Harvest Festival

From Dysothtria



The Harvest Festival

Bountiful Harvest.jpg

"QUOTE."
Overview

The people of Maritonia revere Jocasta as their patron Guardian, and as her sphere of influence is the harvest, of course it is important to the people who call this country home. Every year, in Avar, the festival is held to celebrate the bountiful blessings the Guardian has bestowed upon her loyal people, giving thanks and asking for renewed blessings in the coming years.

People come from the farthest reaches of the country for this festival, and for those who cannot make it, many cities and villages host their own smaller versions of the festival.

History

The land as it is today is rich with verdant fields providing bountiful harvest for countless years. While many look at the country with envious eyes, it is not luck or good fortune that has graced the people of this land. Their prosperity is a result of a pact between the Guardian Jocasta and a member of the ruling family many, many years ago.

Maritonians were originally nomads. Their numbers may have been few and the land they claimed may have been a small area of what is now recognized by the world as the country of Maritonia, but with their adventurous spirit and unquenchable curiosity this was not to be the case for very long.

As they spread out and soon began to settle more land, their numbers grew. Unfortunately, there were a few years that hit hard, leaving them with little in the way to feed their people and the population suffered. It was then that the King ventured from his throne, from the comfortable home and his family, to petition the Guardian Jocasta for mercy and her blessings to be bestowed on his people.

While the Guardian did deign to meet with the King, who was awed to be in the presence of such a powerful being, she would not grant such blessings lightly. She exacted a cost, that if he had considered how it would effect his future generations, he might not have agreed so readily.

He vowed that the child who was born, bearing the mark of Jocasta's chosen, would be raised and her life would be dedicated to the service of the Guardian - to work in her temple and in her fields until the day death called for them. This would mean forsaking their own passions and desires to serve the Guardian only. If the chosen child was not given over to Jocasta's service, the entire country would suffer famine and death, such as the King had never known before.

The Festival

The first fruits of the harvest (the first ripe crop able to be harvested) is collected and used to prepare a feast for the festival. During the feast, prayers and offerings are lifted up to Jocasta in thanks for the bountiful harvest. The offerings are the best of what was harvested, presented back to Jocasta. (Though the Guardians have little need for this food, it is accepted and eaten).

Various contests and games are participated, in as well as a time of dedication, and this is considered a time of preparation:

  • Preparation for the winter months
  • Preparing the soil so it will be ready for sowing
  • Preparations for death
  • Dedicating the chosen child to the service of Jocasta when they have reached the required age

Maritonia
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