In the Shadow of Greatness: IMC: Yule
What sort of Winter Equinox/Winterfest/Yule holiday, if any, do they celebrate in your Amber?
I think I’ve answered this before, sort, of and checking BJS shows that I’ve mentioned this, but it was over three years ago. So let’s revisit it.
My Calendar in my Amber games consists of 12 thirty day months.
To make up the five remaining days to total 365, there are five intercalary days interspersed throughout the year. They aren’t “on” the calendar, since they fall between days. Taxes are not collected on these days,and they are the subject of celebrations.
Two of them occur around December.
The first is the Midwinter Festival, and occurs on the intercalary day that the Winter Solstice falls upon, between December 21st and December 22nd. This is the Winter Festival, the fourth and final of the seasonal holidays of Amber. The midwinter Ball is held, and outdoor winter/snow events as well. Its a time for merriment and good cheer. A Prince and Princess of the Ball is chosen, and for a royal of Amber not to show up at the Ball is rude in the extreme, much more so than neglecting one of the other seasonal celebrations.
Other unusual events have occurred on the Winter Solstice as well. Larissa, Dalt’s daughter, first came to Amber at the celebration of the Winter Solstice, 15 months before game start in Strange Bedfellows.
The Second Intercalary day is the last, or the first day of the year, depending on how you look at it. Occurring between December 30th and January 1st, it is a somber and reflective holiday, quite unlike the Winter Solstice. It is a time to think on endings and beginnings, and sometimes takes an monastic sort of tone. Out of respect for those who do this, the majority of the population usually keep any celebrations low key.
Percy, in Strange Bedfellows, once spent an entire New Year’s in vigil at the tomb of his (then to be thought dead) mother. He was grateful, afterwards, for the warm soup in the Castle Amber kitchens the next day.