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30 Halfling Holidays

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Time is measured for most by the events that are both constant and special.  "How many Christmas's ago was that?"   It should be no different for Halflings.

 

 

 

 

Herein is complied a list Holidays celebrated by the Halflings (also referred to as Hobbits) of the Nili Sea and perhaps else where.   This list is structured chronologically, though some holidays are celebrated on calendar days while others are celebrated at different times depending on other events.   I hope this will give you sense not only of the Halfling life style but also of their values.

 

1)    New Years Day: First Day of Spring

It is considered good luck on this day to give a gift to everyone you will work with or depend on during the following.  Not receiving a gift or not giving gift to somebody you have worked with is a jaw dropping slight.  As you can imagine this network can extend to dozens of people and thus the gifts can take many forms 6155. Hobbits often start accumulating gifts  for next New Years on the second day of spring.

2)    Cushion Day-12th day of spring

It is customary on this day that the weavers, knitters and shepherds bring out cushions for trade. This trade day has expanded in many shires to be a general exchange of cushions among friends and family. The cushions can be embroidered and elaborate or small bean bags that accompany other gifts. Those Halflings that don’t get into the holiday spirit are known as hard asses. They are routinely given the “uncomfortable” chair or least comfortable chair at Tea and cake services in the following weeks.

3)    Ogre Day: 18th day of spring

This day is meant celebrate the salvation of a Halfling community through hospitality.  Long ago a Halfling shire was beset by a group angry hungry Ogres. The community was saved when the Halflings laid out a great table of cheese, beer and smoking weed for the Ogres. The Ogres took to the food with great zeal while the Halflings entertained them with song and dance. The Ogres ate, drank, smoked and had an overall good time.  The soporific effect of beer, cheese and smoking weed soon place all the Ogres into a deep sleep.  The industrious Halflings tied the Ogres legs together and dragged them into the woods.  The legend states that the Halflings then made a great ruckus by pounding out an infectious rhythm on the empty kegs.  The Ogres awoke with start and head in all directions after the little Halflings. The Ogres strength was so great and the Halfling knots so clever that Ogres tore each other apart when they ran to the four winds.  In the Modern version of the Holiday all the single Halflings dress up as Ogres by wearing masks over their eyes and walking around on stilts. They travel in a pack to houses/holes of married Halflings and “demand” food and drink.  The party continuous all day as they move from house to house. At the last house on their route, the single Halflings are paired up and their stilts are tied together.  A dance contest proceeds, spurred on by the local drum core.  The last couple standing is declared King and Queen of Ogre day. 

4)    Spring Holeless Day: 30th day of spring

The Halflings of the West Celebrate four holeless days during the year: one for each season. On these days all Halflings leave their holes at dawn and do not return until dawn of the next day. The rationales are various and include such folk wisdom as the necessity of airing out the hole to avoiding a seasonal imbalance of humors. Indeed many Halflings see these Holeless days are purely hygienic exercises.  Any one familiar with the ways of Halflings know that leisure is their principle industry, and thus defined holidays may seem superfluous.  The designers of spring Holeless day seem to be aware of this irony, and rather than being a day of rest Spring Holeless day is a day of labor. Namely spring Holeless day is the day that plants from the nurseries are placed in gardens, and the day the often-procrastinated spring planting is finished.  In fact if you were to venture into Halfling Shire on Spring Holeless day you will no doubt wonder if you are not actually among a clan of little beardless dwarves.  For on this day Halflings will be laboring from the hottest hour of midday in sweltering sun until the darkest hour of the night by torchlight.

5)     Flower Counting Day: 36th day of spring (or there about):

On this day the Halflings march out of their holes armed with ribbon, chalk and slate.  They descend into the forests and gardens and begin to count the flowers and buds that will soon become fruits. During that time if Halflings see a bud or flower that think is particularly promising he or she may tie a ribbon to its stem, thus claiming it for harvest time.   The day ends when the tallies are brought to the winery or distillery, and the Halfling are rewarded with drink and food.  Also customary on this day is that very young Halfling gather and count wild flowers.  They bring the flowers to their parents and the parents count the flowers. If the count is accurate (or even if it isn’t) the young Halflings are reward with sweet drink or candy.

