EXERCISE Creating Holidays #16: Birthdays!

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Minibit, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Whether it's the birthday of a historical figure, of a town, or just a look at how individual birthdays are celebrated, your task this week is to explore the holiday element of a birthday!

    There's lots of weird birthday traditions like cake, birthday bumps, party hats, surprise parties, and the Happy Birthday Song.

    At its heart, a birthday is the day when all a person's loved ones and friends gather to celebrate their life and achievements, and to offer good wishes for their future. In some cultures, the birthday person gives gifts to their guests, or to their mother/parents. Practical alterations can be made for birthdays, too: large groups or families often have 'group birthdays', for instance, celebrating all the June or Summer birthdays at once instead of individually. Speaking of when a birthday happens, it's not implausible for birthdays on a certain month to be celebrated and counted all on one day, whether within a family or not.

    Because there's basically two ways we can go at this, two forms are provided: one for how the average person celebrates their birthday, and one for birthdays that are celebrated by multitudes (eg; the birthday of a monarch or legendary figure).

    "Normal" birthdays:
    What's it called:
    When is it celebrated?
    Who celebrates?
    What is done to celebrate?
    Where do the festivities take place?
    Is there anything it is taboo to do on this holiday?
    Do people dress differently for this holiday?
    Is any kind of decoration traditional?
    Are any colours, symbols, or icons associated with this holiday?
    Are any spirits or deities associated with this holiday?
    Is it an important/widespread celebration, or a smaller affair?
    Are there any foods or drinks associated with this holiday?
    Do any natural events coincide with this holiday (ie: an eclipse)?
    Is it called a 'Birthday', or something else?
    Does the birthday person get presents?
    Does the birthday person give presents?
    Are the birthday persons parents given any special attention?
    How many people are generally involved?
    Does the age of the birthday person matter?
    Does the rank or station of the birthday person impact the celebration?
    Do people typically work on their birthdays?


    Widely-known birthdays:
    Holiday Name:
    When is it celebrated?
    Who celebrates?
    What is done to celebrate?
    How old is this holiday?
    Has this holiday changed much from its roots?
    Where do the festivities take place?
    Is there anything it is taboo to do on this holiday?
    Do people dress differently for this holiday?
    Is any kind of decoration traditional?
    Are any colours, symbols, or icons associated with this holiday?
    Are any spirits or deities associated with this holiday?
    Is it an important/widespread celebration, or a smaller affair?
    Are there any foods or drinks associated with this holiday?
    Do any natural events coincide with this holiday (ie: an eclipse)?
    Whose or whats birthday is celebrated?
    Is this person/creature still living?
    If the birthday is for a deceased person or a non-living thing, what is done to honour them/it?
    Are gifts/tributes of any kind traditional?

    Other Creating Holidays Exercises:

    Seasons!
    Death!
    Food!
    Protection!
    Costumes!
    Travel!
    Animals!
    Time!
    Parents!
    Invention!
    Gifts!
    Inebriation!
    Superstition!
    Religion!
    Miracles!
    Birthdays!
    Manliness!
    Games!
    The Future!
    Purification!
    Flowers!
     
    #1 Minibit, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  2. (Bat that is celebrated and the town itself is also mentioned on my response to the 'Build A Cave' thread)

    Holiday name: Sky Watch

    When is it celebrated: Every year on the last day of winter.

    Who celebrates: All people in the town of Arfell.

    Whose or whats birthday is celebrated: The Screeching Watchman, a bat the size of a large house that is the guardian of this section of the world. Though it is not sure when he was born they celebrate the first time he was ever seen.

    Is this person/creature still living: Yes, the guardians of the world can not die of old age and only one has ever been killed.

    Are there any traditional foods or drinks: Mainly any foods that the guardian does not eat. So mostly meats and nuts. The bat eats the giant bugs and fruits in the region.

    Any spirits or deities associated with birthdays: No, there actually are none in this world.

    Any traditional colors, themes, or iconography: Dark grays and blacks are the colors, themes and iconography are of course all associated with bats.

    Is any entertainment provided: Yes, since the celebration is held at night on the specific date it is The Screeching Watchman can be seen circling and soaring above the town all night and swooping down to scoop up offerings of giant bugs that have been killed and placed around town for him to eat. He is the most... social of the guardians.

    Is there anything it is taboo to do on this birthday: Stay inside. The entire town goes outside and participates in the celebrations.
     
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  3. Holiday name: Soul Week
    Date Celebrated: The week before Halloween
    Who Celebrates: Usually spiritual people
    Actions done to celebrate: Families opening their doors to deceased relatives, appeasing the soul's wants and needs, etc.
    Holiday Age: At least 10,000 years.
    Changes from roots: Some traditions have been toned down due to public concern.
    Locations of Festivities: Usually in the town square or at home.
    Traditional Decorations: Usually protective items to ward off evil.
    Taboo Actions: Upsetting the spirits.
    Change In Dress: People usually buy new clothes the week before.
    Holliday Symbols: usually the color black, and a picture of the first ruler.
    Deities Related: Usually the spirits of ancestors and the Heavenly Gatekeeper
    Wide Spread?: Depends on area.
    Foods or Drinks?: Usually sweet foods and drinks.
    Natural Events: A full moon,
    Person Celebrated: The Heavenly Gatekeeper
    Living: Yes, The Heavenly Gatekeeper and the spirits are immortal.
    Honoring the dead: Usually praying for them.
    Traditional gifts: Usually food,drinks, or any other item the souls would need in the after life.
     
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  4. Holiday Name: Day of Life

    When is it celebrated?
    The last day of December

    Who celebrates?
    Everyone

    What is done to celebrate? Everyone in the area will gather together and participate in various festivities

    How old is this holiday? This holiday has been around since the forming of the civilization.

    Has this holiday changed much from its roots? No, it's nearly identical to how it was thousands of years ago.

    Where do the festivities take place? The festivities take place in a prearranged location, which is set up as a sort of festival or fair.

    Is there anything it is taboo to do on this holiday? No. In fact, it is one of the few days on which nearly anything that doesn't kill or harm is acceptable!

    Do people dress differently for this holiday? Yes, people dress in all different ways for this holiday, but people most often dress up for it.

    Is any kind of decoration traditional? Lots of plants and lights are used to decorate the area of celebration.

    Are any colours, symbols, or icons associated with this holiday? Light, plants, and green are all associated with Day of Life.

    Are any spirits or deities associated with this holiday? The gods of fertility, childbirth, light, plants, and the sun are all associated with this holiday.

    Is it an important/widespread celebration, or a smaller affair? It's an affair that involves everyone from the cutler that respects this holiday.

    Are there any foods or drinks associated with this holiday? Day of Life is the only day of the year when people may eat apples.

    Do any natural events coincide with this holiday (ie: an eclipse)? No, this event doesn't coincide with any natural events.

    Whose or whats birthday is celebrated? Day of Life celebrates the birth and life of every citizen all at once in a large celebration.

    Is this person/creature still living? Since Day of Life is a general birthday, it celebrates everyone who is alive the day of the event.

    If the birthday is for a deceased person or a non-living thing, what is done to honor them/it? N/A

    Are gifts/tributes of any kind traditional? Giving gifts is not a tradition, since there's an entire festival of foods and items available.
     
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