CONCERNING THE STARS...
Equinoxes & Solstices: Cza'tîm & Şœvu:
Cza'tîm (equinox) is a time of year that carries great significance as it is the 'changing of the mirrored seas tide' bringing true night time hours to Tam'nýer—a'. Because of this the Cza'tîm, or equinox, is celebrated either in a private setting of being indoors in the home or by joining in a candlelit vigil held in the middle of town squares. For Püertagœ everyone is welcomed into the inner second circle to signify equality and a humbling of status. This silent celebration is in recognition of Nýer—a' and Q'Tam'šmă separated for longer (night-time hours), and the reasoning for the candlelit vigil is to symbolize being a light, thus a bridge between the two, and thereby offering compassion and support in respectful silence.
The Solstices, referred to as Şœvu, is celebrated in this way, but is also surmised by the people that this occurs due to Nýer—a' and Q'Tam'šmă mourning the anniversary of their sons' death.
It is normal to gift someone various herbs and Õnntas, Tam'nýer—a''s version of coal, during these celebrations.
Star Dancer; Rhein'il:
Akin to most civilizations, there lies an infatuation with the stars. This could not be truer for the Ṅkhya'jra as they love to chart the stars, and pay much attention to the world above. For example, the comet Rhein'il is a staple in Ṅkhya'jra culture & tradition. As a short-period comet, (a comet with an orbital pass in the span of less than every 200 years), Rhein'il comes into view of the naked eye in the skies of Tam'nýer—a' once every 45 years. With Ṅkhya'jra life spans averaging 300 years, the tradition and following of Rhein'il is a keen one.
As most comets are, it's arrival into Tam'nýer—a''s skies is predictable, and the Ṅkhya'jra have it down to a science, so much so that they fast for 3 days leading up to when Rhein'il first shows up. Upon the first sighting of it, a bell is rung throughout the Ṅkhya'jra homeland, no matter what time it is, and this signifies the beginning of the festivities in celebration, as well as a country-wide feast. It should be said that the festivities last for however long it is in view, and this tends to be about one month Earth time.
Rhein'il symbolizes to the Ṅkhya'jra peoples that the Gods are acknowledging their efforts. That They see, as well as approve of the Ṅkhya'jra's progress towards their goal of re-birthing Tam'nýer—a' as it 'should be'. This is a powerful statement as every 45 years this makes another massive push for their incentive as a race. When the comet is in the skies it's as if it cries out "We see you, Our Children. Do not give up the good fight."
For the Khah', living in the Sky-Coral Sea, the canopy tends to cover this, making them oblivious to the comet. However, if on ships on an exploratory mission or living in Human Kingdoms, it ties into their belief that the sky is the residence of the carcasses of the Gods trapped in the sky, decaying.
To the Ãoni the reoccurring display is a time for penance and reflection. Bringing families to have private vigils or join the rest of the colony as they spend the first night looking to the sky, wrought with contemplation and companionship. Regarding the comet as a reminder that our lives may end at any time, as they have no explanation, the Ãoni treat it and the following days of its visit as a time of giving thanks and making amends.
The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have a child-like reaction to Rhein'il's presence as depending on when a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa is born they have a chance to see it, at maximum, only twice in their lifetime. Rhein'il is greeted with excited curiosity, or a novelty if you will. It is akin to going to a concert with friends.
As for the Sk'älik, it is simply a giant strange migratory creature in the mirrored sea.
The Humans view Rhein'il as a wondrous show from a world beyond their reasoning, as the sky, and all the glowing dots, known to us as stars and planets, more represent the world of the dead Gods. The sky belongs out of their reach, but something to be in awe of. Comets, shooting stars and asteroids grazing Tam'nýer—a''s atmosphere are merely a land of dreams to them, showing them how beautiful and fantastical the world can be and how awesome the Land of the Dead is, taking into account that this is where the dead Gods have ended up.
Some go so far as to believe that the sky is where we end up when we do actually pass on, which can be something of a taboo thought, considering the fact that the sky is where the Gods have ended up, believing yourself to be worthy of joining them in death can be a pretty big red flag that you may be a narcissist.