6)    Carnival: Mid-spring (or whenever they get to it):

The festival of meat has always been a controversial holiday among the Halflings of the Nili Sea.  This holiday, which lasts at least a week, centers around the preparing and enjoying of meat dishes by Halfling shepherds and herders and the sharing of these dishes with other Halflings through out the village or neighboring village. The controversy arises that because this holiday is a lot of work and descends from a legend that states that the Halfling farmers gave up their fields to make room for the goat, sheep and cattle.   The farmers then, to be good hosts, provide music and games for the shepherds. The distinction of who is a Shepard and who is a farmer is not always clear and many a long standing Halfling feud has been started over who is responsible for what during the carnival.  What further spur potential disputes is the tradition of Nim. For on this holiday it is the custom of young Halflings who have neither land nor heard to steal things from the farmers and herders.  At the end of Carnival all the Nims come forward and in front of a large audience relate their tales of theft. The tales are meant to be amusing and to show that the Nimming was all in good fun. A trophy or reward for the best Nimmer is to be handed out at the end of the night based on the response of the crowd to the story. But it has also become tradition that the reward be stolen before the end of the night, and that Halfling, the one who stole the trophy is considered the best Nimmer in the village.

7)    Festival of Candles: Sometime between the End of Carnival and the Calendar Day

The Festival of Candles is regional market day at which those that work in Tallow gather to sell their wares and discuss Trade.  A minor festival relative to other regional market festivals such as Feather Week or the Brewer’s Ball, the low attendance is made up for the by enthusiasm of the candle and soap aficionados, the diversity of the foreign merchants who attend and the importance of Festival in the popular calendar.  The Festival of Candles of course conducts its business at night, with many of the displays of candle art being purely aesthetics.  The tallow artwork has moved beyond your typical wax tower and Halfling artist will create lovely wax sculptures of dragons or of whole village scenes. The only requirement is that some part of the sculpture must have at least one wick and must burn.  The most elaborate works have multiple wicks, and the flames become part of the display.  Also for sale at these festivals scented unscented soaps.  Halfling soap is considered quite the luxury in the rest of the world and merchants come from all the known nations.  In the popular calendar the Festival is also seen as the start of the warm season, which means the taverns stay open later and wearing loser more airy clothing is considered tasteful. 

8)    Apology Day: Ten days after the end of Carnival

On this day it is tradition that the Halflings from Landed Legacies invite several Halfling known to be having an argument over to their house for at least three meals, a game of cards, sticks or ring toss, and several good pints of bitters.  Halfling feuds, while bloodless, can make gatherings quite awkward and nobody likes the eye rolling and huffing.  The idea on these occasions is to remind the Halflings that they are part of community, and that they should get along. Even if there are no feuds in the village it is still expected that the Halflings of greater means host parties and games during which Halflings of different trades and families get together enjoy each other and food.      

9)    Borrower’s Night/Calendar Day Eve: Night before the Summer Solstice.

 The night before the summer solstice is when the Halfling seers, farmers, astrologers, priests and elder gather together to correct their calendars for the following year, and make predictions about the weather based upon the celestial alignment.  One year, long since forgotten, the elders complained that they could not see the stars for all the torches and firelight throughout the village, and it was decreed that on the Eve of Calendar Day that all light be extinguished in the village except for the oil lamps or candles used by the scholars. This exquisite darkness gave rise to another Halfling tradition: the nocturnal and anonymous repatriation of borrowed goods. It is well known that Halflings are great procrastinators, very polite and very generous.  This trifecta of traits has led to the phenomena that Halfling closets and sheds are filled with “borrowed items”.   The darkness of Calendar Day Eve led some to see this as opportunity to “remove that large unsightly bucket from their shed, that I borrowed 11 months ago from my cousin, who has grown insufferable since his ram one first prize at sheering day last year” without an awkward apology or conversation.  Thus on the Eve of Calendar day, Borrower’s Night, the shire’s shadows come alive with Halflings move stealthily from hole to hole quietly placing items on door steps or in garden sheds.

 

10) Calendar Day: Summer Solstice (or there about) 

On the first day of summer those scholars and elders charged with keeping track of the days issue a new calendar based on astrological measurements made the night before. However, if on the proceeding evening the sky was overcast or somehow obscured the elders just re-issue the calendar from the previous year. If Calendar Day Eve was cloudy for several years in a row than the elders often find that they are several days away from the solstice, and sometimes have to reschedule Calendar day and reset the Calendar several days. This can mean a rescheduling of birthdays or other holidays, and quite a bit of work. Why don’t they reset the Calendar annually on a clear night regardless of the exact day? Only a Halfling can answer this.  

