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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    My setting has a lot of them, and I'm kinda looking for ideas for some of them.

    1. First Light is the first day of the year
    3. The Sowing formally marks the beginning of planting season
    4. Emperor Day... Marks the birthday of the first Reach Emperor... Even though there's no Emperor anymore, the many nations once ruled by his dynasty still celebrate.
    5. Festival of the Vine- A holy day for the god of growth, wine, and madness.
    7. Saint's Rest - used to honor saints
    8. Sage's Moon - The Celebrated on the 8th month when the Hunter's Moon is full.
    11. Festival of the Butterflies - Holy Day for the Goddess of Life and Death

    There's also Twin Dark and Twin Light:
    Twin Dark: The Demon Moon and Hunter's Moon are simultaneously dark.
    Twin Light: Both Moons are full.
    Both are rare occurrences that may not necessarily happen every year, or at the same time every time, since the Hunter's Moon has a normal 29 day cycle, while the Demon Moon has an 80 day cycle.

    I'm wondering what I should do with the above holidays. For a lot of them, I had a name and a vague idea of what they were about, but little substance beyond that.

    (Animal sacrifice does feature in my setting, incidentally. Wealthy farmers may donate a cow or two to the temples on special days, both as a way to display wealth and as an act of piety and generosity- Priests of good deities use the meat from these sacrifices to feed the public.)
    Last edited by MonkeySage; 2019-11-18 at 03:07 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Troll in the Playground
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    Jun 2015

    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    1. First Light is the first day of the year
    3. The Sowing formally marks the beginning of planting season
    4. Emperor Day... Marks the birthday of the first Reach Emperor... Even though there's no Emperor anymore, the many nations once ruled by his dynasty still celebrate.
    5. Festival of the Vine- A holy day for the god of growth, wine, and madness.
    7. Saint's Rest - used to honor saints
    8. Sage's Moon - The Celebrated on the 8th month when the Hunter's Moon is full.
    11. Festival of the Butterflies - Holy Day for the Goddess of Life and Death
    what did happen to 6, 9 and 10?

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    The first thing is that holy days are rarely one dimensional, as they tend to agglomerate details from a lot of cultures (including forgotten holy days from the past).

    For example: *scrubbed* is the holy day for the winter solstice, is quickly followed by the new year, is a time of gift between peoples, and celebrate one of the rare tree that is still green at this period of the year.

    Quick checklist about a holy day:
    [Feel free to skip some, you don't need to details that much ALL you holy days, as you probably won't use half of that in your games]
    1) When is it? Is it based out of the solar calendar, the moon calendar, or a climatic effect (like "one week after the first rain")?
    2) What god and/or concept is this holy day associated with?
    3) What anthropomorphic person is this holy day associated with? (either someone who existed, or someone who doesn't, or someone who still exist)
    -> Most holy days have plays, myths or stories associated, not just a concept. Those stories usually have protagonists.
    4) What kind of tradition is this holy day associated with? (gift, family gathering, hunting party, putting masks ...)
    5) What kind of meal is this holy day associated with?
    6) Add one miscellaneous traits to this holy day, who doesn't need to be justified as it come from previous traditions *scrubbed*
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-11-19 at 12:12 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Devil

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    Germany

    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    what did happen to 6, 9 and 10?
    Simple: Seven ate nine.

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    My setting has a lot of them, and I'm kinda looking for ideas for some of them.

    1. First Light is the first day of the year
    A holiday called First Light demands something like igniting candles or lanterns at whatever point in your calender the year changes (midnight for us). I'm currently imagining something resembling the festival in Disney's Tangled: Everyone builds a floating lantern and writes/paints/etc. wishes for the coming year on them. The lanterns are collectively ignited at midnight and let go to float up into the sky and bring their wishes to the gods.