Q'Tam'šmă Fruila (Q'Tam'šmă Sing):
Since Q'Tam'šmă is the patron deity of Püertagœ, a yearly festival is organized in her honour during the last 5 days of Spring before Super Summer begins. All activity, including work, (unless required by the Senate), in Püertagœ stops so that all citizens may enjoy the festivities. During these 5 days of celebration, (5 days to signify the members of the Divine Family), in the name of the Mother Goddess there are theatre plays, music, public dancing as well as professional performance, sporting and fighting events. Some years, the Senate and Navy even plan a mock warship battle.
When it comes to organizing the events for this holiday, it is a requirement that at least one of the 12 Greater Families be involved in the planning of each day, so every year four of them are designated to create and finance the festival in honour of Q'Tam'šmă. It is a great honour to be in charge of one or several events, and there is almost a competition amongst the families to create something which would be memorable.
The first day of the festival, Püertagœ celebrates the Life aspect of Q'Tam'šmă. Typical events would be related to music, dancing and weddings are also celebrated during this day. It is a joyful moment and often considered to be the best part of the festival.
The second day is dedicated to the Despair aspect of Q'Tam'šmă, and in recent years theatre plays with tragic endings are usually performed in multiple areas throughout the city. There are even interpretive dance routines for onlookers to enjoy. Fighting events, or a mock naval battle are also possible, as there is a belief that simulating tragedy through acting or games would work a long way towards avoiding such tragic events in real life.
The third day of the festival, named the Day of Torment after the aspect of Q'Tam'šmă it honours, is the day where mothers who have lost their children during the year can receive help and assistance from the population of Püertagœ and the 12 Greater Families. This day usually end with a vigil paired with a feast, to symbolize all the food the deceased children have been missing during the year, and receive it now.
On the fourth day, Püertagœ celebrates Q'Tam'šmă’s Strength, represented by all the sea’s blessings, either food, medicine or ornaments. A huge seafood fair is organized in the Twelfth Ring and locals and tourists alike are offered the possibility to buy the best delicacies, such as Faeries of the Sea or Ka'Tika, and Coral-based products. On this day, many Sk'älik come to Püertagœ to sell their wares (except for Krék'h Vñîn of course which remains illegal).
The festival ends, of course, on the last day of spring, the fifth day, with a procession starting in the First Ring. Flowers and garlands must be displayed at the entrance of every home in Püertagœ and carried over by the procession, or tossed down to the streets by the residents, as it advances through the various rings and towards the sea. As the festival closes, all flowers and garlands are thrown into the water as a last sacrifice to Q'Tam'šmă.
Bûsta-gr'tîš'sk (Star-Crossed Day):
Twice annually, the metropolis of Püertagœ does something absolutely incredible to celebrate breaking down walls, racism, and spreading love. While this is regarded as a holiday, and the closest Tam'nýer—a' gets to a Valentine's Day, Bûsta-gr'tîš'sk literally translates to Star-Crossed Day. The reason for this is because Bûsta-gr'tîš'sk is hosted by the Püertagœn Senate, and the head priest of Vojshā's Temple. All members of the 12 Greater Families and Vojshā's Chosen (head priest) preside over a mass wedding. Food and drink are provided by the wealthy, as the city transforms overnight into celebratory colours and flowers galore. Petals strewn the entirety of the First Ring, and host a wedding celebration for all those who either cannot afford a proper wedding with the Gods' blessing ceremony, those who want to be wed despite their cultures being against it (primarily the Ãoni & Nkhya'jra), and those who simply want to participate.
For this one day, Püertagœ turns into a beacon of hope, joy and, of course, love, truly solidifying it's role as a melting pot of peoples, and rising to the responsibility of cherishing all. This special day occurs in the heart of the Spring season.