11) Feather Week: Second or Third week of summer 

Where as most holidays are observed and celebrated locally, Feather Week is a national holiday celebrated by the Halfling nations along the Nili Sea. During Feather Week bird enthusiasts from all over country gather to exchange goods, information and participate in bird sport.  There are four primary activities during Feather week: egg parties, bird sport, bird auctions and dance parties. First there are the egg parties.   An egg party is an early morning picnic held deep in the brush and undergrowth. The table and chairs are often set up among such dense undergrowth that they are almost invisible to a passerby.  The participants arrive at a prepared place before dawn carrying with them dishes of boiled eggs and egg pies. They then sit in the deep undergrowth while the air is still cool and listen to the morning songs of the birds nesting nearby while they eat. So dense in the underbrush are they that often they can’t see the other participants for all the leaves in their face.  This particular facet of the holiday has it roots in the Halfling traditions of gathering wild eggs. While most eggs are from domesticated bird at present, the Halfling cultural identity is still associated with gathering practices.    It is a faux pas to bring children to these parties, as the point is to enjoy the sounds of nature and food. The second activity is bird sport.  Here Halfling Avian Fanciers enter trained birds into contest such a pigeon racing, falconry and depending on the taste of the host village, cock fighting.  While participation in these events is limited to a small group of enthusiasts, they are very popular with spectators. Also during this time there is the bird market or bird auction in which traders from all civilized races come to trade breeds of birds. Lastly there are the dances, being that Halflings rarely travel, Feather Weeks is a time for Halflings separated by great distances to get together, reaffirm bonds, swap recipes, arrange marriages and enjoy a good meal. These dances are the center of social activity during Feather Week.  The dances (there are traditionally six in all during the week) are combinations of dinners and music festivals, which the host village puts on for the visiting birders.

12) Walking Day: (Third or forth week of summer-weather permitting)

On walking the oldest Halflings (invitations are sent out by the oldest Halfling and most of the participants are either widows or never married) in the village gather at dawn for a large breakfast in the middle of town. The breakfast is served at long rectangular table laid out east to west. The oldest Halfling sits and the eastern head of the table and western head is left empty as reminder of absent friends.  This first meal is served by Halfling women believed to be beyond child bearing years, but not yet old enough for walking day.  After that meal they move to the edge of town for a second breakfast served by those families that live at the edge of the shire. Following second breakfast, each senior hair foot picks up a walking stick, a cold lunch for later and the groups starts shuffling out. Their goal is to walk the perimeter of the whole shire, making note of problems and changes.   At the end of the walk the hungry and tired elders return to their holes were traditionally their family has prepared a large meal in their honor and the gathered family listens to the seniors report regarding the state of the shire.  It is no secret that this holiday was invented mainly to redirect or avoid the complaints of the older generations.  Often when a senior hobbit starts to assail one or more middle aged Halfling with observations about how “ ‘this never would have been cooked in my day….’, or ‘what is farmer Nutt thinking planting flax between the river and his pig stalls?’ the middle aged Halfling can simply reply “Walking Day”.  (As in wait for walking day)

13) Summer Holeless Day: Midsummer

Summer Holeless day occurs during the leanest months of the year, when last year’s grain harvest is getting thin and berry and vegetable crops are susceptible to draught.  It also occurs during the hottest part of the year, and perhaps for this reason Summer Holeless day is has little in common with its three counter parts.  The Summer Hole-less day is a celebration of inactivity that achieves a delicious level of collective sloth.  On the day prior, a few Halflings will set up tents or awnings by a river or another body of water. At midnight, when the air is starting to cool the entire shire will leave their holes and head for the tents.  Equipment is often light, canvas squares, cots and the occasional fishing pole. The next day is spent napping and fishing.  At night there is drinking and either a large fish fry or fish steamer is set up so that the days catch can be communally cooked with the least amount of effort.  The goal of the summer holeless day is to move as little as possible when the suns up and once the sun is down movement should be made in pursuit of delightful dishes or tender affections.