    3. The Sowing formally marks the beginning of planting season
    No ideas, sorry.

    4. Emperor Day... Marks the birthday of the first Reach Emperor... Even though there's no Emperor anymore, the many nations once ruled by his dynasty still celebrate.
    This could be something with great processions through the cities, even though that would be more fitting if the empire where still around. Maybe costumes, lots of sacrificial animals (is there an animal associated with the empire, nobility, power or something like that? if this were *scrubbed*, I would say bulls) and generally grand festivities.

    5. Festival of the Vine- A holy day for the god of growth, wine, and madness.
    *scrubbed*

    7. Saint's Rest - used to honor saints
    Saint's Rest sound like a day of silent contemplation. Important here is: What qualifies a person for sainthood? Is it exemplifying a god's teaching? Then there are going to be lots and lots of sermons where people will be urged to follow their example. Is it generousity? Then the rich will hold street festivals where they feed the poor. Is it martyrium? People will stay at home to thank the ones who martyred themselves for them, maybe even practicing self-mortification. And so on.
    8. Sage's Moon - The Celebrated on the 8th month when the Hunter's Moon is full.
    Not enough information.

    11. Festival of the Butterflies - Holy Day for the Goddess of Life and Death
    I could imagine a game where children try to find hidden cloth butterflies, with little rewards or presents for the ones who found the most. Also, some kind of soothsaying where butterflies of different materials are pulled from a bag or hidden in food with different meanings for them who get them, like "You will live long", "There will be a child born in your family in the next year" or "You will die this year".
    There's also Twin Dark and Twin Light:
    Twin Dark: The Demon Moon and Hunter's Moon are simultaneously dark.
    Twin Light: Both Moons are full.
    Both are rare occurrences that may not necessarily happen every year, or at the same time every time, since the Hunter's Moon has a normal 29 day cycle, while the Demon Moon has an 80 day cycle.
    Also not enough information.
    Last edited by flat_footed; 2019-11-19 at 12:08 AM.
    Ich erträum' mir ein Gefieder.
    Dieser Zauber hat Bestand.
    Und so flieg' ich immer wieder
    Wie der Nachtwind über's Land.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    I've got a bit figured out for the ones I have!

    I had the rough idea that Sage's Moon was pretty much a scholar's holiday- but more than that, the Hunter's Moon is also associated with magic, good omens, etc.

    In contrast to the Hunter's Moon, the Demon's Moon is associated with wicked omens and supernatural activity. While it has no effect on Lycanthropes (as the Hunter's Moon has), it's believed to lend strength to evil creatures under its light, and there's a harsh stigma attached to being born under a full Demon's Moon.
    So what might it mean to these people when both moons are full, or if they're both new?

    Butterflies are often seen as sacred to Bruna, Goddess of Life and Death, because of the common belief that they carry the souls of the dead. Bruna presides over births and burials and despises the undead, but she herself is seen as a comforting, cheerful sort, treating all who enter her realm fairly. Her priesthood is almost exclusively female, and they often play the role of midwives and undertakers.
    I could imagine a game where children try to find hidden cloth butterflies, with little rewards or presents for the ones who found the most. Also, some kind of soothsaying where butterflies of different materials are pulled from a bag or hidden in food with different meanings for them who get them, like "You will live long", "There will be a child born in your family in the next year" or "You will die this year".
    This is an awesome idea! :)
    Last edited by MonkeySage; 2019-11-19 at 12:57 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
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    Florida
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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    1) When is the new year? Mid-winter (like us), spring? Relatedly, is the setting a temperate/cold climate with a winter where people can't travel or work outdoors? Does the new year correspond to anything historically?

    3) The actual start of the sowing season should probably be occupied by actually sowing, with the festival being immediately after. Likewise with harvest.

    4) End of the legal year? Debts are due or forgiven after the seventh emperor's birthday. Divorced people have to wait for the emperor's birthday to remarry. A serf severs their ties to the lord on this day.

