ACCEPTED "Elni's Tide" and "One's Gift Day" - Christmas in Tale of Banners

Vastapallo

Lore Team
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Lore Team
Jul 11, 2019
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"Elni's Tide" and "One's Gift Day"
A Winter Celebration

An Oserian writing about winter celebrations
Just as name says: My Tale of Banners take on Christmas for Northerners and Oserians
One's Gift Day, always celebrated on the coldest day forecast by the highest Seers within the Northern Summit, is a traditional northern celebration starring the great Northern Spirit Elni. At this time of the year, all clans and families are getting even more close-knitted to each other, leaving a temporary peace at the borders of rivaling clans (thank the One). This is when they celebrate their fortunes and give to those who are less fortunate, as well as the gods themselves, thanking Elni for their blessing.

I have been following my guardian clan for almost a year now, and I’ve got to admit, I feel sorry for those poor bastards. They already live in a close-to-impossible state of survival, have at least two blizzards every year, and nowadays they even like to celebrate this One-forsaken, frostbitten wasteland, by drinking ale, enjoying games such as rock-throwing, torch dancing or hunting, and gathering around campfires and ceremonies, passing many tales around each other about the Five.

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[A big family gathering in Norvaskr]

Elni's Tider, relating to the Northern god Elni and his sacrificial culture, is mainly used as a communal way of communicating and thanking Elni. People vow their thanks to him for his bounty, including his gifts such as love, friendship, family, and personal fortune. Many events taking place around Elni's Tide are on “Elni's Night”, a sort of family night, where often the dead and elders are honored in the name of the celebrated spirit, and sacrifices are made to honor them. Sacrifices can include things such as dead animals, gold, and even prisoners. Campfire gatherings per family (or even whole clans) are also a common occurrence. Families and friends discuss plans for the future, as well as alliances, and their personal gains from the year. It is at this time that the exchange of 'tidings' occurs. Each member of the family who has been blessed by Elni is expected to sacrifice to Elni, and give a piece of his fortune to those around himself, to give himself a good fortune in the next year.

As the lucky Oserian dog, I am, I was invited by a friendly family to join the discussion of a young maiden getting married after Elni's Night. The young maiden stood between the bitter option of marrying a man of a befriended family, which she isn’t very fond of, and her true love, of a lesser family for her sake. Eventually, the family elder, the maiden’s grandfather, decided that she must follow her heart and that the family will support her. Not every family member agreed though, and there happened some heavy arguing, but the Elder’s word was the law of the family, and so it was spoken.

This was followed by the practice of the 'tidings' I mentioned earlier, where each of the family gave their own piece of their personal fortunes, whether it be tales, or gold, to each other. I myself received a tiding from the maiden's father, who handed me an iron ring with a dark green gemstone inset. It was very fine indeed and I still hold it to this day. I myself was not ready for the practice and had nothing to give except my recollection of the north so far, and how I felt about things. Upon my tale's completion, they grabbed the throat of a snowflurry oxen and slit it over the fire, finishing their sacrifice for Elni.

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[A young, unmarried Northerner, awaiting approval from her lover's father]

It is a common occurrence that young women, barely out of their pre-adulthood, are getting married, or getting an arranged marriage on the first day of Elni's Tide. This is followed by all manners of ceremonies and feasts appropriate to the celebration of course. Such matters affect the whole family, as marriage binds two whole families together. My mind turns of course to the natural inclinations of the young to fritter about and commit terrible sins. By the one, don’t let it happen…

Now that I remember, my brothers in Oseria have a similar kind of celebration. I am almost sure it’s the same event, except that we call it “One's Gift Day” back in Downwater. Damn, I already miss my wife making honey-glazed turkey while our children are playing with their Korsian-crafted dolls. One's Gift day also contains much gift-giving, although the blood sacrifices and the gold sacrifices to the One are not part of the celebration. Instead, you add something personal of yourself, usually your singing or your praise. You partake in a celebration to give the One whatever it is that is personal of you to the Church of Oseria. You give the others in your life a token of appreciation, as the One gives us the bounty of the world every day. Of course, youngsters still shirk their duties at this time, taking the time of giving to mean time off of work itself.

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[An Oserian Archer, asking a maiden out for Virtue's Night]

Back to the north, eventually, all families come together to hunt together, cook together, and have a great feast on the second day after Elni's Tide. Fowl, diary products, even whole hogs going on a spit. The second day after Elni's Tide was surely the best. To close this documentation, be sure that around Elni's Tide you greet the Northmen 'Tiding of Elni to you!" so that you receive a warm welcome, rather than being treated a foreign dog. Luckily, we Oserians Simply say “Happy One's Gift!” when visiting our family and friends. I'm going to watch the ending ceremony on the third and final day of Elni's Night: The Clan animal sacrifices and dueling.

Marcella, darling. If you read this. I love you. See you in the summer. ~C
 
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