14) Hide and Seek Week: Sometime after Summer Holeless day:

 Let us compare Halfling hide and seek with Elven hide and seek.  Elven hide and seek is a wonderful game played by groups of polyamorus young lovers on summer afternoons in and around the old growth forests that the elves inhabit.  Elven hide and seek is enhanced by their spell abilities and their keen senses.  When the hobbits picked up hide and seek is unknown, but tradition holds without a doubt that it was borrowed from the elves.  Unfortunately a particular combination of hobbit qualities causes the game to take on quite a different form than the Elven version.  So different is the game that hobbit elders had to insist that it only be played once a year.   Hobbit hide seek was complicated by three factors, first hobbits are masters of stealth, even losing themselves at times, second they detest going even several hours without food and finally they are uniquely talented procrastinators. The typical Halfling hide seek game goes like this, first the seeker will be determined by some other game (such as sticks), then the hiders will prepare some food and comforts to take them while they hide:  this can take several days.  Once prepared those to be sought will inform the seeker that they are going to take to hiding.  Once the last of the players has informed the seeker that they are departing, the seeker will give the hiders a grace period of what ever seems appropriate to him or her and when he or she is ready they will start looking.  Finding a hobbit that doesn’t want to found is no easy task and it can take some time.  The longest game in memory lasted 27 years when Grevis Jarbar, who had been assumed dead, was found finding under the corner booth at a seaside bar in the human port city of Parna’s Mouth.  In that particular game teh last hobbit to found during was rewarded with a pint of bitters from every participant.  Grevis is reported as saying upon being discovered “it was well worth wait” and he looks forward to the next game.  This is why Halflings only play this game once a year.  More often then not the game is played with defined boundaries, but rarely is any tavern considered out of bounds. 

15) Holed-up day/Tal-pack: Last day of summer

 Though yet to be explained, it is a widely accepted that Halflings share a common ancestry with the evil giant races.  Some of the inexplicable facts that support this conclusion are that the languages of fire giants, hill giants and frost giants all share a common grammar and have similar vocabularies with the native hobbit tongue. Furthermore, close inspections of the giant ear and dentia reveals scaled up versions of the Halfling anatomy.  So perhaps this shared origin explains Tal-pack.  Tal-pack is marked on every Halfling calendar of record and is considered sacred many Halfling elders.  Even those Halflings that don’t hold to spiritual trappings of the holiday ascribe to the common wisdom that continued observance keeps people polite.    The traditions of Tal-Pack demand that while the sun is up on Tal-pack no Halfling found outside his home may refuse combat.  The day before (Tal-Pack eve) a circle is drawn in the center of town and a pile of leather straps is left along side the circle.  Any Halflings wishing to engage in combat are to travel to the center circle, tie their left ankles to each other and fight to the death with knives or small axes.  No challenge can be refused and all combat is to the death.  At least that is the idea, in reality the Halflings just stay inside all day.  Modern Halflings consider it incredibly bad taste to be seen wandering around the village on Tal-pack, and those that do go out try to steer clear of others’ windows. A stranger wandering into a hobbit shire on Tal-pack day will be hard (harder than normal) pressed to coax a hobbit from his/her hole.

16)  Fall: Any time before winter but most often early autumn, though there may be several falls each year and each may last several days.

 Fall is for many Halfling’s an important right of passage.  Gathering of dry wood and the cutting down small trees accounts for most of the fuel wood used by hobbits during the year.   But eventually a Halfling community’s need for lumber, both for fuel and as building material becomes so great that a shire needs to fall a tree. The falling of a large oak or pine can be a great undertaking for a village, and it generally falls upon teams of Halfling men to take down one of these large trees and then lumber it appropriately.  So appreciative is the shire that they generally refrain from other work while the great tree is being felled and lumbered. Drink stands are setup near the workers, though safely away from the tree, and older men and women bring out their wetting stones to keep axes and saws sharp.  Fall is also an important holiday for some Halfling men, because it is considered a great moment in a Halfling’s life when he is consider too old to participate in a Fall.  This newly senior Halfling is rewarded a walking stick from the new lumber and custom dictates that this neo-geriatric Halfling stand and around the laborers drinking or smoking the whole time.  But this aged Halfling is “forbidden” from doing any labor. Some middle aged hobbits campaign all year to be excluded from the next fall. 

