Magic Lights Festival
A celebration of love
We gather here today to celebrate our love for the Divine Goddess Torva and for each other. I love the devotion of my fellow priestesses and monks. I love the valor of the Torvae Paladins And I love each and every one of you.The Magic Lights Festival is an annual holiday designed to celebrate love: love between family, friends, and lovers, as well as love for the Goddess. The most highly anticipated aspect of the festival are the light displays. Priestesses and witches create temporary, magical lights that hover above festival-goers. Other lights are also used to light up the night including candles, lanterns, and even magic light orbs. The festival often includes a variety of activities including parades, games, and banquets or outdoor dinner parties.
Exchanging of gifts does occur during the Magic Lights Festival, but typically just between lovers. Non-magic people (nomas), often trade jewelry, flowers, or other, more personal items. Witches often trade more useful items such as potions, potion ingredients (like magimandus scales), crystals, bloodstones, or even lifestones.
In Torverath, it is referred to as the Divine Light Festival by the general populace. It is also referred to as Matorvai Usti, by priestesses and others within the Torvae church, historians, and those who study the Ancient language. What began as a humble tradition has evolved into a much grander event in the city-state of Torverath. This is due to the high population density and tourism, as Salarians and others travel to Toverath to take part in the festivities.
People can then enjoy a variety of performances, visit street vendors for food and trinkets, or attend private parties.
The High Priestess leads a massive parade from her ceremonial carriage. The parade stretches from the city's gates to the Temple of Torva and begins at sundown. During the parade, Torvae priestesses, monks, and paladins create countless temporary, divine lights to float upon the air and dazzle attendees. When the parade reaches the Temple of Torva, the High Priestess gives a speech, magically amplifying her voice so all of Torverath can receive her message of love, and enjoy her final display of brilliant white divine lights.
Salaris refers to it as the Magic Lights Festival and many of the celebrations include other arcane magic light and demonstrations, floating lanterns, and fireworks, lighting the night sky in various colors, not just the white and yellow divine lights as in Torverath.
CitiesThe larger cities of Salaris celebrate with parades, much like in Torverath. A few Torvae priestesses often travel to the cities to create the divine lights. With only a few priestesses available to Salarian cities, resident witches also create arcane magic lights of all colors. They also celebrate with physical magic light orbs, paper lanterns, other magical demonstrations, and fireworks to light the night.
Small towns & rural areasSmall towns and rural areas typically do not have anyone who can produce the divine lights and sometimes not even the arcane lights. Therefore, celebrants rely on candles, luminaries, and paper lanterns to light the festivities. Those living in wooded areas typically keep to the more traditional celebration by lighting a path to a clearing in the woods where people gather to share food and company.
The Eldahi also celebrate the Magic Lights Festival, though they do not maintain the same religious elements of the holiday and do not believe in divine power. They draw on their ancestral power to create magic lights of all colors. Many members of the community work together to decorate a clearing in the forest where the Eldahi gather to celebrate and feast.
Recorded historyIn her teachings, Torva outlined the ceremony she held after acknowledging a new priestess, monk, or paladin into her order. The Goddess herself would create countless tiny, divine lights and set them to light a path to a clearing in the forest, which she would also decorate with the ethereal lights. Once her order gathered, she would address her followers, telling them all she love them. She would then do the same for the ascending priestess, monk, or paladin and share their virtues with all. It is from this ceremony that the Magic Lights Festival descends.
Myth:It is believed that when Torva still walked Valayo, she would have trysts with her lovers in small wooded clearings decorated with thousands of her own magical lights (matorvai ). Some people believe this openly, while other, stricter sects of the religion shun this notion, preferring to believe in a chaste version of the Goddess.
ObservanceThe Magic Lights Festival is celebrated during the summer solstice, when the Goddess Constellation is at its brightest and highest point in the night sky
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This article was written for the Love Seasons flash challenge. Thank you for reading!