Holidays of the Iliac Bay
Holidays of the Iliac Bay, by Theth-i
The region of the Iliac Bay has a rich history, and not surprisingly, a number of holidays unique to it because of this history. The Breton and the Redguard cultures have many similarities, but just as many distinctions. An analysis of the holidays is one way to study the people.
As any schoolchild could tell you, the Redguards are a relatively new culture to Tamriel. Their arrival from their homeland is actually well recorded, though it occured several thousand years ago, in the 808th year of the 1st Era. Hammerfell was a great desert encompassed by almost impassable mountains -- unclaimed and unwanted. Many of the holidays extant in modern Hammerfell seem to be direct translations of older Redguard festivals before their migration to Tamriel.
The orgiastic seasonal celebrations seem unusual in a province with few changes in the weather from month to month. Yet on the 28th of Suns Dawn, the Redguards of the Banthan jungle celebrate Aduros Nau to relieve the wintertide lethargy; on the 1st of Mid Year, the people of Abibon-Gora öcelebrate Drigh R'Zimb in honor of the sun, which no normal Redguard worships in this day; similarly, on the 29th of Suns Height, the festival in the Desert called Fiery Night, seems almost perverse in such an environment; the Koomu Alezer'i on the 11th of Last Seed in Sentinel has been translated as a harvest thanksgiving, though many scholars have suggested that it was once a springtide holiday; similarly, the Feast of the Tiger in the Bantha on the 14th of Last Seed was probably once a religious holiday to a Tiger God, instead of a thanksgiving.
Other old Redguard holidays have either been acknowledged as part of the old culture or adjusted to fit with the climate of Hammerfell. The Serpent's Dance, for example, of Satakalaam is patently an old festival honoring a Serpent God of the homeland who evidently did not survive the journey to Hammerfell. The significance of the date, the 3rd of Suns Dusk, has been lost with the Serpent Priests. Baranth Do, on the 18th of Evening Star, and Chil'a, on the 24th of the same month, are both New Years festivals. Most likely, they have been moved from their original dates to correspond with the notion of the year defined in Tamriel.
The Bretons have been in Tamriel since before recorded history. Their holidays have remained almost unchanged since primitive times, though new holidays have been created to replace those which have lost popularity.
The oldest holidays still observed in High Rock must include Waking Day, on the 18th of Morning Star, when the people of the Yeorth Burrowland wake the spirits of nature after the winter, very nearly in the tradition of their more reverential ancestors. Flower Day, held on the 25th of First Seed in the smaller villages of High Rock is most likely just as older or older. The old cult of the flower is also remembered as Gardtide in Tamarilyn Point on the 1st of Rains Hand. Daggerfall's Day of the Dead, on the 13th of Rains Hand, suggests the ancestor worship that marked the Breton religion of antiquity. Finally, the ancient goddess of the moons, Secunda, is remembered in the Moon Festival in Glenumbra Moors on the 8th of Suns Dusk, just as the nights begin to grow longer.
The more recently created holidays of High Rock are those like Tibedetha, "Tibers Day," celebrated every 24th of Mid Year in honor of Alcaire's most famous, son, Tiber Septim. Likewise, Othroktide on the 5th of Suns Dawn is held in honor of the first and most illustrious Baron of Dwynnen. In quite extreme contrast, Marukh's Day on the 9th of Second Seed, is a solemn holiday, immortalizing the lessons of the equally solemn 1st Era prophet Marukh. My favorite of the modern Breton festivals has to be Mad Pelagius, held in mock honor of the most eccentric of the Septim Emperors. Pelagius was, after all, a prince of Wayrest before he became King of Solitude, and then Emperor of Tamriel. The Bretons like to boast that it was his time in High Rock that drove him mad.
1st of Morning Star: Festival Of New Life
Daedra: Clavicus Vile, Item: Masque Of Clavicus Vile
Description: Today the people of are having the New Life Festival in celebration of a new year. The Emperor has ordered yet another tax increase in his New Life Address, and there is much grumbling about this. Still, despite financial difficulties, the New Life tradition of free ale at all the taverns in the cities continues. The people of certainly know how to hold a celebration. Summoning Day
2nd Of Morning Star: Scour Day
Description: Scour Day is a celebration held in most High Rock villages on the day after New Life. It was once the day one cleans up after New Life, but has changed into a party of its own.
