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What sort of holidays does your world have?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by BloodyHellSausage, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. BloodyHellSausage

    BloodyHellSausage Troubadour

    I realised that I probably gave little to no thought about holidays in my world, so let this community know what kind of holidays you have in your world.

    In real life, in the western world, at least, we have Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, to give three examples.
  2. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

    I'll bite, because feasting is often involved.
    The most common are the seasonal holidays. The Spring Planting, The High Summer holiday, Harvest Feast and the Mid-Winter Solstice holiday. Though the last has also been planted with the Victory Feast, which celebrates the end of the Lich Wars and the return to the world being normal. Or, as normal as Eld gets. There are probably other racial holidays or cultural ones I've yet to explore. Those five are at least the most common.
  3. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    There's one holiday that I've been thinking about . . . I don't have it all figured out yet.

    Basically, think of an orc holiday. Now think of a human kingdom that slaughtered the orcs and stole the holiday and then lived six centuries with it. What would it look like now? That's what I was trying to think of.
  4. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    Its seasonal and mythic holidays mostly. Like the equinox, the harvest time or due to celebrate some kind of mythological event done by either gods or distant mythological heroes.
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    There are feast days and holidays. The latter word means holy day, so you only need a holiday if you have a religion that holds specific days sacred. Otherwise they're just customary celebrations, maybe with religious aspects and maybe not. Lots of tribal peoples have celebratory feasts and events without it being tied to a calendar or a specific god. So you have some flexibility there.

    This is on my ToDo list for Altearth. I do have one worked into my WIP. I have an elven sub-group known as wagoneers. They act as a communications line between elven settlements, traveling merchants, and a sort of moving refuge for all kinds of social strays. They travel in wagons (duh). They have a ceremony called washing the wheels. It takes place at specific places on various coasts. It's pretty simple, they just take the wagon a little way into the surf and back out again, but there's a good deal of singing and dancing and feasting surrounding the act itself. No gods involved, just a tradition.
    Laurence likes this.
  6. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    Most traditional/religious holidays have a tie in with the seasons and what needs to be done. Easter, Halloween and Christmas are spring, autumn and winter festivals respectively with analogues pretty much anywhere else with a similar climate. Tropical regions have different festivals that tie in with the arrival of rainy/dry periods. There are also political holidays that might be observed (most modern republics have an Independence Day or commemorate the days of an especially important military victory such as Veteran's Day/Armistice Day/Remembrance Day), but I don't think they were all that common in the past.
  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    A great many saint's days were unrelated to seasons, though. At any one time and place in medieval Europe there were scores of these. Some merited only the most minor of observations while others might turn out the entire town or village. Your Saint May Vary. It's sort of what I meant by the distinction between a holy day and a feast day.
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I liked the Holidays in D&L Eddings Belgariad [etal]. They mention only one in any detail, and that was Erastide. It was a mid-winter holiday that lasted seven days with feasting and gifts and a bit of religion/mythos thrown in.
    A cross between Yule and Xmas it was a simple effective and familiar enough not to need explaining to the reader.
    In my own work, if they come up I usually have a vaguely pagan schedule of holy days. I'll throw in others as the plot demand. I had one story [that I WILL get back to one-day] where there was Brightday holiday. That was a memory of a comet crossing the sky hundreds of years before... [when it was really a crashed spacecraft and the survivors were slowly working out how to survive on a new world]
  9. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Maester

    Tomorrow would be Harvest Feast in one of my cultures, the one of my Donzalo novels—sort of a cross between Halloween and Thanksgiving. That culture does the typical solstice/equinox holidays, plus the ones half-way between. Other cultures I have created (or maybe discovered?) do things differently, or maybe have similar celebrations at a different time, due to calendar variations. Moon phases take precedence over the sun-based seasons nearer the equator.

    And In the lost, timeless city of Hirstel, a holiday is announced whenever the Prince-Sorcerer grows bored!
  10. Hyperion only has one 'holiday' of sorts, and it's rather a dark one: the annual remembrance of the Final Seal, in which ten children were sacrificed to seal away an ambiguously malevolent entity.
  11. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

    It all depends on what kind of world I'm going for. I'm currently torn between writing a longer fictional piece in either a Ancient Greece inspired setting or a world inspired by medieval Occitania. So pending which will decide what kind of things people will celebrate.

    In both cases there will naturally be celebrations for agricultural and seasonal events and changes, while in the Greek setting there will also be stuff for various gods, heroes and in my Occitania it will be more Christian-inspired stuff with saint's days, important theological events and so on.
  12. Miles Lacey

    Miles Lacey Inkling

    Here's some of the holidays and festivals in the world of my WIP:

    In the Republic of St Malo the folks celebrate the Festival of Beauty (which is dedicated to the Goddess of Beauty, Love and Desire) by having the men participate in beauty contests where they are judged by their looks, their wardrobes and their ability to perform certain tasks like changing light fixtures, building a book case and replacing a car tyre.