17) An early Night:  2nd day of Autumn: 

Hobbits didn’t always live in holes they say, but once lived in wooden homes.  That is until a series of great fires that destroyed several shires.  The given reasons for these fires vary from shire to shire.  One tradition states that some overly active hobbit spent much to much time in his field, workshop or pub (it varies from story to story) and not enough time in his home.   Because of this lax attitude a spark escape his fireplace or from a mislaid pipe and started small fire.  The fire going unnoticed cause the hobbit was away at his labors soon consumed the whole town and all the crops in the field (this story always takes place in autumn).  The other story is that a great black dragon came to the shire annually and set the village on fire with his acidic breath.  Until one year some forward thinking hobbits started living in holes, which were partially immune to his lethal fly by.  The modern holiday is celebrated in autumn before the harvest and starts when the wardens-usually young hobbits that weren’t doing anything useful anyway-come through the village and announce it is time go home.  A good warden will do this before noon.  Some villages have the wardens dress as dragons and burn a model house in effigy, but that is a lot of work often isn’t worth the trouble. Particularly since nobody is around to watch it.  

18) Rock in a Hole Day:  Directly following the grass harvests:

Every one is aware of the Halfling game of rock in a hole.  (Not to be confused with Stone in a Hole, which is a school of Halfling Hole design where by the Hobbit Hole is centered on a large rough cut or uncut stone.) Rock in a hole or pebble in a hole begins when a group of Halflings descends on field with brightly colored round stones and various sticks.  After the field is surveyed by the Halflings and an existing hole in the field is selected, the Halfling participants will try to knock their stones into the hole using their sticks. The goal is to perform this task with the least number of strokes. As any regular observer of Halfling behavior will attest rock in a hole is played all year long, so why have a special day for it?  The attested reason is that freshly cut hay field is the perfect place for Rock in a Hole. And since most Halfling were slacking off to play anyway most town councils thought it best “to just go ahead and make it a holiday”.  

19) Autumn Holeless Day: Varies from town to town depending on the dominant crop.

 The Autumn Holeless day is the hardest working day of the Halfling year.  On this day every Halfling that can works to bring or store the last of the fall harvest. This time and trappings of this day vary depending on what the dominant crop is but the day often includes communal processing of part of the foodstuffs being harvested.  This could be a cider pressing or a sweet corn roast, but aside from the bending labor this day is always associated with a signature dish made from the region’s primary crop.

 

THE SEASON:  The end of the Autumn Holeless day marks the beginning of the time when Halflings celebrate at least one Holiday a week.  They refer to this time as THE SEASON.  It starts at the end of the harvest and continues on into early winter.

20)THE SEASON: First Feast or Bread Feast: 

Three days after Autumn Holeless day is the Halfling harvest feast.  The traditional dish at first feast is fruit bread.  These are dense cakes of wheat flour sweetened with fruit juice and made with purées of autumn fruits. These feast are usually organized and provided for by wealthier residents who have access to ovens and space enough to accommodate a score of guests.

21)THE SEASON:  Second Feast or Bird Feast: Three Days after Bread Feast

An Old Elven Jokes goes: If you have four Dwarves you have two have political parties, if you have four Orcs you have two war parties, and if you have four Halflings you have two dinner parties. For some Halfling party planning is war, and Bird Feats has become the crown jewel of the war trophies. One would think that sophistication of Halfling avian husbandry would make this feast a simple meal centered on local geese or hens, and indeed it was until the Party Mongers decide to make Bird Feast the personification of one-ups-menship.   These days the “proper” Bird Feast centers around exotic birds, and the uber-hosts of lore have brought up live Ozpecks for roasting, made Ospreg edible by placing them in stew or had a brined Needle Egret shipped for far away.  The cruel menus read like a list of exotic birds 5032 . The Holy Grail of the Bird Feast is of course the Roc, but as of yet no one has managed to serve up that mega-foul. Wealthy Halflings hosts will pay an adventurer good money for bringing them an exotic bird to serve up for Bird Feast.

