Lilitic Festivals As practiced during the early and pre-Thessian periods

Zhofedí Lemperí Venakoa


Started: 85 lilpo
Date: Ítetalía 11th

Broken Mirror Night, sometimes shortened to just Lemperí Venakoa (Mirror Night) is a Lilitic tradition that commemorates the Storm of the Dead. While the Storm itself was extremely arduous and horrifying to endure, Broken Mirror Night is a time of revelry, pranks, absurdist humour, and childish whimsy. Artists and performers are encouraged to put on performances relating to themes of identity, confusion, existentialism, and the Storm itself, while children are encouraged to create chaos and forgo sleep. The ceremony is traditionally concluded with a more sober candle vigil at dawn, which serves as an effigy of the recovery from the Storm. If someone who was present at the Storm died in the past year, then the Tsheyúzekhtía will be performed at the beginning of the night, for them only, as a way of acknowledging their release from the pain of remembering the events.

A similar ceremony was held prior to 85 lilpo with similar themes, but a much more sober attitude. As a result of the increasing abundance of children and the partial redundancy with Vendashrí Tshemsha, it was decided to dedicate the evening to a more positive image. The original themes later appeared more clearly in Atshogía'l asa Neptrúekha and Ketabazainí Akofama.

Alísogía'l Trotúzasa


Started: Ksreskézaian before 1 ksepo; Lilitic 3 lilpo
Date: Kelatalía 27th

Traditionally put just before the beginning of the coldest month, the Hunt of the Roots was originally a story about a destitute Oksian farmer who searched his barren fields for the last remnants of a seed-bearing tuber-like crop; he is pushed to the edge of starvation over the course of several days, finally locating the root on the third day. A young beggar-girl arrives at his door, even more famished, and begs to share it with him, and seeing that the beggar is indeed even worse off than he, he agrees. The next morning, the girl's rich father discovers that she has been found, and while by Oksian law she must now be severely punished for running away, the girl's family is indebted to him and offer him ample riches; instead he takes her, saving the family the shame of the punishment and eschewing the money. For this, the ancestor-spirits grant him an ample harvest and many offspring.

The Hunt is unusual in Oksian literature primarily because it features a peasant who is rewarded for his humility, whereas most lore glorifies hero figures. This is no doubt due to its age, which predates most of the Ksreskézaian political apparatus; as new noble families arose from the countryside, the annual play (with local variations) remained popular out of nostalgia.

In the Lilitic tradition, the play is subverted: it tells the story of a Slokdtaba tasked with finding the perfect root to use as a prop in a stage presentation of the Ksreskézaian play; she fails, and pleads to the spirits to assist her. Her sisters, jealous of her, mislead her to a cave too far away from the city to make it back in time. In the cave, she finds a shrine to Rôstería left by an early escapee, and prays to it; although she is found while praying and savagely beaten to death, the goddess rescues her soul and grants the girl immortality.

The ritual concludes with the standard Tsheyúzekhtía hymn.

Tsheyúzekhtía


A hymn commonly sung after most major annual pageants which honours the dead. The assembly for the hymn generally occurs with the participants standing in concentric circles, or an amphitheatre if available. Themes include the importance of social contributions, a fulfilling life worthy of the Neptarlekína, and mourning of those lives which were not successful. The hymn generally concludes with chanting of those who have died in the last year.

Atshogía'l asa Neptrúekha


Started: 411 lilpo
Date: Atetalía 13th

Originally the wake of Gleméa Haidtúa (who died late on Atetalía 12th, 411), the Dawn of the Ghosts became an annual tradition of remembrance for her and others who fell in battle or otherwise serving the people. Traditionally the festival begins with a consultation and sending off in imitation of Ksreskézaian royal burial rites; after consulting an oracle, supplies and delicacies are vaporized with a ship-mounted X-ray laser pointed into space, so that they might aid any recently-deceased heroes on their journey to the afterlife, and repay the goddess Poaléa for her treatment of the dead.

After the rites, hallucinogens are consumed in vapour form, and the presiding priestess uses suggestion to create the appearance of a visitation by the shade of Gleméa, Moiléa, or another fallen hero; in the years following their deaths, Haplenía Poaléanivía, Súa Atetía, and Sarthía were often invoked. The priestess, speaking as the shade, then recites a speech prepared over the course of the preceding year; themes usually emphasize heroic accomplishments of those present. Stage tricks, clever lighting, and even primitive photomanipulative thaumaturgy may be used to enhance the effect.

Toward the end of the ceremony, the room appears to fill with fast-moving spirits from Neptarlekína, which ferry the visitor back to the afterlife. The hallucinogenic vapour is then cleared as day breaks, and a terse form of the Tsheyúzekhtía hymn is sung. Moreso than any other ritual, the Dawn of the Ghosts serves to provide catharsis for the past-burdened Lilitai.

Dzhemesselía


Started: 12 lilpo
Date: Amétalía 1st

The Time of Limerance is a festival in the proper sense—numerous plays, contests, and dances are held, all with the theme of love and romance. The holiday serves an important social purpose: it begins and concludes with the granting and revocation, between existing couples, of the permission to experiment and flirt, and is generally the day on which old relationships disintegrate and new love is found. The rest of the month of Amétalía provides a trial run for the arrangements made at the end of the day.

While Dzhemesselía has been often likened to a kind of Valentine's Day celebration, it has very a real social function: the practice concentrates the fallout from broken hearts, thereby preventing the often capricious and mercurial Lilitai from disrupting ship functions with spats and arguments throughout the rest of the year.

Married individuals (those who have found their zelamezríai) are expected to not take part in the celebrations, and either help run events or maintain normal civic affairs.

Ketabazainí Akofama


Started: c. 92 lilpo
Date: Resétalía 29th

With the conversion of the Night of Broken Mirrors into a festive occasion, Vendashrí Tshemsha became the only sober memorial on the Lilitic holiday calendar. The maturation of the first children, however, brought another realization: that they would have to be educated in the past of their people became increasingly important. Initial iterations of the Wanderers' Reflection focused on dramatic presentations of the Faltúbilis Ítossífa of Sarthía, but the ceremonies quickly expanded to include a more painstaking summary of Ksreskézaian and Lilitic history, emphasizing events of particular importance to the Lilitai. (Although it is typical to neglect the Vendashro, as a separate holiday exists for it.) On Illera, it was tradition for every member of the community to appear in at least one scene of one presentation, to emphasize and encourage a connection to the ever-more-distant past.

The night concludes with a long rendition of the Tsheyúzekhtía hymn.

Vendashrí Tshemsha


Started: 1 lilpo
Date: Kelatalía 18–20th

The single oldest Lilitic tradition, the Coma of the the Vendashro is a pastiche of remembrances, performances, and recitals of various works, both old and new, which pertain to the death of the Ksreskézai and the exodus from Ksreskéza. From c. 53 to 84 lilpo, the Storm of the Souls was specifically excluded from material presented at the Tshemsha, as it had a separate event, the progenitor to Zhofedí Lemperí Venakoa.

Many artforms which are otherwise abandoned, such as the fernowo il atshovai (tableau of days), make their sole appearances in performance pieces and recitals here. A great deal of the pieces, both old and new, are written in Sotaní Oksirapho and Íomanazinení Lilitika, which can present their own unique challenges to the audience.

The third night draws to a close with a recital by Sarthía or, later, one of her students, of Sarthíaní Denlekíasa il Chentwidhildta-la il Tetúebeshekía il Lilitina-stasa (available in translation here), widely recognized as the most iconic of descriptions of the event itself. This is finally followed by the Tsheyúzekhtía.