Calendar and Holy Days

The people of the Known World largely follow the Tenegar Calendar, which is 336 days long. The year is broken up into 8 months, each with 42 days. Each month has two lunar cycles, and there are two months in each of the four seasons.

There are 8 days in a week, with work/rest days being three on, one off. The days of the week are Eithen, Nithen, Kothen, Nulthen, Lanthen, Orthen, Mirthen, Trinthen, with Eithen and Lanthen being the traditional rest days.

Sovaras Spring Moon’s Blessing, The Arcanicus, Nasaníel
Surenfas Spring Shona Tenegal, Verdantide
Rodanfas Summer Sun’s Blessing
Luanfas Summer Midsummer’s Day, Tóma Ren
Sianfas Autumn Earth’s Blessing, Autumn’s Chalice, Mága Mirá
Ostafas Autumn Foundation Day, Firelight
Marseras Winter Festival of Giants, Carnival of Fools
Anmaras Winter Midwinter’s Day, Avár Ren, Yearsend

Festivals and Holy Days

There are many festivals held throughout the year, although many are specific to certain cultures or faiths. The most well-known and widespread are listed below, with a short description of how and why they are celebrated.

Date: 21 Sovaras
Observed By: Tālism
Events: The Arcanicus celebrates the defeat of Tanith. When the dark goddess raised an army of undead souls and fiendish minions to slay Jorah, god of magic and death, her forces instead found themselves arrayed against the combined might of both Jorah and Belen, the Nightwarden. Her armies shattered, Tanith fled into the void beyond the stars. After dusk, these events are retold with great clamor and enthusiasm on the Arcanicus, with players dressed in hideous garb battling and falling to more radiant, celestial figures. Particularly grand performances feature a combination of prayers, music and dance in addition to the mock battles.

Date: 41–42 Sianfas
Observed By: Tālism
Events: A two-day holiday celebrating the end of Autumn and (usually) the end of the harvest, Autumn’s Chalice is awash with green and orange, symbolizing prosperity, renewal and verdance. The day is reserved for games and competitions of athletics or skill, and the ceremonial meading – which, while only a handful participate, is often made into a public spectacle. When the meading is done and carefully set aside to ferment, the previous year’s mead casks are opened to much applause and prayer to Vela’s bounties. Public feasts of stewed fish and poultry, mixed with fresh harvest vegetables and autumn spices, are served alongside the mead.

Date: 1 – 5 Anmaras
Observed By: Szerathi
Events: The Szerathi midwinter festival, Avár Ren is a time for families and friends to gather and celebrate together. People wear the colors of red and gold throughout the days, and decorate their homes and streets with the same colors. As night falls, a great bonfire is lit on the shoreline, and the Szerathi keep lamps and candles burning through the night, and set burners of incense made of cinnamon, honey and clove. As a traditional dinner, fruit and nuts are fried with rice, white fish and shavings of coconut and sweet potato, sometimes supplemented by other root vegetables. Customarily, people stay inside after dusk, and do not venture outside on the nights of Avár Ren.

Date: 16 Marseras
Observed By: Tālism
Events: The Carnival of Fools combines public celebration and masquerade. A figure called the King of Fools, which may be a real person or an effigy, rides through town on a chariot or litter at the head of a grand parade of musicians and dancers, all of whom wear elaborate masks. Most Tālists get into the spirit of the Carnival by also concealing their identity behind masks and costuming. Unusual assortments and blends of food, spice and liquor are offered by street vendors and local taverns alike, and festival-goers are encouraged to create their own experimental concoctions from the offered selections. The Carnival of Fools continues well into the night, and has a reputation for acts of buffoonery both deliberate and inebriated. Tenegar tend to find the Carnival distasteful, both for its celebration of (in their opinion) feckless carousing, and because they feel it lampoons their own Festival of Giants.

Date: 1 Sianfas
Observed By: Tenegar
Events: Celebrated at the start of the harvest season, Earth’s Blessing begins at dawn when a priest of Ellaraith takes to the local fields (in Döv Razäd, the temple maintains its own fields), choosing nine of the best rice stalks, which will be harvested last and then scattered across the field at the end of the harvest season. Temples burn sweet incense, while households prepare midday feasts of roasted vegetables and goat’s cheese. It is forbidden to eat meat on Earth’s Blessing, out of respect for Ellaraith and his priesthood. Typically, family members and friends give each other gifts on this day, and charity in the form of coin or food for the less fortunate is encouraged.

Date: 1 Marseras
Observed By: Tenegar
Events: The Festival of Giants, or Ono Ganara, is a day to honor the legendary figures of Tenegar history. Though observed in all Tenegar settlements, in Döv Razäd is the festival is celebrated in particularly grand style. A parade of elaborate floats, each with a larger-than-life representation of these men and women, cruises slowly through the city, while a litany of the accomplishments of each individual is read out at regular intervals. The parade ends at the plaza before the Cathedral of the Three, where the public may join in a vast feast by donating to the temple coffers. Colonial settlements usually put up far simpler displays, presented within the temple grounds.

