Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Richfest! (601 CY)

I hope everyone is having a good holiday week so far. In the spirit of the holidays, I'd like to commemorate the Living Greyhawk Campaign which, if it was still in operation would officially be on 601 CY (the 103th anniversary of Greyhawk City's becoming a free city.) The closest analog to a holiday at this time of the year in the World of Greyhawk setting is Richfest (note, the following information is derived from Greyhawk the Adventure Begins).

Richfest is the seven week holiday that falls between the months of Wealsun (low summer) and Reaping (high summer). In Greyhawk City the only day of this week that is an official holiday is Richfest 4th or Midsummer Day. On this day businesses close up and all but the most vital city employees are exempt from work. Midsummer Day is also called the Holy Day of Pelor (god of the sun) as this is the height of summer. On this day the public is invited to attend a festival beginning on the grounds of the temple of Pelor in the Garden Quarter. A service runs from dawn till noon and then in the afternoon a huge feast is given to all in attendance.

pictured: clerics of Celestian
as they idealize themselves.

The festivities do not end there. The priests of Pelor then parade down the central highway of the city, the Processional, handing out more food and healing to those who need help (especially children) while at the same time shaming well-to-do citizens into donating money to the temple. Unbeknownst to the charitable priests, during this time they are under the watchful protection of both the Guilds of Thieves and Assassins, many of whom received the same kindness from Pelorians as children in past Richfests.

Midsummer Night then turns to the Grey College Observatory where the clergy of Celestian (god of the stars) hold a ceremony during the dual full moons, Celene and Luna. This is a night of great portent as astronomical phenomena is almost always seen, in addition to the eclipse of Luna by Celene. This is also the time of year when there are the greatest number of werewolves out hunting in the Flanaess.

Richfest is also celebrated in the nearby towns of Narwell (Foundation Day) and of course Elmshire where thousands of halflings spend the entire week doing their usual merrymaking and eating.

And sometimes fireworks!


Argon said...

Happy Richfest!

Just came back from vacation now to the beer and barbecue.

Anonymous said...

Happy Richfest indeed!

And the E. R. Boroughs "Mars" picture fits perfectly with your description of the Celestian ceremonies. Nice!

Mystic Scholar