22) THE SEASON: The Third Feast or Mock Feast: Three Days after Bird Feast

The Mock Feast is the Holiest of Halfling Days (even Holier than Holed up day); this day is dedicated to the Halfling Goddess of Hearth and Home.  If you were to enter an observant Hobbit Shire at Dawn on the day of the Mock Feast you would already see Halflings hard at work.  Cook fires are being lit under giant cauldrons, the ovens are being fired up and the sounds of scraping and clanging perfuse the morning hours.  Soon the air is alive with the odors fresh bread, steaming spices and savory meats, and as the sun climbs higher in the sky the entire shire begins to gather together.  Tables enough are set up so that each resident of the shire has a place to sit and unglazed ceramic plates and goblets, made special for this occasion, are placed on the tables.  At noon all the Halflings sit in front of empty plates as the intensity of the cooking smells reaches it peak.  But no food is served.  If you were to look in the ovens you would find them bare, the cauldrons contain only boiling water and the clanging and scraping were nothing more than Halfling going through the motion of food preparations.  They Halflings say the smells are a miracle sent from the Goddess, and the more savory and delicious the smells the better the following year will be.  After an hour at their table, the Halflings clears their places throwing the goblets and plates away and return to their Holes to break fast on cold food (usually left ovens from the previous two feasts).

23) THE SEASON:  Mother’s Day:  Three days after the Mock Feast

On this day Halfling men and childless women pay tribute to the mother’s in their lives.  Those paying tribute to their mother will present her with a bag of glass of ceramic beads.  And on mother’s day the Mother can ask one request from the gift barer per bead in the bag (generally 8 beads is considered tactful).  Yet often Halflings busy this time of year, such as brewers, will have a cousin, brother or hireling do deliver his beads and carry out his mother’s request.  One famous example of this is when Jonnab Peppertuck sent his mother a bag of 12 glass beads in the care of a stone skinned giant.  

24) THE SEASON: The Brewer’s Ball:  Three days after Mother’s Day

The Brewer’s Ball is regional market day when Tavern Owners and Brewers (both local and foreign) get together to agree to distribution deals, delivery schedules and to sample new brews.  A Brewer’s Ball worth its hops will never have less than 30 beers 5497. The Brewers also vote on the best brew at the Ball and placing a Blue Ribbon on the winning keg.   At nightfall there is usually a dance or concert, or some form of entertainment designed to draw in brewers and tavern owners from farther away.  The Ball can last several days often-leading right into the Beer Feast.  It is of note that many Halflings consider The Brewer’s Ball to be cursed, because without fail the Ball is cursed with horrendous weather.  The commonly held explanation for this curse is that beer taps are only open to vendors and brewers during the Ball. 

 

25) THE SEASON: The Fourth Feast or Beer Feast:  Three days after the Brewer's Ball.

If the Brewer’s Ball is cursed than the Beer Feast is blessed.  No Halfling has ever described Beer Feast as anything but beautiful.  They say as soon as the kegs are tapped “the sky clears up and bird start singing”. (This retrospective view may be due to the amount of beer consumed during the Feast) The biggest Beer Feast occurs at the sight of the Brewer’s Ball, but even the smallest shire has one.  There are only three rules for Beer Feast: bring your own mug, drinkers wear green, vendors wear red.  The unwritten rule of Beer Feast is that everyone sings. 

26) THE SEASON: Counting Day: Five days after the Beer Feast

Halflings love their extended families and genealogy is a popular hobby among Halflings.  The compared to other intelligent species the Halfling tend to be literate and informed.  The result is that Halflings are fastidious record keepers with regard to their family line.  On counting day the head of a family will gather his relative together and update the family tree (which is often literally a tree with names carved into it.  In larger Shire’s counting day will also serve as a census day, in which the population of the shire is determined.  If the Halflings have government elections for sheriff and mayor are held on counting, with the head of the family representing the interests of his/her entire clan.

27) THE SEASON:  The Honey Festival: Sometime between the Beer Feast and The Hunters’ Feast

The Honey Festival was once a regional market Festival like the Brewer’s Ball or the Festival of Candles, but in recent decades trade in honey and beeswax has declined.  As a result the Honey Festival as become another local feast day.   The signature events of the Honey Festival prayer dance, in which Halfling dress up like Bees, do elaborate dance and chant which is believed to increase the number of hives around the village.  The dance is directed by one or more Bee Sheriffs.  These are members of the shire who have an uncanny ability to command insects and have done this most profitably by commanding bees.  Next there is a buffet style meal with honey cakes, sweetened teas and mead. Finally there is candle light dance, where the participants hold beeswax candles (cleaner burning than a Tallow Candle) and dance on into the night.