12th Of Morning Star: Ovankía
Description: Ovank'a is the day the people of the Alik'r Desert offer prayers to Stendarr in the hopes of a mild and merciful year. It is considered very holy.
13th Of Morning Star: None
Daedra: Meridia, Item: Ring Of Khajiit
Description: Summoning Day
15th Of Morning Star: South Winds Prayer
Description: The 15th of Morning Star is a holiday taken very seriously in , where they call it South Wind's Prayer, a plea by all the religions of Tamriel for a good planting season. Citizens with every affliction known in Tamriel flock to services in the cities's temples, as the clergy is known to perform free healings on this day. Only a few will be judged worthy of this service, but few can afford the temples usual price...
16th of Morning Star: Day Of Lights
Description: The Day of Lights is celebrated as a holy day by most villages in Hammerfell on the Iliac Bay. It is a prayer for a good farming and fishing year, and is taken very seriously.
18th Of Morning Star: Waking Day
Description: The people in Yeorth Burrowland invented Waking Day in prehistoric times to wake the spirits of nature after a long, cold winter. It has evolved into a sort of orgiastic celebration of the end of winter.
2nd Of Sunís Dawn: Mad Pelaguis
Daedra: Seogorath, Item: Wabbajack
Description: Mad Pelagius is a silly little tradition in High Rock in a mock memorial to Pelagius Septim II, one of the maddest emperors in recent history. He died about 350 years ago, so the Septims since have taken it with good humor. Summoning Day
5th Of Sunís Dawn: Othroktide
Description: The people of Dwynnen have a huge party to celebrate Othroktide, the day when Baron Othrok took Dwynnen from the undead forces who claimed it in the Battle of Wightmoor.
8th of Sunís Dawn: Day Of Release
Description: The people of Glenumbra Moors may be the only people to remember or care about the battle between Aiden Direnni and the Alessian Army in the first era. They celebrate it vigorously on the Day of Release.
16th Of Sunís Dawn: Heartís Day
Daedra: Sanguine, Item: Sanguine Rose
Description: Today is the 16th of Sun's Dawn, a holiday celebrated all over Tamriel as Heart's Day. It seems that in every house, the Legend of the Lovers is being sung for the younger generation. In honor of these Lovers, Polydor and Eloisa, the inns of the city offer a free room for visitors. If such kindness had been given the Lovers, it is said, it would always be springtime in the world.
27th Of Sunís Dawn: Perseverance Day
Description: Perserverance Day is quite a party in Ykalon. It was originally held as a solemn memorial to those killed in battle, resisting the Camaron Usurper, but has since become a boisterous festival.
28th Of Sunís Dawn: Aduros Nau
Description: The villages in the Bantha celebrate the baser urges that come with Springtide on Aduros Nau. The traditions vary from village to village, but none of them are for the overly virtuous.
5th Of First Seed: None
Daedra: Hermaeus Mora, Item: Oghma Infinitum
Description: Summoning Day
7th Of First Seed: First Planting
Description: On the 7th of First Seed every year, the people of celebrat First Planting, symbolically sowing the seeds for the autumn harvest. It is a festival of fresh beginnings, both for the crops and for the men and women of the city. Neighbors are reconciled in their disputes, resolutions are formed, bad habits dropped, the diseased cured. The clerics at the temples run a free clinic all day long to cure people of poisoning, different diseases, paralyzation, and the other banes found in the world of Tamriel.
9th Of First Seed: Day Of Waiting
Description: The Day of Waiting is a very old holy day among certain settlements in the Dragontail Mountains. Every year at that time, a dragon is supposed to come out of the desert and devour the wicked, so everyone locks himself up inside.
21st Of First Seed: Hogithum
Daedra: Azura, Item: Azuraís Star
Description: Summoning Day
25th Of First Seed: Flower Day
Description: Flower Day is another of the frivolous celebrations of High Rock. Children pick the new flowers of spring while older Bretons, cooped up all winter, come out to welcome the season with dancing and singing.
26th Of First Seed: Festival Of Blades
Description: During the Festival of Blades, the people of the Alik'r Desert celebrate the victor of the first Redguard over a race of giant goblins. The story is considered a myth by most scholars, but the holiday is still very popular in the desert.
1st of Rainís Hand: Gardtide
Description: On Gardtide, the people of Tamarilyn Point hold a festival to honor Druagaa, the old goddess of flowers. Worship of the goddess is all but dead, but the celebration is always a great success.
