Sunday, November 20, 2005

Wintermeet - Celebration of Winter Solstice

In the wilderness of the valley, the human people have found ways to keep themselves connected to their neighbors. Central to their Winter festivities is the celebration of Wintermeet. Originally just a mid-winter trade gathering, it has grown over time, into a holiday in its own rite. Marked by family and community gatherings, feasts and general festivities, the holiday of Wintermeet is celebrated on the Winter Solstice before travel becomes too perilous and most settlements are locked by snow, ice and cold-savaged beasts.

Wintermeet has been "glorified" further by the inclusion of the elves in its observance, adding a sense of magic, wonder and splendor. During the first night of the holiday's seven day observance, hopeful children waits by their windows, eager for a glimpse of the elves' midnight procession - a display of magic and pageantry specifically for the purpose of the holiday.

Though the festivities of Wintermeet are marked with feasting, games, stories and the exchange of goods and gifts, trade also occurs during these gatherings. It is not uncommon, however, for a certain generosity to be extended to those who may not be able to afford the asking price. The elves, who will have arrived during the dark hours will have set up a wonderful gift display for the community they are visiting,always seeming to include those things most needed by the folk of the settlement or township.

Festivities continue for a full three days and then the various families and groups part company in a final twilight feast, usually enjoyed in the brisk outdoor air, warmed by roaring fires and elven magic. It is not uncommon for some of the elves to escort their human friends through the cold winter wilderness to the safety of their homes.

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