EXERCISE Creating Holidays #20: Purification!

Discussion in 'DEVELOPING CHARACTERS & CULTURES' started by Minibit, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. This time, we're creating a holiday around the idea of purification. Your holiday can be to do with spiritual purification, the physical cleaning of things, or any other way you want to interpret the word.

    You could have a day of appreciation for the water purification industry
    You could have a day of spiritual cleansing
    It could be a day where people "cleanse their systems" by eating healthy
    It could be a national housecleaning day

    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)?
    Is it spiritual or physical purification?
    What is purified?
    Describe the purification process:
    If spiritual, do members of the clergy play a special role?
    If physical, how do the physically disabled take part?


    Seasons!
    Death!
    Food!
    Protection!
    Costumes!
    Travel!
    Animals!
    Time!
    Parents!
    Invention!
    Gifts!
    Inebriation!
    Superstition!
    Religion!
    Miracles!
    Birthdays!
    Manliness!
    Games!
    Purification!
    Flowers!
     
    #1 Minibit, Aug 31, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2014
  2. Holiday Name: Siku ya safi (Day of the Pure in Swahili)

    When is it celebrated?
    The day after the first snowstorm of Winter

    Who celebrates?
    Everyone who desires purification of some sort. Usually parents will begin involving their kids at around 5, and they then participate every year for the remainder of their life.

    What is done to celebrate?
    Depending on the type of purification one wishes for, they can do different things in different combinations....
    • For spiritual purification, the most common ritual is to have loved ones bury you in snow. The amount of time is decided by the person being buried, and how much impurity they feel needs to be expelled into the snow.
    • For emotional purity, the person will build representations of their emotions to destroy. For example, one may build a teardrop to symbolize sadness or depression.
    • Physical purification is the most varied in how it's handled. Some of the things that are healed with physical purification includes sexual aspects of a person, their health in the sense of injuries, and anything else that does not fall into the categories of emotional or spiritual. The methods for purifying these things varies, and is left to the discretion of the one being cleaned.
    How old is this holiday? This holiday dates back to the 3rd century, but it has evolved a lot over the years.

    Has this holiday changed much from its roots?
    Yes; as more methods of sinning have become available, the size of this day has grown, and become an extremely important part of some culture's religious and personal systems.

    Where do the festivities take place?
    The festivities take place in snow, since snow is considered by these cultures to be the purest thing humans can find on earth.

    Is there anything it is taboo to do on this holiday?
    Taboo things on this day include sexual contact with someone outside of a purification ritual (i.e. a wife may rub her husband's body with snow to clean him, but they may not touch one another sexually outside of the ceremony). Beyond that, each individual family or village may have their own taboo things, but sexual contact is the only generally prohibited things.

    Do people dress differently for this holiday?
    Some may wear clothes they feel need to be purified with them, and others may be stark naked. Whatever choice someone makes, they're expected to have some reason for it. But there are no strict rules about clothing on this day.

    Is any kind of decoration traditional?
    There is no decoration involved with this holiday.

    Are any colours, symbols, or icons associated with this holiday?
    White, snow, snowflakes, and cold are all strongly associated with Siku ya safi.

    Are any spirits or deities associated with this holiday?
    Various gods associated with snow are associated with the holiday, but the name of said god depends on the people you're asking.

    Is it an important/widespread celebration, or a smaller affair?
    It was a small spread affair for several centuries, but it's been becoming more widespread as more people begin to believe in the benefits of purification.

    Are there any foods or drinks associated with this holiday?
    A large number of people fast during this holiday, so no foods or drinks are associated with this holiday.

    Do any natural events coincide with this holiday (ie: an eclipse)?
    It's probably quite clear by now, but this holiday is centered entirely around snow.

    Is it spiritual or physical purification?
    Both, though people tend to chose one or the other based on what they feel needs to be purified the most, though if time allows, people are expected to purify themselves in every way to have a clean slate for the coming year.

    What is purified?
    A person's mind, body, and soul.

    Describe the purification process:
    The purification process varies greatly, and it's not possible to summarize all the processes that are around. Some examples are listed above, but the individual usually decides based on what they feel the Gods are telling them to do.

    If spiritual, do members of the clergy play a special role?
    No, Siku ya safi is a very personal and individual day, so clergy members try to be as distant as possible to avoid making participants feel watched or pressured.

    If physical, how do the physically disabled take part?
    They physically disabled are treated just like everyone else involved, and they usually participate in belief that purification may help to heal their afflictions.
     
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