28)THE SEASON:  The Fifth Feast or The Hunters’ Feast: Five days after Counting Day

The Hunter’s Feast is another vestigial Halfling tradition, similar to a tradition practiced by Frost Giants.  In the Frost Giant version a member of the Frost Giant tribe is taken out to the hunting ground killed and eaten by his tribe.  The Frost Giants believe that they are telling any local gods that they are not being hypocrites by eating the local animals, and that any local deity should not deny them game. During the Halflings’ Hunters’ Feast, a group of males (at least one from each local clan) get dress up in armor and war paint.  (Often they don’t have armor, so they make costumes that look like armor.)  They make Halfling sized doll out of wax and straw, and head out into the woods with wine, liquor, fire wood, spears and maybe a couple of goats.  The males get drunk, sing songs, stab the doll a couple of times, toss it on the fire and then roast goat.  Many foreigners have stumbled onto these Feasts and been shocked to see a group renowned for their docile behavior and hospitality acting like murderous savages.  But some Halflings believe that the ritual of the Hunters’ feast is essential for gaining favor of the nature Goddess during the coming year, and without the feast wild game and fruit would become scarce. 

29) THE SEASON: The Toy Fair: Three days after the Hunters’ Feast

Winter can be rough on Halfling children and rougher on their parents.  With Children often confined to the indoors because of cold weather or long nights, it can be a challenge to entertain them.  The Toy Festival was designed to remedy this by providing each Halfling child with a new toy that can be played with indoors.  While this Holiday may seem simple when compared to others, it serves as the climax of the season and Halfling children look forward to this day all year.  Generally the whole shire is decorated with colored ribbon and brightly painted wooden sculptures, and in the morning all the children are gathered together for a breakfast of jam and fresh bread.  Then the village elders come into the center of town with a wagon of toys wrapped in colored fabric. The toys have been provided by the children’s family, and wrapped up in fabric with the child’s name or mark on a wooden tag.  After they hand out the toys the children are taken home where often there is large family dinner.

30) Winter Holeless Day: Winter Solstice:

The Winter Holeless day is spent in revelry, with bonfires, songs, snowball fights, ice-skating and open bars. At night the whole town with gather around several fires for warmth and take turns telling stories and making music until everyone falls asleep.  




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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

axlerowes
October 6, 2010, 14:37
0xp
I was inspired by the list of halfling gifts, if you see any word errors please let me know, I would like to hand this out to my group.
Murometz
October 6, 2010, 15:11
1xp
I am only half-way through, but this definitely gives me a sense of the culture of your world's halflings and certainly a window is opened on their values as well.

Holy cow, if this is any indication of the level of detail and wonderful minutae your world entails, I'd like to RP in it. Love it.

I am a big fan of these labors-of-love. Although no one in their right mind, would ever *need* to know all this, it is awesome that all this information is there, for when you DO need it.

Great sense of verisimilitude!! They are all believable halfling holidays. Every one.

Faves so far, 1. Ogre Day, 2. Flower-Counting Day, 3. Walking-Day, 4. Hide and Seek Week
Voted Murometz
October 6, 2010, 15:13
Only voted
Voted Cheka Man
October 6, 2010, 18:53
0xp
Simply delightful, and a 5/5 for your effort.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
October 7, 2010, 7:45
0xp
I like this, I do not use Halflings in my games usually. But these bad boys can easily be transfered to any setting or people. Well not ANY, but you catch my drift. Good work.
Voted Dossta
October 7, 2010, 10:56
0xp
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Many of these holidays can be turned into mini quests or adventures for travellers to halfling lands, so the list is also very useable. If you could fix your numbered links ( type the full name of the submission between square brackets eg 30 Exotic Birds ), that would help with the flow.

5/5
Voted valadaar
October 8, 2010, 13:18
0xp

Well done and I agree with Dossta about the links. You can also use the link widget of the editor to do links as well. 

Voted Dozus
May 10, 2011, 8:50
0xp

Love it! The world's in the details, so to speak, and you've handled them well.

Dossta
October 23, 2012, 10:49
0xp
This is still one of my favorite pieces on the whole site. Let's bring it back to the spotlight for a bit.
Voted caesar193
December 1, 2012, 16:27
0xp
A day for the elders to complain about how things nowadays are horrible?
A day celebrating the clever defeat of ogres?
A day for a game that lasted 27 years this one time?

It is well worth the golden vote I just bestowed upon it. 5/5

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