    Twin dark) To me that sounds not so much like a holiday as a scheduled minor disaster. Kind of like hurricane season here. You know the storm is coming, you prepare ahead of time, and ride it out somewhere safe. Usually everything is fine, but sometimes it isn't.

    Twin light) All night party. People may act erratically (magical effect from moons).

    First thaw) Whenever the first thaw comes and people can go outside. Some party, some start work, and some begin journeys.

    Question: what holiday would be the most cliched answer to "how did you meet your spouse?"

    Themes) Are there any particular themes to your setting or stories in your setting? If so, maybe think how holidays can relate or contrast those themes. Like maybe the moon holidays allow certain magics. Or maybe here's one day were war is absolute verboten and wars just pause.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    1) When is the new year? Mid-winter (like us), spring? Relatedly, is the setting a temperate/cold climate with a winter where people can't travel or work outdoors? Does the new year correspond to anything historically?
    Mid-Winter in a temperate setting. :) Like our own calendar, this one was plotted out artificially- starting with twelve 30 day months and 5 extra days, then days were redistributed based on religious significance and superstitions regarding certain months. some months have 29 days, some have 33, but the year length is the same as ours, complete with the same leap year cycle. (I had way too much time on my hands XD )

    3) The actual start of the sowing season should probably be occupied by actually sowing, with the festival being immediately after. Likewise with harvest.
    The opposite end, the reaping festival, is accompanied by harvests, lots of food, parties, and carnival games in the larger cities.

    Question: what holiday would be the most cliched answer to "how did you meet your spouse?"

    Themes) Are there any particular themes to your setting or stories in your setting? If so, maybe think how holidays can relate or contrast those themes. Like maybe the moon holidays allow certain magics. Or maybe here's one day were war is absolute verboten and wars just pause.
    "We met during the Festival of Renewel!" is a pretty common one.

    It's hard to say, really. I thought out a detailed enough history, but don't actually have anything written down into a cohesive story just yet- it's just a jumble in my gray matter... I will say, while this area's pretty old, it wasn't unified under an empire for very long. Three empires conquered the region in the past, and the most recent one gave them their holidays, their religion, influenced their culture, etc. But to have an emperor to call their own was a new one- that happened just about 500 years ago- he was sort of a Charlemagne figure, in that his empire lasted very briefly before splitting into several of the kingdoms that now occupy the region.
    Last edited by MonkeySage; 2019-11-18 at 05:11 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeySage View Post
    My setting has a lot of them, and I'm kinda looking for ideas for some of them.

    1. First Light is the first day of the year
    The day following the Winter Solstice is a day of fasting and repentence in which the misdeeds of the previous year are acknowledged.
    In Priadar the sins are written on parchment and burned while Keddene's farmers offer hours of labor to attone. Each culture has its own rituals, but fasting and sober reflection are nearly universal.

    3. The Sowing formally marks the beginning of planting season
    After a hard day of work followed by an evening feast the 13 year old boys are taken into the fields by the matrons of the village where the boys are taught to sow their seeds. Thereafter the boys are considered to be adults.

    4. Emperor Day... Marks the birthday of the first Reach Emperor... Even though there's no Emperor anymore, the many nations once ruled by his dynasty still celebrate.
    The people visit neighbors and give gifts. The object is to give more than one receives, and one who cannot give is shamed.

    5. Festival of the Vine- A holy day for the god of growth, wine, and madness.
    The day following the grape harvest is one of abstinance and hard work, and it starts the forty-day Winefast.
    The evening of the forty-first day is the First Tasting when the new wines vintages are
    tapped and enthus4astically tasted before the bottling begins.

    7. Saint's Rest - used to honor saints
    A time to tend gravesites.

    8. Sage's Moon - The Celebrated on the 8th month when the Hunter's Moon is full.
    A scholar's holiday in which gifts of books and scrolls are exchanged. Children exchange small scrolls enscsibed with "fortunes," or cute sayings and endearments.

