Traditions and Customs
Over the course of its long history, the City of Rosewood has picked up many traditions and customs that may be unique to its population. Rosewood is a powerful and large City. As such, it attracts all kinds of people. People who are able to share the wealth of their experiences with the rest of the populace. These experiences have worked in tangent over the past centuries in order to create an atmosphere of love and enjoyment within the City during times of celebration. There are a few of these traditions and customs that are known and adored by the entire City:
The Day of Christ’s birth is celebrated in Rosewood starting on the Monday of the last week of December, and lasting for seven whole days. During the first day, people would gift their first-gift to the person they care for the most. Christmas is about giving, and therefore it is a social obligation to give at least twelve gifts to the people in your life. Twelve and seven are considered lucky numbers during this time and most people will repeat mundane actions seven or twelve times for good fortune. Homes, peasant and noble alike are decorated with green, as a way to wish for a good harvest next year. The Church organizes plays that depict episodes from the Bible, as well as sermons on topics relating to Jesus’ life. There are songs and games being played around the City and everyone is encouraged to show love to their neighbor. The poor receive large alms, while the wealthy get to show off their wealth. On the seventh day, work is against the law, and a grand feast takes place during the evening. Fernyard Fortress hosts a mighty feast for the affluent and important members of society, while the King donates food to poor families. Everyone is expected to be at home and eating in glory and in honor of Christ.
The Seven Holy Weeks of Catholicism consist of six weeks that lead up to Holy Week, which is when easter Sunday is celebrated. Before Easter, an important tradition is Lent. Lent are those six weeks during which Catholics are encouraged to resist sin and temptation. Some fast for six weeks, while others simply remove themselves from one thing they indulge in the most. Marriages during this time are frowned upon and seen as bad luck, as well as having children. Lent begins on the third Monday of April and ends after six Sundays. The last week is when Easter is celebrated. Usually, it is a period of mourning and Bible study, with sermons and plays depicting the life of Jesus. Women are to dress decently, while men are prohibited from working with iron nails. On Good Friday the service would be held in absolute darkness, save for one candle holder, representing Christ’s light. There is no Eucharist during this service, instead, the congregation would kneel together and pray with their priest in Latin, in darkness, mourning the death of Christ. However, on Easter Sunday people would celebrate the Resurrection with painted eggs for the children, a game of catch between young women and young men, and a final feast.
Festival of Love
Also known as St. Valentine’s Day, it is a celebration of love and matrimony held every 14th of February. During this time, it is customary for a man to gift a single rose to his love interest, or wife. It is said that not receiving a rose is a bad omen for the rest of the year. Women usually make something their husbands or suiters love for dinner. In the evening, Fernyard Fortress holds a magnificent ball for the nobility, while the Main Square is full of song and dance for the commoners.
The Annual Grand Tournament
Known throughout Europe as the Champions Rite, it is a tradition since the Age of the Empire and begins every 1st of March, and usually lasts for one to two weeks. During this time, nobles and commoners alike compete in various disciplines in order to rank among the top five contenders, with the first one being granted a wish by the King. The Grand Tourney is absolutely inclusive, allowing women and peasants to compete in order to determine the truest skill and valor during combat. The three disciplines are: the Melee, where multiple teams simulate field battles with deadly force, the Archery phase, where one hundred contenders aim and fire at three targets of varying difficulty, and the Joust, where the remaining thirty-two face off against each other in a brutal head-on joust with gear provided to them. All of the people of Rosewood gather around in anticipation of this event, bet, and watch, hoping to catch a glimpse of some action.
The Rose Wake
Hosted every 3rd of July, the Rose Wake is a celebration of the founding of Rosewood. Men and women dress in red and green and are encouraged to spend the day in song and games. Plays are held across the City, depicting the legend of how Rosewood was founded. A magical tale of how a group of Christian Knights fought off an evil Spriggan and made their home on her remains, which sent a pool of red into the Seyne nearby. To emulate this, children are encouraged to go and gather roses for themselves and for their families if they have none. Most people will simply buy them in the market. During the sunset, a Knight has a mock duel against a “Spriggan” and defeats it. Once the Spriggan is dead, the people gather on the banks of the river, and on the bridges and throw their roses into the stream, watching them drift away. Casting away your rose signifies luck for the next year.
The Harvest Faire
The Harvest Faire is a three-day-long celebration of the beginning of the harvest and it starts on the third Friday of every September, ending on Sunday. During this time, entertainers from across the Kingdom come to Rosewood, as well as exotic merchants to peddle their goods. Friday is spent playing games and enjoying the entertainment, Saturday is the day of the Harvest Dance, where commoners celebrate the upcoming harvest in the Main Square, and Sunday is the day of the Harvest Feast. It is said that crying during the Harvest Faire could cause a bad harvest. New widows are often killed as a result of this.