Holidays, Religion, and Beliefs
We Sylvans celebrate the four seasonal changes. Spring is a big deal because it's also our new year, and autumn is a big deal because that's when the harvest comes in and when our game is nice and fat.
We mostly celebrate spring and autumn, since that's when we journey to and from the prairie. During the winter, we have a memorial on the shortest day of the year to honor those who've passed on.
On the longest day of the year we hold our fire festival where some of our best dancers put on fire demonstrations all night long.
The second month of summer we celebrate our victory over the giants and the resulting alliance. The third month of winter we honor the memories of those fallen to the claws of the sabrewing gryphons. Many years ago all the young cubs were taken by starving gryphons. We have an annual hunt to take one of their kind each year.
The day the sun rises and the day it sets are both very important. We spend a week welcoming it back to our world and a week bidding it safe journey.
Well, technically, we have one god. The Algod. Genderless and older than time. The Algod made time to bind the world together, and set things in motion for the universe to form and made us too. There is no requirement of prayer and offering, so most of us are content with respect and reverence when the mood hits us. There's a bunch of other stuff in the world, like angels and demons and nature spirits, and some of them are really, really strong to the point of being something of a demigod, but they aren't omnipotent or all-powerful. I think some of the locals around stronger spirits worship them because they have some control over weather and wealth. You're more prone to have pitchfork-paradin' cults with those obsessed with a powerful spirit. Most of those who perform rituals and offerings to the Algod tend to be passivists, but there are a few raids conducted in the name of the Algod. Takes all kinds, I guess.
Some of my past worlds have had a full pantheon with each god or goddess having a full history, personality, and the works. But the JAD cast was already pretty big when I started thinking over religion, and I didn't have the patience to add that many more. And by the time JAD came about in its current form, I already had well over 500 characters from my various stories. For the sake of my sanity, I kept it simple this time.
Because nobody likes a busybody that micromanages every last aspect of your life. Ever known somebody to have an overbearing mother or father that wouldn't let them do jack growing up and they either got into every kind of trouble they could when they were older or either became a mindless, obedient zombie? Both are a bad extreme and the Algod prefers balance over extremes. And sometimes, an extreme must happen to swing the pendulum back to the middle before something even worse happens. Now, some of the more strangely devout take this as an excuse to be bad whenever they want so that there isn't so much good in the world a big evil comes along to set things straight. Balance is no excuse to be bad! They forget the other half of balance: karma. The Algod handles world balance and Karma handles personal balance. Karma was probably a muy thai kick boxer in her past life and she remembers it too.