The Tale of the Year
In the Federated Nations, the yearly calendar is divided into 4 seasons, 12 months, and 48 weeks. Months are 32 days long and coincide with Quella’s period. Each month has 4 8-day weeks, corresponding to half of Teki’s period or one full phase of Quella. Months begin with a double-new moon. While the month divisions are common in all nations, the names used vary. All official business uses the Old Imperial Calendar; each of the nations have their own names and festivals.
|#||Earth Equivalent||Old Imperial||Council|
|5||July||High Summer||First Harvest|
|6||August||Summer Dying||Summer Dying|
|9||November||Autumn Dying||First Frost|
|6||Harvest I||Lightning||Storm Cresting|
|7||Harvest II||Smoke||Rolling Storm|
|8||First Frost||Wind||Storm Dying|
|10||Icy Breath||Ice||Low Calm|
|11||High Dark||Ocean||High Calm|
* Byssia has very little seasonal change; their months are named after the para-elemental planes through which Quartus passes during the year.
** The Stone Throne really only has two seasons--wet and dry. While these are the traditional names for the months, most citizens mark time from the onset of the seasonal monsoon rains.
Seasonal Holy Days and Festivals By Culture
Council Lands--Festivals of the Gods
Each of the four seasonal gods has a holy day associated with the equinoxes and solstices. The holy days are:
- The Festival of Growth (at the vernal equinox, Rebirth 14-17). This festival is dedicated to Lady Sakara, Goddess of Growth and Spring. Children are officially given names at this festival once they have reached their first year. It is considered auspicious to be born during this festival period. Halflings are the most eager celebrants of the Growth Festival. Celebrations are bigger in the agricultural areas. Tends to be hedonistic--marital constancy is not assured except among dwarves.
- The High Summer Festival (at the summer solstice, High Summer 14-17) is dedicated to Tor-Elan, God of Summer and the Sun. Communities select their leadership for the upcoming year at this time--feats of strength and mock combats are common. This is the big festival among most human communities. In the capital of Kaelthia, this is the biggest festival of them all.
- The Harvest Festival (at the autumnal equinox, Harvest 14-17) is dedicated to Loran Hae, God of the Harvest and of Autumn. As the harvest is being brought in, the villagers tithe a portion of the crop and conduct symbolic blood sacrifices (small animals or cuts on the finger) to plead for fertility in the next year. In keeping with the fertility theme, this is also a time when weddings are solemnized and deals are struck. Unlike the growth festival, this one is more somber. Of the four, this is the major one in most dwarven communities.
- The Festival of Remembrance (at the winter solstice, Slumber 14-17) is dedicated to Melara. This is a solemn festival where dead ancestors are honored and histories are read. Very few public celebrations occur. This one is favored by the high elves.
The turning of each season is marked by a smaller one-day festival. These are:
- Festival of the New Year (Spring Dawning 1). Often a big party. Celebrated by "inversions" of stature. Pinwheel (God of Change and Randomness) and Aerielara (Goddess of Lust and Beauty) are honored here.
- Festival of Light (Summer Dawning 1). Outdoor festival involving bonfires. The Gods and spirits of nature are celebrated here.
- Festival of Choice (Autumn Dawning 1). A big day for human children--this is when their careers are established. Betrothals are negotiated in conjunction with this festival. Major gods honored here are Lon-Ka (the Forge) and Peor-Fala (the Hearth).
- The Day of Silence (Winter Dawning 1). Akin to All Hallow's Eve (old style, not modern Halloween). Sacred to Selasurala (Goddess of Storms) and the Hollow King (God of Betrayal and Untimely Death). Most people stay at home. Considered unlucky--being born on this day marks one as cursed or hated by the gods.
Remnant Dynasty--Survival and Strength
While the Dynasty also celebrates the equinoxes and solstices, the festivities and rituals differ.
- Vernal Equinox: Days of Praise and Thanksgiving: A time of nationwide rejoicing that another winter has gone and the clans have survived. Cleaning, airing out homes made stuffy by winter, and mass worship. Main gods venerated: Peor-Fala, Sakara
- Summer Solstice: Days of Strength: A time for feats of strength and competitions. Main gods venerated: Roel-Kor, Tor-Elan.
- Autumnal Equinox: Days of Defiance: A time to shout defiance to the oncoming cold. Main gods venerated: Ytra, Loran Hae
- Winter Solstice: Days of Endurance: Quiet days, praying for deliverance from the winter. Main gods venerated: Selesurala, Melara
The Dynasty has other national holidays including the Queen's Birthday (High Dark 14).
Byssia does not mark the equinoxes or solstices or venerate gods. Instead each area has its local spirits and ancestor shrines that have their individual holy days. The only nation-wide day of celebration is the New Year (Ooze 1), when new judges are selected
The Stone Throne--Wet and Dry
The Stone Throne has three major festivals--
- Onset (one week after the first wave of monsoon weather): A festival where the old is washed away in the rains and everything becomes new. Rainy-season children have their birthday here.
- Liberation (Storm Cresting 8): A new festival, this one commemorates the end of the old order at the hands of the Catalysts and the Queen Ascendant. Social status inversions, all caste restrictions relaxed. Total hedonism.
- Ascension (High Calm 14): A religious commemoration of the ascension of the Queen into godhood. A holy day where no work is done.