    11. Festival of the Butterflies - Holy Day for the Goddess of Life and Death
    Another day to tend graves. The faithful show their allegiance by placing bowls of blood of sacrificed livestock, (or milk if there are no sacrificial animals available,) on their doorstep so if the goddess shows up she can quench her thirst and move on.

    There's also Twin Dark and Twin Light:
    Twin Dark: The Demon Moon and Hunter's Moon are simultaneously dark.
    Twin Light: Both Moons are full.
    Both are rare occurrences that may not necessarily happen every year, or at the same time every time, since the Hunter's Moon has a normal 29 day cycle, while the Demon Moon has an 80 day cycle.

    I'm wondering what I should do with the above holidays. For a lot of them, I had a name and a vague idea of what they were about, but little substance beyond that.

    (Animal sacrifice does feature in my setting, incidentally. Wealthy farmers may donate a cow or two to the temples on special days, both as a way to display wealth and as an act of piety and generosity- Priests of good deities use the meat from these sacrifices to feed the public.)
    Good luck!
    Last edited by brian 333; 2019-11-18 at 10:30 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Alchemist in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    The Fullmetal Mod: Fictional holiday discussions are fine, but any parallel to real world religion, politics or mythology is not allowed.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    Ah, my mistake. I deleted the mention of those holidays...

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Holidays and Holy Days in my setting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    Simple: Seven ate nine.
    And as we all know there is NOOOOOOOOOOO rule six, Bruce.

    Ok on topic: when I personally in real life think of a festival, I think of:
    a) when (you have that)
    b) special customs or actions during the celebration
    c) is the holiday celebrated in public or private?
    d) is it racial or religious (you have that)
    e) what symbols, songs, or food are used
    f) are strangers expected to participate ("Happy Harvest Day, stranger! Here's a round on me!" or "No no, if we don't all join the Longshadow Fire Dance, he will come back")

    b) sounds like the most important part. Some might be more obvious than others, for example, Emperor Day shouts "military parade" to me. Twin Dark sounds like "everyone lights an unusually high number of candles like That One Scene from The Matrix. You know. That one." If you're stuck, try this:
    1) write down a bunch of things that take place during real life holidays, but separate nouns, verbs, and objects. For example, trick-or-treating splits "children visit neighbors for candy"
    2) then, mix them up and randomly create sentences. Reshuffle any that make no sense or seem...questionable.
    3) give each holiday 2.

    c) is basically "how important is this holiday?" My guess is, Twin Dark isn't something that's celebrated with big hanging banners, gleeful smiles from children, or loud speeches from the town square. Emperor Day, by contrast, sounds like it has all of that.

    e) Okay, making up random symbols and songs will take some doing. Food, however, can be fun. Twin Dark sounds like an excuse to crack open the chocolate and espresso, both dark items and caffienated. Emperor Day...um...I mean, we in real life have Beef Wellington and a dessert called the Napoleon. You'll need to invent something. Sugar cookies with the first emperor's seal? Um..."Legion Cookies" which are shortbreads the size of dominos with soldier shapes? A special stew of mixed ingredients to show how the first emperor brought people together? Did his descendants start a cheese farm?

    f) this is basically an excuse to plot-hook the PCs and make them involved. Maybe someone wants a special beast slain during Sage's Moon. Maybe it's considered a faux pas to refuse a request for aid by a farmer or druid during The Sowing. Or, this is an old standby, when the wide-eyed orphans say "B-b-but it's Festival of the Butterflies, pweeeeeeeze?" they get to add Disney+ to their "sucker PCs into side quest" rolls. Adding local flavor is great, but give the PCs reason to take a bite once in a while. I mean, imagine the Lawful and the Chaotic members of the party when the Twin Light town greeters put wreathes of flowers on their heads, "because it's tradition". Actually, wait, don't imagine. Make them tell you.

    You're closer to being done than you think. Good luck, and tell us what you end up with!

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