This tradition originated several hundred years ago. Maze forests were on the decline thanks to an infectious purple fungi that ate through the forests, revealing runo campsites to dangerous predators. The fungi acted so fast that just overnight a tree can go from completely healthy to decomposing.
In a strange effort to combat this, runos decided to set a bunch of forest fires to kill off all of the infected trees. It took an entire planet of runos to participate, as the epidemic was quickly spiralling and had infested into every corner of the Southern Hemisphere, where runos reside.
These fires were successful and within twenty years the fungi went extinct. But, runos did not stop. It became a tradition to light a couple trees on fire, and during the fungi annihilation the runos learnt that if a noble maze pine catches fire, the fire cannot spread onto a regular maze pine. It didn't make any sense, but the runos loved it.
Every year runos find a noble maze pine and set it alight, to remember the times where they were forced to. Instead of just setting fire to a tree they turned it into a celebration with music, dance, drinks, and of course, lots of food.
The first fires took placing during summer times when fungi spread fastest. There is no confirmed date for the first fires, but it is estimated to have been around the fifth month of the year, out of ten. The warmer, but still cold, temperatures means fires spread faster, which helped to clear out more fungi-infested trees.
The festivals take place at different times depending on the tribe. Runos begin the festival whenever the time feels write, but it must always be during the middle of the year.
The most historically significant component of the Fire Festivals are the Noble Symbols. Magical symbols are etched into the trunks of noble pines before they are set alight, each having some significance.
The magical symbols were first used to scare away spirits infecting the trees, before runos knew it was actually a fungi causing the issues.
A more recent addition to the Fire Festivals is burnt food. To feel one with the trees, runos will intentionally burn their food, lathering it in enough spices to make them actually taste nice.
Not all food is burnt, purely because some people despise it enough to refuse. There will always be well-cooked food for the picky.
Fur painting is a form of bonding for runos. Organic paints made of ground-up fruits and seeds are lathered onto the thick fur of these people, creating striking patterns and marks on their entire bodies. Some have fun with it, some take it incredibly seriously.
Between the fur painting, cooking, and noble symbols, the Fire Festival is heavily involved with arts and creativity. People are encouraged to use all their artistic talents in this festival, to create the most amazing fur patterns, noble symbols, and the most delicious foods.
Sophonts native to Maloruno. Runos inhabit the entirety of the Southern Hemisphere, guarding their civilisations from the white tigers in the North.
The sixth planet in the Ria Solar System. Home to the runos and white tigers, who dominate the southern and northern hemispheres respectively.