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Great Holidays are holidays that are celebrated throughout the Eastern and Southern Lands. Below is a list of known holidays celebrated in the Tortallan Universe.

Great Holidays, Feast Days, and Festivals Days

  • February 1st - Awakening
    • "The door of the year opens. The crone steps through, but the Spring Maiden only stirs in her sleep. Shepherds bring the pregnant ewes to the Goddess's temple for the Mother to bless them with an easy birthing and healthy young ones. As sheep go in the bitterness of winter's end, so will the other flocks in the kinder spring and summer."[1]
    • Also called Firefall by mages, a "powerful night for certain kinds of spells".[2]
  • March 20th - Spring Equinox
    • "The door between winter and spring opens. The Spring Maiden steps through as the Crone withers away. Fresh reeds are placed on the altars of Mithros and the Great Mother in thanks for the return of warmth and the rebirth of the land. Female creatures heavy with young are blessed by the Mother."[1]
  • May 1st - Beltane
    • "Fertility. Herds are driven to grazing lands in fields and hills. People dance around the maypole for the good of the land and their families. When the bonfires burn low, couples join hands and jump over them for their own fertility. Couples also join in the shadows around the bonfires and beyond. February children are often called 'Beltane babes'."[1]
  • June 23rd - Solstice
    • "The longest day. The door to summer opens. The Spring Maiden walks away, and Mithros reigns. Chiefly, a day to worship Mithros and his gifts. Once a time of sacrifice of the firstborn calf, lamb, or goat, but this practice has declined recently in Tortall. Figures of these animals are offered in their place. Mithros gives no sign that he objects."[1]
  • August 1st - Harvest
    • "A celebration before the greatest work of the harvest is held. The first fruits of the harvest are placed on the altars of Mithros and the Goddess, and feasts are held in their name."[3]
  • September 23rd - Fall Equinox
    • "The door between summer and winter opens. Mithros steps through, and the Hunt Gods enter. Trappers and hunters go to their temples to have their weapons blessed. Hoofs and claws from earlier hunts are left as offerings. Cooks offer the first jellies to the Goddess."[1]
  • October 31st - All Hallow
    • "The first of two days dedicated to the Black God. On All Hallow the dead who are missed are honored with offerings of dried flowers and sweets. Children go from house to house at sunset collecting the offerings and carrying them to the god's temples. They must be indoors by dark, when the spirits of the dead may escape the god and return to visit those who have wronged them. This is also a time when those whose consciences are clear may choose to wear disguises and celebrate with singing, dancing, and feasting."[1]
  • November 1st - Heroes' Day
    • "The Black God's second day, beginning at dawn, when the escaped dead are recaptured by his servants. At dawn, the great rulers and heroes of the past are honored with songs, parades, and cakes given to the poor as offerings and as thank-yous to the children who collected sweets the previous day. Many have the children identify the symbol of the monarch or hero on the cake before they may take it."[1]
  • Week of December 23rd - Midwinter
    • "The Hunt Gods open the door and step through; the Crone of Winter enters. Gifts are exchanged and festivities are held all week long in honor of the year gone by. Candles, lamps, and torches are burned throughout the fourth night, the longest night of the year, to tell Mithros he is welcome to return."[1]
    • A seven-day long holiday centered around the longest night of the year, with a celebration of the sun's rebirth on the morning after the longest night, marking the beginning of the new year.[3][4]

Other

  • July Full Moon - Coronation Day (Tortall)
    • "In celebration of the coronation of Their Royal Majesties, King Jonathan IV and Queen Thayet. (In truth, only King Jonathan was crowned on this day; Her Majesty was crowned when they wed in November of that year, in a quiet ceremony, due to famine at the time.)[1]
  • Saturdays
    • Day of the week set aside for religious observances[3]
  • Sundays
    • Sun's day, best day of the week to start new ventures[3]

Notes and References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Tortall: A Spy's Guide: A Diplomat's Guide to Tortall
  2. Terrier, Saturday, May 9, 246
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Tempests and Slaughter, Glossary
  4. Squire, Glossary
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