Tough Traveling: Holidays
The Thursday feature “Tough Traveling” is the brainchild of Nathan of Review Barn, who has come up with the excellent idea of making a new list each week based on the most common tropes in fantasy, as seen in The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynn Jones. Nathan has invited anyone who is interested to come play along, so be sure to check out the first link for more information.
This week’s tour topic is: Holidays
Never too late to celebrate … holidays! Because fantasy festivals and feasts are always fun. Thanks to Wendy for the suggestion! And feel free to blame her if this proves to be as hard as it sounds.
I confess that I must have been drunk on holiday spirit when I suggested this theme to Nathan, since I didn’t actually have any ideas for it at the time. But now, as you can see by my list, I got this holiday business covered. And I can proudly use the words “like a boss” as I gallop off into the sunset.
Nothing says celebration like starving children killing each other for a chance at feeding their colony for a year while the well-to-do people of the Capitol watch and cheer them on!
Well this is cheating a bit isn’t it, since Harry Potter happens to live in our universe and celebrates holidays like Christmas along with us, complete with ugly sweaters and everything.
During the Festival of Lies, the truth is, well, not true, and everything is backwards. This makes it rather difficult for our young protagonist, Goldie, to rescue kidnapped children.
There are Seven Days of Mourning during the Winter Pageant that commerate the story of how Tehlu sent the demon Encanis to oblivion by sacrificing his own mortal body. During the festival, citizens wear the black masks of demons and cause mayhem throughout the city, until the seventh day, when the citizen chosen to be Tehlu catches Encanis himself, thus signifying the start of the new year.
The Night of the Summer Stars approaches, but Lawrence, the gatekeeper, refuses to open the gates for fear of unleashing the great darkness that has haunted his dreams. But crossing back into the Spiral is the only opportunity for the fae on earth to reconnect with their birthplace, and for their children to be initiated into their powers. Is Lawrence betraying his people? Or protecting them from something far worse than the loss of their way of life?
The coronation of a new Arameri leader is a big thing. Especially when it involves gods and murder and sacrifice. But the night before? Party time!
Wendy’s got this week handled like a boss, all right! I’ve only got a few more to add.
Who can forget The Longest Night, the major holiday of Terre d’Ange? Hardly a book goes by without at least a mention of this day, celebrated on the winter solstice each year. D’Angelines typically celebrate by holding extravagant masked balls along with a reenactment of the Sun Prince driving away the old Winter Queen, tapping her with his spear so that she lifts away her rags and reappears as a young woman.
Wintertide is the main holiday in the world of this series, held in midwinter and most commonly celebrated with feasts and jousts in the big cities. A whole book in this series actually takes place over the celebrations of Wintertide, and it is even the title (included in the Heir of Novron omnibus).
There’s always a party going on in New Orleans, and Nokturnos is a boisterous night of festivities where the Fae all let loose and have fun. In the second book, we find out they also have an annual event called the Mardi Gras Exemplar Ball, a masque which is by far the most lavish and important supernatural event of the year.