F is for Festival, Fireflax and First Tongue…


Festival: there are three main holidays or festivals in the Argosian year, corresponding to seasonal and agricultural events. The first is a festival in late spring which sees a high holy day procession culminating in a supposedly voluntary human Sacrifice (see ‘Divine Mouth’.) This is also the time when Argosian boys in their fifteenth year celebrate their Green Rites, or official initiation into adulthood. The second is a harvest festival in late summer, mainly centered around an agricultural fair. The third is the Tree festival, a mid-winter holiday celebrating the demise of the old year and the beginning of the new. This is the most important of all and lasts three days, including both religious and secular elements, ritual parades, theatrical productions and dances. 

Fireflax: vine plant with chafing thorns, used by Argosians to perform self-mutilation as a form of penance. Also boiled and peeled to make scrubbing brushes for use in the bathhouse. During the Tree Festival it is common to find ad-hoc processions of men walking through the streets of Argos city, whipping themselves bloody with switches of fireflax. Women generally watch and cheer them on.

First Tongue: the language which predated both Nurian and Argosian and gave rise to both. Names in Argos often have a root in First Tongue (such as ‘timon’ for ‘Tymon,’ meaning navigator.) The First Tongue is also used in some Nurian Grafting rituals, though it is not believed to have any intrinsic magical qualities.

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2 Responses to F is for Festival, Fireflax and First Tongue…

  1. Helen Lowe says:

    Re “During the Tree Festival it is common to find ad-hoc processions of men walking through the streets of Argos city, whipping themselves bloody with switches of fireflax. Women generally watch and cheer them on” — snickers! (No doubt what the women are doing, too! 😉 )

    • MaryV says:

      This sort of thing actually happens in Iran, I kid you not. 😉 Though it sounds funny to say the women are watching (go on mate, whip a little harder, you’ve missed a spot) the sight of a real procession of this sort is hair-raising. The women bare their breasts and become hysterical and the men whip themselves raw. Kind of an insight into the middle ages.

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