9th of Rainís Hand: None
Daedra: Peryite, Item: Spellbreaker
Description: Summoning Day
13th Of Rainís Hand: Day Of The Dead
Description: The Day of the Dead is one of the more peculiar holidays of Daggerfall. The superstitious say that the dead rise on this holiday to wreak vengeance on the living. It is a fact that King Lysandus' spectre began its haunting on the Day of the Dead, 3E 404.
20th Of Rainís Hand: Day Of Shame
Description: All along the seaside of Hammerfell, no one leaves their houses on the Day of Shame. It is said that the Crimson Ship, a vessel filled with victims of the Knahaten Plague who were refused refuge hundreds of years ago, will return on this day.
28th Of Rainís Hand: Jesterís Day
Description: Be warned that today is Jester's Day in the city of , and pranks are being set up from one end of town to the other. It is as if a spell has been cast over the community, for even the most taciturn and dignified councilman might attempt to play a joke on his . The Thieves Guild finds particular attention as everyone looks for pickpockets in particular.
7th Of Second Seed: Second Planting
Description: The celebration of Second Planting is in full glory this day. It is a holiday with traditions similar to First Planting, improvements on the first seeding symbolically to suggest improvements on the soul. The free clinics of the temples are open for the second and last time this year, offering cures for those suffering from any kind of disease or affliction. Because peace and not conflict is stressed at this time, battle injuries are healed only at full price.
9th Of Second Seed: Marukhís Day
Daedra: Namira, Item: Ring Of Namira
Description: Marukh's Day is only observed by certain communities in Skeffington Wood. By comparing themselves to the virtuous prophet Marukh, the people of Skeffington Wood pray for the strength to resist temptation. Summoning day
20th Of Second Seed: Fire Festival
Description: The Fire Festival in Northmoor is one of the most attended celebrations in High Rock. It began as a pompous display of magic and military strength in ancient days and has become quite a festival.
30th Of Second Seed: Fishing Day
Description: Fishing Day is a big celebration for the Bretons who live off the bounty of the Iliac Bay. They are not a usually flamboyant people, but on Fishing Day, they make so much noise, fish have been scared away for weeks.
1st Of Midyear: Drigh RíZimb
Description: The festival of Drigh R'Zimb, held in the hottest time of year in Abibon-Gora, is a jubilation held for the sun Daibethe itself. Scholars do not know how long Drigh R'Zimb has been held, but it is possible the Redguards brought the festival with them when they came in the first era.
5th of Midyear: None
Daedra: Hircine Item: Hircine Sheild
Description: Summoning Day
16th of Midyear: Mid Year Celebration
Description: Today is the 16th of Mid Year, the traditional day for the Mid Year Celebration. Perhaps to alleviate the annual news of the Emperor's latest tax increase, the cities temples offer blessings for only half the donation they usually suggest. Many so blessed feel confident enough to enter the dungeons when they are not fully prepared, so this joyous festival has often been known to turn suddenly into a day of defeat and tragedy.
23rd Of Midyear: Dancing Day
Description: Dancing Day is a time-honored holiday in Daggerfall. Who started it is questionable, but the Red Prince Atryck popularized it in the second era. It is an occasion of great pomp and merriment for all the people of Daggerfall, from the nobles down.
24th of Midyear: Tibedetha
Description: Tibedetha is middle Tamrielic for "Tibers Day." It is not surprising that the lorddom of Alcaire celebrates its most famous native with a great party. Historically, Tiber Septim never returned once to his beloved birthplace.
10th of Sunís Height: Merchantís Festival
Daedra: Vaernima, Item: Skull Of Corruption
Description: The bargain shoppers of the known world are out in force today and it is little wonder, for the 10th of Sun's Height is a holiday called the Merchants' Festival. Every marketplace and equipment store has dropped their prices to at least half. The only shop not being patronized today is the Mages Guild, where prices are as exorbitant as usual. Most citizens in need of a magical item are waiting two months for the celebration of Tales and Tallows when prices will be more reasonable... Summoning day
12th Of Sunís Height: Divad Etepít
Description: During Divat Etep't, the people of Antiphyllos mourn the death of the one of the greatest of the early Redguard heroes, Divat, son of Frandar of the Hel Ansei. His deeds are questioned by historians, but his tomb in Antiphyllos is almost certainly genuine.
