Carnivals And Holidays In Listeria
All through the Great War and after, Listeria had one spot of shining hope — their festivals. Listeria’s festivals and carnivals are the one time all the races come together. There are no tensions, no wars, no animosity between anyone.
But what are these different festivals? Tons of festivals pop up throughout the year, but here are some of the most popular!
Held in the name of the God of frosts, wind, and the dead — Samuin the Cold-Bearing — Samuin is a festival of celebration. It usually takes place at the beginning of winter, right after the first snow, to signify the incoming frosts and cold.
Like most festivals, there’s a beautiful story behind the celebration. Samuin the Cold-Bearing is said to come to the world in the form of the first snow. Along with him, he brings his frost fairies that visit every house, garden, and land to spread ice.
Samuin himself comes into the world and prepares to blow biting cold winds and disastrous frosts all over the country. As he passes through the world, he gathers prayers and sacrifices. With each prayer and sacrifice, he becomes heavier and sleepier, so the chances of a truly terrible winter full of storms become lower.
Along with Samuin the Cold-Bearing and his frost fairies come the spirits of the dead.
Since the space between the world of the living and the dead is so thin, it is said that the spirits of the dead crossover to visit their living relatives. However, the dead have lost all memory of their family and need to be guided home.
Because of this story, the celebration takes place with ice sculptures, great feasts, and multiple fires all over Listeria. Each home creates ice sculptures in the likeness of their ancestors to show them their home. These ice sculptures are always made as colorfully and magically as possible to attract the spirit of their loved ones.
Each ice sculpture is created with the utmost love and care. A mix of magic and handy tools are used to carve out the likeness of their ancestors.
Children are encouraged to participate by infusing color, magic, and warmth into the ice sculpture, but you’ll usually find them making ice sculptures on their own!
Along with the ice sculptures, there are large bonfires lit for the week after Samuin. All the races huddle around the bonfires and toss sacrifices in. These sacrifices are of all kinds. Whether it’s food, wealth, or weapons, it has to be something of value. You’ll hear the people of Listeria muttering prayers to the God Samuin as they burn their sacrifice.
But it’s not all sad; the people that come to sacrifice something always hang back. They come with food, drink, and merriment to interact with their fellow Listerians. There’s always some form of music and entertainment happening through the week near these ever-burning bonfires.
Every Listerian, no matter their race, has something they love about Samuin. Whether it’s the special food that’s made or creating the ice sculptures for the dead, it’s truly a festival of celebration.
When winter bleeds away, taking with it the biting cold winds and frozen lakes, Spring comes bounding out in a fit of sunshine and beauty. Spring is perhaps the best time to be in Listeria. The warm sun on your face after months of weak sunshine, the blooming of flowers everywhere, and the warm winds that seem almost playful — Listeria is akin to paradise.
Of course, this beautiful time would be nothing without its very own celebration. The Spring festival is signified by the very last of the ice melting away. A bigger clue is the blooming of the Tree of Life or Vitatsu.
The Vitatsu only comes into bloom when the last snow of winter melts — something to be said about magic! The flowers of the Tree are a sight to behold, and every soul in Listeria comes to see the Tree in full bloom during the Spring festival.
Watching the Tree of Life on the day it blooms wasn’t always a festival. Well, it was for the Elves, but the other residents quickly adopted the idea. Now, on the day the Tree is set to bloom, you’ll find hordes of all races surrounding the Tree with a treat or two in hand.
However, there’s a single rule every race follows — it’s a quiet celebration. The Spring festival is one of rebirth. Every Elf, person, and other magical creature reflects onto their year. They think about all the good and the bad as they watch the Tree of Life bloom.
Later in the evening is when things pick up the pace. After an afternoon of quiet reflection and peace in the sunshine, everyone gathers in the main square. Each home brings a dish to contribute to the large banquet.
No matter what race, everyone attends and eats at the same table. As one can imagine, it’s a lot of noise, chatter, and happy conversations. The drink and food flow as the sun sets. Once the sun has set, the ritual of lighting the lanterns comes into play.
Every resident has their own style of the lantern. Some are incredibly intricate, while others are beautifully simple. The common thread is the piece of parchment with a resolution for the next year. Each resident makes a resolution that they set off into the sky.
The lanterns then float into the sky and create a visual that rivals the stars themselves. It’s a sight everybody in Listeria waits for every year!
With their resolutions set off into the sky, the residents finish their food and drink and head home. The time for fighting and animosity is later.
The Summer Carnival
If you ask any resident in Listeria about the Summer Carnival, you’ll see huge smiles and an enthusiastic rendition of the previous year’s Carnival.