    The world of my WIP uses a calendar that has thirteen months of 28 days each. However the 365th day is a stand alone day that is called the Day of Remembrance and Rebirth. In the Mentonian Empire (where the story is set) people wear black, white and grey from 12:01am to noon. They wear death themed jewellery and kitsch while performing rituals of mourning as they make their way to cemeteries and other places where the dead are buried and pay homage to them. At noon everyone changes into bright and colourful costumes and take part in a huge party complete with free food, free drinks and plenty of music and dancing. They party to midnight at least, The morning is the time to mourn the passing of the year that has gone and to remember the dead. The afternoon and evening is the time to celebrate the arrival of the New Year and the hope that one will be blessed in the year to come.

    Every four years is a leap year. The extra day is called Dia de Salt. It is the day when the Emperor or Empress pardons people who have been detained in a penal colony (the Mentonian version of a Soviet gulag) or prison and the day in which school children put on their school uniforms and take part in a big water - and in recent years - mud fight. It's basically kids throwing buckets of water at each other, turning hoses on rivals from other schools, throwing themselves and their friends - or enemies - into rivers, streams, lakes, swimming pools or the beach surf. The water festival was devised as a way of keeping the kids entertained while their parents huddled around radios or waited for the newspapers to hear the names of those being pardoned.

    There are other festivals and holidays but I haven't fleshed them out yet.
  13. Yora

    Yora Maester

    I mostly go with regular offerings to gods of the land to renew the pact of protection and prosperity for the people living on it. These are of course all local customs.
  14. Chekaman

    Chekaman Scribe

    Vallermoore has three-The Queen's Birthday is a time of feasting, fun and fireworks, Sunreturn is like our Christmas, a time of feasting and fun and presents and singing, and New Year's Eve Day, when people jump off a chair at midnight, sing the New Year Song, and drink rather too much alcohol.
  15. Skybreaker Sin K'al

    Skybreaker Sin K'al Troubadour

    In my world (yet unnamed, sorry) the Prianist kingdoms have 24 holidays, and each last for a weekend. The Prianist calendars are bi-lunar, so I won't be able to tell you when they take place in the year, but these are the holidays:
    - hKarkajray, hNashik
    - Oyaroyaka, pReok
    - Jsin, Jsinar
    - Ly Paratsal, Pratha Karak
    - hRutorya, Ruto Jsinar
    - Jkalthaokoke, Iaraknathan
    - Thars, jHaksal
    - Vevyk, Vvir k Ishfeyh
    - Shher, Najh
    - Thahik, Thariat
    - Mkrai, Monascowh
    - Jhril hSat, rNaghat

    There are other holidays which take place mainly in the south (Kol) and in the far west, but they are few and far between compared to the Prianist holidays. Prianism spreads across the whole of Fhedak, the middle landmass of my world.
  16. cjthibeaux

    cjthibeaux Acolyte

    My iron age story is built around farming so my holiday is set to fit that calendar. I have a time of fasting and introspection for the past year before the rain comes to start a new year of planting. In a hot, dry climate, seeking the shade of the temple seems to be a good idea. For now, in the first book, that is how it appears.
    Skybreaker Sin K'al likes this.
  17. Darkfantasy

    Darkfantasy Inkling

    Well, different races have different holidays in my book. One race celebrate the beginning and end of each season because they are very much into nature and natural living. Another race celebrate the birth of each of their Gods over a 7 day period (because there are 7 Gods each born one day of the week).
    They also celebrate funerals instead of grieving, they see it as another chapter for the deceased not an ending. Like a birth.

    But something happens in my world that makes it hard for anyone to celebrate anything as they are too focused on staying alive. Good question
  18. Peter Himin

    Peter Himin Dreamer

    On Æbs there are several different holidays most notably

    Johert oj Eliam fær otherwise known as Eirgetsfær - a celebration on the end of the fishing season(winter) where everyone makes one dish and the entire town/village share the meal. Normally before and after the meal Hef limhaust (translated literally as the sea thanks) or a song Suung while prancing like a horse in a circle with one arm facing out of the circle and the other holding the other persons shoulder in front of you and is done in clockwise before and counter clockwise afterwords. The largest and most notable of these takes place in Eirgetskopt hence its second name.

    nietbæ - a holiday celebration which take place on the 27th week after the new year (which would equate to March 20th on earth. Which means the holiday would happen on approximately September 25 of each year). This particular holiday was borrowed from the Knkfongr (a people that tried to take over the æbs people but just ended up driving them away) and originally celebrated Nicht the god of harvest which they called nichtbeot (which is where Nietbæ comes from), but now on æbs is a celebration of their prosperity on the islands they now call home.

    Fun fact: the name Johert also come from the Knkfongr people in the form of Jochret

    Amstidfær - or no pants day is the æbs equivalent of April fools but is also a day of fun and games taking place after the New Years (which is also celebrated and is much like thanksgiving). And is ended by a dance traditionally started before sunset in the ocean up to the shins, but as soon as the sun sets they run out of the water take of while taking off their pants (which is worn with a special shirt that falls Above the knees called a Paukihat) where they continue dancing indoors.

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