20th Of Sunís Height: Sunís Rest
Description: You will have to wait until tomorrow if you are planning on making any equipment purchases, for all stores are closed in observance of Sun's Rest. Of course, the temples, taverns, and Mages Guild in the are still open their regular hours, but most citizens chose to devote this day to relaxation, not commerce or prayer. This is not a convenient arrangement for all, but the Merchants' Guild heavily fines any shop that stays open, so everyone complies.
29th Of Sunís Height: Fiery Night
Description: Few besides the natives of the Alik'r Desert would venture out on the hottest day of the year, Fiery Night. It's a lively celebration with a meaning lost in antiquity.
2nd Of Last Seed: Maiden Katrica
Description: On the day of Maiden Katrica, the people of Ayasofya show their appreciation for the warrior that saved their county with the biggest party of the year.
11th Of Last Seed: Koomu Alazeríi
Description: Koomu Alezer'i means simply "We Acknowledge" in old Redguard, and it has been a tradition in Sentinel for thousands of years. No matter the harvest, the people of Sentinel solemnly thank the gods for their bounty, and pray to be worthy of the graces of the gods.
14th of Last Seed: Feast Of The Tiger
Description: The Feast of the Tiger in the Bantha rainforest is like other holidays in praise of a bountiful harvest. It is not, however, a solemn occasion for introspection and thanksgiving, but a great celebration and festival from village to village.
21st Of Last Seed: Appreciation Day
Description: Appreciation Day in Anticlere is an ancient holiday of thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest for the people of Anticlere. It is considered a holy and contemplative day, devoted to Mara, the goddess-protector of Anticlere.
27th Of Last Seed: Harvestís End
Description: Perhaps no other festival fires the spirit of %cn as much as the one held today, Harvest's End. The work of the year is over, the seeding, sowing, and reaping. Now is the time to celebrate and enjoy the fruits of the harvest, and even visitors to are invited to join the farmers. The taverns offer free drinks all day long, an extra vagance before the economy of the coming winter months. Underfed farm hands gorging themselves and then getting sick in the town square are the most common sights of the celebration of Harvest's End.
3rd of Hearth Fire: Tales And Tallows
Daedra: Nocturnal, Item: Skeleton Key
Description: No other holiday divides the people of like the 3rd of Hearth Fire. A few of the oldest, more superstitious men and women do not speak all day long for fear that the evil spirits of the dead will enter their bodies. Most citizens enjoy the holiday, calling it Tales and Tallows, but even the most lighthearted avoid the dark streets of , for everyone knows the dead do walk tonight. Only the Mages Guild completely thrives on this day. In celebration of the oldest magical science, necromancy, all magical items are half price today.
6th of Hearth Fire: Khurat
Description: Every town and fellowship in the Wrothgarian Mountains celebrates Khurat, the day when the finest young scholars are accepted into the various priesthoods. Even those people without children of age go to pray for the wisdom and benevolence of the clergy.
12th of Hearth Fire: Riglametha
Description: Riglametha is celebrated on the twelfth of Hearth Fire every year in Lainlyn as a celebration of Lainlyns many blessings. Pageants are held on such themes as the Ghraewaj, when the daedra worshippers in Lainlyn were changed to harpies for their blasphemy.
19th of Hearth Fire: Childrenís Day
Description: Children's Day in Betony is a festive occasion with a grim history. All know though few choose to recall that Children's Day began as a memorial to the dozens of children in Betony who were stolen from their homes by vampires one night never to be seen again. This happened over a hundred years ago, and the holiday has since become a celebration of youth.
5th of Frost Fall: Dirij Tereur
Description: The fifth of Frost Fall marks Dirij Tereur for the people of the Alik'r Desert. It is a sacred day honoring Frandar Hund, the traditional spiritual leader of the Redguards who led them to Hammerfell in the first era. Stories are read from Hund's Book of Circles, and the temples in the region are filled to capacity.
8th of Frost Fall: None
Daedra: Malacath, Item: Volendrung
Description: Summoning Day
13th Of Frost Fall: Witches Festival
Daedra: Mephala, Item: Ebony Blade
Description: Today is the 13th of Frostfall, known throughout Tamriel as the Witches' Festival when the forces of sorcery and religion clash. The Mages Guild gets most of the business since weapons and items are evaluated for their mystic potential free of charge and magic spells are one half their usual price. Demonologists, conjurors, lamias, warlocks, and thaumaturgists meet in the wilderness outside , and the creatures created or summoned there may plague Tamriel for eons. Most wise men choose not to wander this night.