Sky-Coral Sea, Püertagœ & Fawzia-Kedet only
It might be odd – a holiday celebrating the God of Excuses. However, in a world were consequences beckon, excuses are recognized as something that everyone does, and is only frowned upon if it is in excess to defer one's core responsibilities such as work, and friendship. Thus, not all excuses are bad, culturally. For instance, sometimes we tell little white lies to save a sensitive person's feelings, or we make up something so that we don't have to go out to that extravagant party because, let's face it, the work day was way too long & too hard. All you really want to do is curl up at home alone with a bottle of Tágraz.
Some excuses prevent us from achieving much bigger and better things though, and that is what this holiday is all about. The ẞäffe'ţ Potluck is a way to acknowledge the little white lies we tell ourselves on a day to day basis that pertain to ourselves, and most importantly our big dreams that we never attain because-- well, because. Now that you know what the holiday is really about, I'm sure you're asking how does one actually celebrate unachieved dreams? It's quite simple really.
Whatever big dream you've found yourself putting off for “since the Gods know when”, you write it on a piece of parchment of vellum (vellum preferably in case it rains). Once you've done that, you take to walking the streets and pick a tree, hanging your dream on the highest branch you can reach. This action symbolizes how your dream literally hangs above your head and in front of your face. However, the celebration doesn't stop there. There's a rather lovely twist to this particular holiday and it's the fact that people can go out to a decked out tree and 'take' a wish they believe they can achieve. If you 'take' a dream, it is a silent promise to set out to do it, and you can leave updates about the dream you took on the back of the vellum. This ultimately creates a charming notion of 'wishing pen-pals'.ẞäffe'ţ Potluck lasts 1 Tam'nýer—a''n week (3 Earth months).
Sky-Coral Sea (Uwhang) only
T'yādß is a special celebration amongst the Khah' residing in the Sky-Coral Sea (Uwhang). Specifically calculated to be on the last day of the Super Summer, hundreds of thousands of Khah' take to the trees on the edges of their beloved continent, most especially at their ports, and fill the trees with thousands of paper lanterns. The lanterns vary in colour, size and shape, and it is a tradition to guide their people home as Tam'nýer—a' experiences its first true nightfall of the year. The preparations start a day before to assemble all the lanterns, and as the official day commences, it is when they take to the trees in droves to string the lanterns within the canopy, as high as they can manage.
VüƑ & Sùrelï's Courtship:
Püertagœ & Fawzia-Kedet only
Every 4 Tam'nýer—a''n months, the stars in the Sweet Way's night sky align for a brief period of 1 Tamnyer-a''n day. During this time the peoples of Tam'nýer—a' celebrate the courtship and 'marriage' of Time and Language, despite the Gods VüƑ and Sùrelï never being married (and ignoring Sùrelï's affair with Tv'ž, the God of Lies).
The celebration is quite simple in the way that all that is required is a group and some sand. Carefully, the first person, usually the oldest, takes a container of sand and begins to pour it slowly on a designated patch of floor, telling a story as the sand falls.
Once the first person's story is finished, more come up, usually in a age descending order, and this continues until the entire patch is filled with sand. Once all the sand has been poured, and if there are still people left within the group to share a tale, it then transitions from pouring multi-coloured sands to taking a stick, and begin to trace out patterns and designs in the sand. The designs of sand can vary from being extremely intricate to child-like. It all depends upon the collaboration of people.
The patch becomes ever more intricate as changes are made and new stories told. Finally, everyone has told a tale. Then comes the great wash. Using water or even just a broom, the sand patch is dismantled and returned to the world. The lesson being; time contains all stories, but with the passage, none shall be remembered, yet all shall remain.
More elaborate celebrations include poets and bards with the stories set to beautiful music. Such events are usually put on by whomever runs the city, village, or kingdom. Everyone, no matter their status, is able to participate in the story without actually having to tell a story or draw in the sand. They can simply sit and enjoy, or clap a beat when appropriate.
The point is for all to understand and rejoice in the continuity of language as Time passes. From one generation to the next, from one forgotten story to the next, C'eröd and Time connect us all. This is also why this celebration is done outside, and not in the home or enclosed spaces, as the blessing of language and time touches everyone, and every thing.
This day lines up with the last of day of Tam'nýer—a''s super summer.