Pontinfitsa, the Starclasp Festival is an annual festivity celebrating reaching the midpoint (well within Hight) of the year at which the Starclasp is most beautiful.
When Deaine reaches its aphelion, the Starclasp is the most visible due to the larger distance to the star and being shielded from its light on the night side.
A tradition, almost as precious to the population of Inquest as the festival itself, is to interpret the weather pattern at midnight of the festival day.
It is said that bad weather, especially low clouds, are a sure sign of having disgruntled creation, which now tries to hide the mistakes the Humans made from the rest of the creation.
In contrast, clear skies are a sure sign of having pleased creation itself, showing its full beauty as a reward.
As the variation of Inquests weather is extremely low due to Magic, there have only been a few instances of awful weather been recorded. This, in turn, reinforces the common myth.
Pontinfitsa has been celebrated for most of recorded history and probably long before that too.
The natural beauty of the stars in the sky and the singular annually event at which they are most visible is too unique to be ignored by any culture (current or past).
The only major change that the festival undertook is that it was placed at the middle (accidentally or by intention is unknown) of the calendar as well. There are indicators in historical documents that it was closer to the beginning of the year, but a certain date was not discernible due to the nature of the shattered History of Island Inquest.
Preparations usually start early in the morning, where families prepare food and drink for the late hours of the day. Traveling is discouraged (as it is said to bring bad luck) on this day, expected guests are therefor usually already present and will join in the preparations.
Local groups might have religious or philosophical meetings during the day. A related tradition is to reach out to others to clear up misunderstandings, reignite love interests or repair friendships.
Sun-down marks the beginning of the festival. Looking at the sky is now greatly discouraged, as is being outside. Eating isn't strictly forbidden, but in most countries it is seen as a sign of a good pedigree to refrain from it until after the stargazing.
A side effect of this is an eerie silence that falls over most population centers, which are teeming with live for the rest of the year.
At midnight, the eldest person of a group will look up into the sky to see if creation is still there, and if it is as beautiful as it is supposed to be.
Should this be the case, they will shout as loud as their voice permits: "Tora apokay" ( "It is revealed" or "Now it is revealed" ).
Having heard this phrase, anyone is compelled to repeat it loudly, then to step outside and move towards a communal viewing location while keeping eyes and head low and pointed at the ground.
These viewing locations are predetermined by local tradition, but usually default to the towns market or a raised hill free of trees in the relative vicinity.
In addition, after the Phrase has been said, it is frowned upon to speak. The only noises heard are that of shuffling feet and crying smaller children woken or startled by the sudden loud noises interspersed with caring parents or relatives trying to sooth them without making a fuzz.
The climax of the festivities is the removal of oversized hats, turning the head to either side, looking for eye contact and then, as one, to lift heads and eyes towards the sky.
Every year I think it's nothing special, yet, I can't help myself but to gasp when I see the countless tiny stars. All these clouds of what must be dust of gold and silver, hanging in the sky, clear and glittering.
Having satiated one's lust for gazing upon celestial objects uninvited, most move home, where the food and drink prepared earlier are offered for anyone wanting to join.
Components and tools
In many rural communities, it is custom to wear oversized, wide brimmed hats that make it impossible to see the firmament. In cities, most inhabitants stay indoors and close curtains instead.
I do not care what you think, I'm a connoisseur of the Pontinfitsa Hat. I have, so far, collected 72 from all of Inquest. One has even a Duck on it.
The Seller told me not to ask about it.
Just as important as not speaking while moving to the communal viewing location is that there must be something to eat when returning from the event.
These meals are traditionally served cold and from simple wooden boards instead of ordinary kitchenware made from ceramics, and eaten without utensils.
Interestingly, especially in cities and denser populated towns, it isn't uncommon for families to intermingle indiscriminately. Inviting random people from the street to fill an open spot at the table has helped many homeless and downtrodden to reconnect to society, and even the worst people are rediscovering their manners at the Pontinfitsa Table.
There is no known explanation for the role of the eldest person in the vicinity to be the one to start shouting about a celestial body being still there.
Educated assumptions think that it might be a remnant of tribal hierarchy, where the eldest person was usually also the leader of the tribe.
Length of a Gaze
How long the Starclasp is looked upon, is up to the individual. Usually parents have to stop early to care for the children and are the first to leave the location.
Young lovers or couples with rekindled romantic feelings, try to share this moment as long as possible, lovingly embracing each other.
If they feel that there is no one else to look, they usually run towards the next bush or other cover to make wild passionate love to each other beneath all creation to see.
As luck will have it, they will more likely than not disturbe a different couple already enjoying the same idea, ruining both evenings in the process.
While this is as widely known as the color of the Islandsea, no progress has been made on the front of premediating place and time with others to circumvent the issue.
This Article takes part in
World Anvil Summer Camp 2021
A FESTIVAL ASSOCIATED WITH A CELESTIAL BODY
Please LIKE the Article if you enjoyed it!