23rd Of Frost Fall: Broken Diamonds
Description: On the 23rd of Frost Fall in the 121st year of the first era, the empress Kintyra Septim II met her death in the imperial dungeons in Glenpoint on the orders of her cousin and usurper Cephorus I. Her death is remembered in Glenpoint as the day called Broken Diamonds. It is a day of silent prayer for the wisdom and benevolence of the imperial family of Tamriel.
30th of Frost Fall: Emperorís Day
Description: Once the 30th of Frostfall, the Emperor's Birthday, was the most popular holiday of the year. Great traveling carnivals entertained the masses, while the aristocracy of enjoyed the annual Goblin Chase on horseback. Recently, these traditions have fallen into neglect. It has been decades since there was a big carnival in and longer still since a of the sponsered a Goblin Chase.
2nd Of Sunís Dusk: None
Daedra: Boethiah, Item: Ebony Mail
Descriptiom: Summoning Day
3rd Of Sunís Dusk: Serpentís Dance
Description: The Serpents Dance in Satakalaam may or may not have begun as a serious religious holiday dedicated to a snake god, but in this day, it is a reason for a great street festival.
8th Of Sunís Dusk: Moon Festival
Description: On the 8th of Suns Dusk, the Bretons of Glenumbra Moors hold the Moon Festival, a joyous holiday in honor of Secunda, goddess of the moon. Although the goddess has no active worshippers, the traditional celebration has continued through the ages as a time of feasting and merriment.
18th Of Sunís Dusk: Hel Anseilak
Description: Hel Anseilak, which means "Communion with the Saints of the Sword" in Old Redguard is the most serious of holy days for the people of Pothago. The ancient way of Hel Ansei is never practiced by modern Redguards, but its rich heritage is remembered and honored on this day.
20th of Sunís Dusk: Warriors Festival
Daedra: Mehrunes Dagon, Item: Mehrunes razor
Description: Today is the 20th of Sun's Dusk, the Warriors Festival in . Most all the local warriors, spellswords, and rogues come to the equipment stores and blacksmiths where all weapons are half price. Unfortunately, the low prices also tempt many an untrained boy to buy his first sword and the normally quiet streets ring with amateur skirmishes. The has pardoned most of these ruffians in the past, but has promised to be less merciful this year.
15th Of Evening Star: North Winds Prayer
Description: Today is the 15th of Evening Star, a holiday reverently observed by the temples as North Wind's Prayer. It is a thanksgiving to the Gods for a good harvest and a mild winter. Some years, like this one, the harvest was not particularly good and the winter unseasonally harsh in , but as the is fond of saying, "It could be much worse." The temples offer all their services blessing, curing, healing for half the donation usually requested.
18th Of Evening Star: Baranth Do
Description: Baranth Do is celebrated on the 18th of Evening Star by the Redguards of the Alik'r Desert. Its meaning is "Goodbye to the Beast of Last Year." Pageants featuring demonic representations of the old year are popular, and revelry to honor the new year is everywhere.
20th Of Evening Star: Chilía
Daedra: Molag Bal, Item: Mace Of Molag Bal
Description: Chil'a, the blessing of the new year in the barony of Kairou, is both a sacred day and a festival. The archpriest and the baroness each consecrate the ashes of the old year in solemn ceremony, then street parades, balls, and tournaments conclude the event. Summoning day
25th Of Evening Star: Saturalia
Description: The New Life festival comes a few days early in Wayrest with Saturalia, traditionally held on the 25th of Evening Star. Originally a holiday for a long forgotten god of debauchery, it has become a time of gift giving, parties, and parading. Visitors are encouraged to participate.
30th Of Evening Star: Old Life Festival
Description: On the last day of the year the Empire celebrates the holiday called Old Life. Many go to the temples to reflect on their past. Some go for more than this, for it is rumored that priests will as the last act of the year perform resurrections on beloved friends and family members free of the usual charge. Worshippers know better than to expect this philanthropy, but they arrive in a macabre procession with the recently deceased nevertheless. When ale flows free in all the taverns in all the cities of Tamriel.