Postfest V, Part II: Winter Carnival
Date: Mon, August 08, 2005
Topic: Peoples & Culture
In the coldest months of winter, in northern climes where winter is at its coldest, it is good to have something to celebrate, even if it is the ice and snow. This is the essence of Winter Carnival. It is an occasion to celebrate at a time of year when there may be little else to do other than shiver.
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Date: 1st-5th Readying
Location: Eastfair (Aerdi), Womtham (Nyrond), Radigast City (C.Urnst), Chendl (Furyondy) Varies
In the northern cities of the Flanaess, winter can arrive early, as early as Patchwall, and can stay late, as late as Coldeven. To relieve the monotony of winter, many northern cities hold Winter Carnival. Whether out of wishful thinking or practical necessity, Winter Carnival celebrates the cold and winter. Winter sporting contests - skiing, skating, sledging - predominate, along with plenty of food and drink to keep the participants warm. Folk dances, for the lower classes, and balls, for the upper classes are held in the evenings. While deities associated with winter or the cold are celebrated, Winter Carnival is not primarily a religious observance, although the clergy of deities associated with winter or the cold often officiate at the sporting contests.
Street performers of all varieties will gather in the central squares of cities where Winter Carnival is held, in conjunction with a Winter Market. Such a Winter Market, however, in no way compares to the market faires held in warmer weather. The chief items for sale at a Winter Market are various warm foods and drinks, as well as warm clothing. It is traditional where Winter Carnival is held for the noble host of the carnival to put on some sort of pageantry. This can be a fanciful ice castle, plays, bardic performances etc. in addition to the sporting competitions. The most famous Winter Carnival in Eastfair offers a little of everything. While it may seem difficult to imagine a carnival of any sort in Eastfair, the character of that city and land has not always been as it is, and traditions die hard.
Less typically, a Winter Carnival can be held in warmer climes. In such case, it is more of a carnival generally, than one with any association with winter beyond the season.