with honey and rose petals. This cake is also served at weddings.   The evening culminates in a raucous party, liberally dosed with sylsani (and possibly other intoxicating substances).


Nunnehi have their own take on many of these traditions, as dictated by culture, clan and climate. Flowers figure prominently in gifts and decorations as well, but while some communities make use of traditional Floriography, many do not.   Gifts of amber or other jewelry may be made to one's beloved, but gifts also include beautifully-made clothing, household items, or fruit baskets (if climate and season permit.) In some communities, it is a great point of pride if a lover can present their intended with a perfect gift that suits their personality, even if that gift is unorthodox.   Dances are likely to take the form of hoop dances and sunwheels. Many communities observe Earth Dancing in which members of the community costume themselves as local flora or fauna, and dance together in ways that illustrate their nature, role, and interconnected places in the ecosystem. More urban Nunnehi communities may also engage in a celebratory parade to display their impressive costumes before the dance. Nunnehi are more likely to dance themselves into ecstasy than use intoxicants, but such substances aren't unknown, either.   The evening culminates in the youth leaping over the bonfire to invoke Freya's blessings, and lovers vanishing into the woods.


Because they dwell underwater, Nymphs have considerable variations in their traditions. Decorations take the form of beautiful underwater life, from corals to anemones to bioluminescent flora and fauna. Gifts are made of coral, abalone and pearl jewelry, especially if created by the elf gifting it.   Nymphs engage in complex, marvelous underwater ballets. Feasts usually feature oysters (for obvious reasons) and the imbibing of strange aquatic intoxicants. Marriages and proposals are not uncommon, and trysting is encouraged with the same wild abandon as among the Sidhe.


Sylphs also gift each other with confectionaries, artistic creations, and jewelry. Wine and food flows freely. Sylphs are almost unique among the elves in that their most respected gifts include exotic perfumes made from rare ingredients, and indeed, many communities compete to create the most popular and unique scents. Their aerial dances are a wonder to behold, making use of coloured ribbons, organza fabrics, and beautiful feathered costume.


Contrary to popular belief in other elven circles, the Sluagh, commonly known among other elves as "Svartalfar," do celebrate this holiday, and indeed, consider it of great importance. It is seen as the last hurrah of the year for the Unseelie Court, and as a result, their parties are legendary.   Their excesses would shock most Alfar, as they unabashedly consume vast quantities of food, wine, and exotic intoxicants, such as the many mushrooms and fungi that grow in their dark environments. Incense smoke and other perfumes permeate the air, and trysting is almost expected.   However, true Sluagh lovers may make each other tender gifts of expensive and exotic items or jewelry, or dark-loving flowers, such as night-blooming jasmine, Starflowers, or bioluminescent orchids.

Avalonian Navy

This holiday can be a cheerless one for the elves who serve in the Avalonian Imperial Navy, who are often separated by necessity from their lovers, spouses, and communities. However, the Navy does its best.   The Navy decorates with local flowers, and hosts a formal dinner. Mess dress is required. If possible, lovers and families of their personnel are invited, and the evening also features a ball. If this is not possible, the Navy makes a great effort to see that mail from home, and accompanying care packages, are delivered on this day.   A unique tradition has developed in which the officers are required to serve the enlisted during the feast, and the enlisted lay on friendly abuse that would usually be considered insubordinate. The evening concludes with a traditional bun fight (less messy than most food fights, but still satisfying.)   Afterwards, the Mithril look the other way when their personnel erupt into wild parties, even if they stretch (or break) the traditional admonition against intoxication. A little rowdiness is also overlooked, but not if any serious harm is caused.


Though much of Oroaias is focused on adults, children are entertained by single elves and elders in most communities, with feasting, candy, dancing and games. Organizing this is a common role for Unicorn Cavalry and others who have chosen more solitary lives.

Components and tools

  • Flowers or bioluminscent flora are essential for most Oroaias decorating and gifts.
  • Maypole dances require a tall pole with colourful ribbons that extend to the ground.
  • Feasts feature local foods thought to have aphrodisiac qualities.
  • Sylsani or other, stronger euphorics are required for consumption in most communities.
  • Jewelry, candy, or artistic creations are needed for gifts.
  • Many communities require special costumes for elaborate dances.
  • The Alfar bower ritual requires arbors and flowers.
  • Sidhe feasts require Clasalitah.
  • The Avalonian Navy feast requires buns to throw.
  • Places for lovers to tryst are expected.
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Flower Arrangement by Linnaea Mallette

Elves say it with flowers. Article on Floriography forthcoming!  

Starflower by Linnaea Mallette

Sluagh give gifts of dark-loving flowers, like night-blooming jasmine and Starflowers.

Recurs annually on the 14th of Flower Moon
Elven communities
Key Participants
Youths, lovers, spouses, and those who seek, or are in, love

Related Ethnicities

Cover image: by Warwick Goble


Author's Notes

This holiday was inspired by a combination of Beltane, Valentine's Day, Midsummer, and April Fools' Day traditions from around the world; except for the Navy ritual of officers serving the enlisted, and the traditional bun fight, which are a part of the Boxing Day traditions of most Commonwealth Armed Forces.

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Feb 14, 2020 03:46 by Amy Winters-Voss

Delightful! I was especially touched by the care the Navy takes to help out it’s soldiers during a tough time away from loved ones.

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | Author Website
May 20, 2020 07:23 by Diane Morrison

I am sorry, I thought I had thanked you for the kind words, but I see my computer must have eaten it somehow. So, thank you! :)

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga. Mother of Bunnies, Eater of Pickles, Friend of Nerds, First of her Name.
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