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|Glanfathan customs can seem primitive and unsophisticated to some. But all customs begin with a ritual or superstition, so why should theirs be considered less than any other? If they are examined closely, Glanfathan celebrations stem from a deep and rich culture and all tie in to their history in a significant way.
The Festival of the Ancients
The Festival of the Ancients takes place during Spring Dawn and is a time to celebrate the Glanfathans settling in Eir Glanfath. It is a simple, three-day ceremony that is mostly centered on feasts. These feasts are set up around the ruins scattered through Eir Glanfath. Wreaths made from tree branches and flowers are placed at the ruins and prayers are said to the gods, thanking them for health and prosperity.
The Cleansing started as a protest, recreating the hardships wrought upon the Glanfathans by the Aedyran colonists when they started settling the Dyrwood. It has morphed over the years and is now used more as a game mixed with a teaching tool to inform your Glanfathans about the history of their people. The Cleansing takes place on New Year and Mid Year and now acts as a metaphor for real events instead of a recreation of the events themselves. Xaurip effigies are placed throughout the forest, hollow clay shells filled with sweets and gifts. The children then search the woods for the effigies and destroy them, "cleansing" the forest so they Glanfathans can move in and occupy the areas. After the area has been cleared, they gather for a celebration and feast where the elders tell the young members the true story of their people's history.
Holiday of the Black Tree
A combination of a day of remembrance and celebratory feast, the Holiday of the Black Tree is held on the second day of Autumn Falling when the trees are still colorful but losing their leaves and the land is becoming cold and dark. Glanfathans use the day to tell the story of the War of the Black Trees and remember those who were lost. During the morning, the adults hang elaborate garlands from the tree branches. The garlands are made from red, orange, and yellow flowers and represent the flames that swept through the forests of Eir Glanfath, destroying everything in their paths. After a morning of fasting and reflection, the children are set to run through the trees, tearing down the garlands and bring them back to the feast, decorating the tables with wildflowers, turning the horror of war into something beautiful. Then they eat, cheering the peace they now have with the Dyrwoodan people and toast to many more years of peace to come.
Also of note in Glanfathan culture is their abundance of traveling customs. Being a semi-nomadic people, they practice customs to ensure their safety while on the move.
If you are taking a quick trip, purchase a gift for someone you are visiting and leave it at your home. If something important is left undone (such as giving a gift to a loved one), you will always return to finish the task.
If you are taking a longer trip, leave remembrances of your trip - no matter how well you know the road. Drop some pebbles along the way or tie ribbon to the tree branches. Mark your path away and you'll always have a safe and easy trip back.
Evil spirits and dangerous creatures are everywhere in our world. If you decorate your cart with masks, they will scare away any danger that might otherwise approach. But you must decorate your cart anew every trim or the evil won't be fooled by your ruse!