For a festival that is so loved, it’s extremely new. The Summer Carnival started off as an informal celebration right after the Great War ended. Amidst the ruin, sorrow, and rebuilding came a group of ecstatic humans in colorful outfits and loud music racing down the streets.
There are still a few humans that look back on that day fondly and can recount the exact events that happened. The group proceeded to run into every street with their music and colorful attire, calling people out of their homes to celebrate.
By the time they reached the main square that exists today, the small group had evolved into a larger group that was smiling and dancing around to the music. Eventually, when everybody got too tired, they all sat down and spoke about the War.
A powerful incident like that has remained an annual event. Similar to the first incident, a single group is chosen to start the celebrations. Each year, several groups put in their names to start the celebration. The winning group picks the new starter group.
The starter group is told to keep their status secret and reveal their performance on the day of the Summer Carnival. How does it remain a surprise each year? Well, each year, the Summer Carnival happens on a different date. The only constant is that it is around the date the Great War ended.
So, every year, Listeria is treated to a reenactment of the original event. Each year, the group puts on a colorful outfit of their choice and roams the streets gathering people. People come out with their best dresses, flags, props, and more they have prepared for this moment and race onto the street.
When the group has finished spreading their joy all over Listeria, they end at the main square. An impromptu circle is created where people can perform, speak, or otherwise be heard. Whether they are talking about the War, peace, unity, their lives, or simply performing — everyone is given a voice.
In addition to the massive parade, there is a huge fair in the main square. Shopkeepers can be seen packing up their merchandise and running toward the main square when the celebrations start. There are all types of food, trinkets, and rides. Children can be seen begging their parents for another treat or a fancy mask.
When everybody is finally tired, they go home to their families. Many families spend the night eating and rejoicing, while others have a quiet moment of reflection, but it is done together. It’s not uncommon to see massive raging parties persist through the night. It’s truly a time of rejoicing.
The Pompa Festival was also started around the Great War. During a single meeting of the heads of races, they decided on a single day where there would be no fighting, no animosity, and no death. Every year on this day, the Pompa Festival is celebrated.
The main attraction of the festival is the massive displays of magic and fireworks that happen around the city. Every year, the first fireworks are lit on the same hill where the decision for a stalemate day was taken.
Every resident can be seen on the hill on this day. As dusk sets in, the residents, vendors, and priests of the Taiyo Temple gather to witness the first fireworks being lit. Before the fireworks can be lit, there is a ritual performed by the priests to Goddess Taiyo, who is no longer in the temples of the residents.
The Goddess of abundance, plant life, and fertility is called on by the Taiyo Temple priests to promote healing, growth, and rebuild the community. When it happened during the Great War, the ritual had more significance. In times of rebuilding after a disastrous war, people are no longer aware of the significance.
Instead, they come for the fireworks. Every resident can be seen purchasing treats from the vendors. These are treats that are not found at any other time during the year. Special drinks, sweet desserts made of honey, and savory dishes that require exotic ingredients can be found in the stands.
With a treat in hand, the residents proceed to watch the fantastic display of fireworks that go up. Each house has a set of fireworks that go up. Every display is significant to the traditions and representation of the race.
In the first Pompa celebration, the fireworks were used to show the people what had been lost. During this time of peace, the fireworks represent the beauty of each culture. It represents growth and peace.
After the initial fireworks are done, the rest of Listeria gets to continue bursting fireworks and displaying rare magic all over the city. Many families stay on the hill watching the displays all over the land. Others roam the streets watching magicians work their magic in beautiful displays.
Vendors line the streets and continue to sell their goods for the next week. In times of peace, the exotic treats don’t have to be rationed out or limited. So, the residents of Listeria enjoy their time and revel in the peace.
Despite the gruesome start to the festival of Pompa, it has evolved into something beautiful with a much different intention. What was started as a way to get a break from the War has evolved into a celebration of culture, peace, and people.
No matter the differences, fights, and hatred — everybody is there for the Pompa Festival.
A Time Of Rejoice And Togetherness
Listeria has a number of other festivals. Each race has festivals that mean something special to them. The Elves with their Week of Silence and humans with their celebrations of the Sun and Moon colliding are just two examples.
Every race has its own special values, traditions, and cultures. However, on these four festivals, every resident of Listeria can be found participating. Even if there are smaller traditions that we are otherwise unaware of, the gist remains the same. Everybody’s out to have an incredible time.
It’s a time of peace and celebration in Listeria. Let’s not forget the incredible food and otherworldly energy that permeates every street corner!
See you soon on Listerian battlegrounds!
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