The Festival of Lights

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Occurring around the beginning of winter, on Frasmary 1st and 2nd, the Festival of Lights is a low-key event usually only carried out by the priesthood of Pharasma in Narathion, Atlartica, and Mazonia, though outsiders are welcome to watch.

The festival lasts from sunset on the 1st to sunrise on the 2nd. At sunset, the priesthood marches out from their temple, each carrying a lantern with a candle inside. They march solemnly out to a local cemetery, where they sprinkle holy water and silver dust before forming a ring of light around the place and chanting for a length of time, usually about two hours; then they move on to a different cemetery and repeat. Depending on how many cemeteries there are in the area and how many priests there are to cover them, they may split up to cover more cemeteries.

Originally referred to as the “ceremony against the undying”, the festival originates as an appeasement of Urgathoa, who is believed to be responsible for undead rising. It also serves a practical purpose by consecrating the cemeteries, directly preventing any undead rising for the next three to five months1, depending on how strong the priests are.

More recently, however, it has come to double as a celebration of the dead, and a way to ensure their souls have reached Heaven. In larger cities, a parade of revellers commonly forms behind the marching priesthood, and at sunrise they are welcomed back to their temple with a rich breakfast, usually prepared by local merchants as an offering.

  1. The sprinkling of holy water and silver dust, along with an incantation, is the actual consecrate spell. The two hours of chanting is a ritual to extend the spell’s duration. 

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