Three Days for the Seafarer
Naming DayNaming Day is a tradition celebrated by all Dwarves - not just the Seafarers. This is the day that an infant truly becomes a Dwarf. It is the day that her name is proclaimed to the Clan; the day that name is added to the genealogy of the Clan. Naming Day is a tradition that dates back to the days of the first Dwarves born to the Awakened Ones, and its ritual has been passed down unchanged. All heritages of Dwarves, from those beneath the mountains to those that ply the seas, mark this occasion in the same way.
One year to the day after the birth of a Dwarf, the parents, immediate family members, and any other members of the Clan into which the Dwarf was born gather together to officially recognize their newest member. Father, mother, and child sit in the center of a circle formed by the rest of the Clan member attendees.
The uniquely crafted Clan Dagger is held before the child while the parents recite the full lineage that traces from the first Awakened Dwarves down to the child. The last name in the recited litany is that of the new child, and by tradition, it is the first time the Clan hears the name chosen for the child.
It should be noted that Dwarves are not strictly patrilineal or matrilineal; the proclaimed heritage is traced to include the most prestigious ancestors that can be claimed. (There have been many a marital argument among Dwarves regarding whose line is more worthy of passing along, but these disputes always seem to be worked out amicably.)
Sailing DayUnlike Naming Day, Sailing Day is a milestone unique to the Dwarves of the Seafarer heritage. For this the day - as close to a young Dwarf's tenth birthday as is feasible - when the child leaves behind the land-based home of whichever relatives raised him and he begins his life at sea. Sailing Day marks the end of childhood and the beginning of an apprenticeship during which the young Dwarf will learn all the skills of the Seafarer.
The ceremony for this event is a simple one. On Sailing Day the young Dwarf is accompanied by guardians and close family members on the walk to the dock where her future ship - most likely mastered by a relative if not a Clan member - is berthed. The child, in ritual fashion, calls out to the ship Master requesting working passage to "where'er the winds may take me". After the Master grants permission, the youth boards without looking back to the guardians who raised her. The good-byes would have been said before leaving the home.
Once aboard, the youth is given one of the poorest berths in the ship, likely alongside other youths. There is little privacy. For the next ten years, the Dwarf will serve the crew however they require, and at the same time will - first by watching and later by doing - learn the skills of an able Seafarer.
Arrival DayArrival Day is the last of the three important "birthdays", and is also uniquely a Seafarer tradition. While it is not necessary to tie this day to a particular anniversary of the Dwarf's birth, most Seafarers attempt to have it coincide with their twentieth birthday - ten years after their Sailing Day.
Arrival Day is the day when a young Dwarf completes the solo sailing trek undertaken to prove a mastery of the sea. The journey would have begun at least two weeks earlier with little fanfare other than a few well-wishes from the crew of the ship on which the Dwarf has been serving. This journey is expected to involve a difficult course from whatever starting point is convenient to the home port of the Dwarf's family and crew.
If the Dwarf completes the journey successfully, a celebration marking that sailor's transition from apprentice to full crewmember takes place. This celebration typically involves a lot of feasting, drinking and singing. Afterward, the Dwarf takes a place as an adult and full crew member.
There is no "not completing the journey" - a Dwarf either completes the voyage or dies trying. This Arrival Day voyage is the only instance where a Seafarer Dwarf or crew will not give aid to a fellow Seafarer... a young voyager in distress will be abandoned to his own resources.