Postfest V, Part II: Feast of the Gods
Date: Tue, August 09, 2005
Topic: Peoples & Culture
Let's see. About 150 deities in the Flanaess. One feast day per deity. In cosmopolitian areas that would work out to nearly half a year of feast days! Of course, not every deity is worshipped everywhere, but still. There should be another way. There is.
Feast of the Gods
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung
Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
Location: Flanaess wide
The Flanaess is practically overrun with deities. Theocracies are, however, the exception, not the rule. Theocracies that favor but a single deity are limited to the single instance of the Pale. No ostensibly secular nation-states venerate but a single deity. What then is the landlord or city father to do when his or her tenants or citizens which to celebrate a feast day for this deity or that? It being somewhat impractical to make provision for a wide variety of feast days, a common practice has been to inaugurate a single feast day upon which any and all gods may be venerated or celebrated. Occurring once a year, The Feast of the Gods as it is generally known is celebrated in much of the Flanaess, although at different times in different places, usually to accommodate the agricultural calendar.
Clerics have been ready enough to support celebration of The Feast of the Gods because, in any given area, a few faiths will predominate and they will be able to sculpt the festivities to suit their particular faith as much as not. At the same time, The Feast of the Gods does not preclude individual feast days for specific deities if the church or temple is willing to foot the expense and the landlords or city elders are amenable. In this way, The Feast of the Gods may help poorer churches or temples because they do not have to foot the bill. The landlord or city elders seeking to eliminate a profusion of feast days essentially pays for the privilege by substantially underwriting The Feast of the Gods. It is not unusual to see celebrated The Feast of the Gods, paid for from out of the general fisk, as well one or two regional or local feast days for particular gods, whose feast days are paid for by local churches or temples.
Activities on the day of The Feast of the Gods are principally two. There is always a special or high service, officiated by the clergy of the area. In areas where a number of faiths have adherents, and where those faiths get on well, a single ecumenical service will be held. Where faiths may be at odds, separate services are held in differing locations. The number of services is not so much the issue as that they are held upon the same day to avoid disrupting agricultural and mercantile activities. After the service, the feast itself is held and is likely the grandest affair many peasants will see or attend in a year, particularly in rural areas. To maintain the goodwill of the common people, most landlords or city elders, even if not otherwise inclined to be beneficent, will make some effort to be accommodating on The Feast of the Gods, absent dedicated cult loyalty, of course.