Date: 31 Ostafas
Observed By: Tālism
Events: The holy day of Firelight commemorates and rejoices in the marriage of Arath and Belen. Though a deeply religious festival, Tālists welcome all those who choose to involve themselves in the celebrations – as the gods invited the world itself to attend their union. The day begins as usual, with shops closing down and work ending at midday. Traditionally, the people gather at dusk in the town square or a similar public area, where stalls sell spiced food, raw ginger and mulled wine, fire dancers perform on stages to chanted vocals, and priests hand out posies of fire orchids and glory bower. Open candles and paper lanterns are arranged in elegant patterns along streets and around stalls. Late in the evening, priests lead the crowd in song and prayer. Finally, skyrockets and strings of firecrackers are lit in showers of brightly-colored sparks as the night comes to an end.

Date: 13 Ostafas
Observed By: Tenegar

Date: 37 Sianfas
Observed By: Szerathi
Events: Though called the Spirit Festival, Mága Mirá is a not exclusively focused on spirits of the world, but also commemorates and mourns the dead – albeit in a way that many non-elves find bewildering. At dawn, a number of men and women put on outfits of black and white (one of the few times any Szerathi will dress in white), complete with enormous masks between 3–4 feet in length. In these costumes, they perform a silent dance, while the equally silent onlookers throw flowers and garlands. This performance is repeated at noon and dusk. Between these times, the Szerathi continue about their daily business as usual. After night falls, toy ships bearing lanterns are released into the harbor to drift away on the tide. The Szerathi, normally a carefree people, consider this day a rare occasion for solemnity.

Date: 1 Luanfas
Observed By: Tālism
Events: Tālism teaches that the summer solstice is a potent time for magic. Fairs and markets are held on the shore, and there is much singing and dancing throughout the day. Midsummer’s Day celebrates the community, and people cook food and set tables outside for public feasting. Water plays a strong part in the celebrations: people spend many hours swimming, while amphorae are regularly refilled with water so that participants may splash themselves (or, more often, their friends) to cool down. Midsummer’s Day is also a favorite time for marriage ceremonies, as well as the blossoming of young love. Despite its generally positive nature, the holiday carries with it the warning not to stray at night. Stories abound of children and young men or women stolen by the fey on Midsummer’s night.

Date: 1 Anmaras
Observed By: Tālism
Events: The winter solstice is considered by Tālists to be a time when the borders between worlds fade, and creatures from both the Otherworld and the Underworld roam freely. The day is filled with markets and games, with a noon sermon at the local temple. Iron nails are hammered into every door. After dusk, family and friends gather to eat, drink and read poetry or tell stories. Each house maintains a fire at night, which might be as small as a stove fire or as large as a bonfire. Throughout the day, an effigy of sandalwood and myrrh is placed in the house, to trap evil that attempts to enter. At night, the effigy is burned, destroying any trapped evil and purifying the household.

Date: 1 Sovaras
Observed By: Tenegar
Events: The Day of Moon’s Blessing is the Tenegar New Year. Unlike most of their festivals, the day is spent in rest, and the celebrations begins as the sun sets. White, crescent-shaped lanterns are strung throughout the streets, and candles burn in the windows. Small stalls selling food and drink line the streets; pan-fried cakes stamped with the holy symbol of the Three are a common festival food on Moon’s Blessing, usually eaten with fresh fruit and mulled wine. The day of Moon’s Blessing is considered an auspicious time to begin courtship or matchmaking among the Tenegar.

Date: 10 – 11 Sovaras
Observed By: Szerathi
Events: The Szerathi pay greater attention to the lunar cycle than they do the Tenegar calendar, and thus consider the first full moon of Spring to be the true start of the new year. Nasaníel is both a celebration of the new year and (as its translation into Common suggests) a Water Festival. Szerathi gather in great numbers in settlements or other locations, decorating homes and lúinnath in blue and silver banners, ribbons and flags, and with imagery of rainfall. The two days are celebrated with music, dance, and most especially with boat races. It is considered a good omen if it rains during the festivities.

Date: 19–23 Surenfas
Observed By: Tenegar

Date: 1 Rodanfas
Observed By: Tenegar

Date: 1 – 5 Luanfas
Observed By: Szerathi
Events: The Szerathi midsummer festival is awash with bright colors, almost gaudy to the eye. People anoint their foreheads in turmeric and wear clothing of purple, orange and yellow. Houses are cleaned and decorated with mango leaves, morning glory and ginger flowers. Arches of colored paper are erected over the thresholds of doors, dances are performed with fans and scarves, and both children and adults fly kites whenever the skies are clear of rain. In the evenings, the adults have first tastings of the risóm brewed the previous winter.

Date: 41 – 42 Surenfas
Observed By: Tālism
Events: Verdantide is the celebration of the spring harvest, and sacred to Vela. On the first morning, unmarried women put on crowns of small white flowers, while unmarried men carry bowls of perfumed water and anoint the brows of the women. The women then toss their floral crowns into a body of water (usually a harbor or river), and the rest of the celebrations commence. Baskets of fresh fruit, dried beans and flowers are taken to the temples and shrines and offered to Vela in return for her blessings. Sweethearts exchange bracelets of blue and orange beads to symbolize their commitment to each other. Mead is popularly consumed on Verdantide, typically sweetened with honey and spices. The evenings are filled with music and dance.

Date: 42 Anmaras
Observed By: Tālism

Calendar and Holy Days

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