A Chunk of Fantasy 2.10 – High Sun
“Praise the sun? You actually think that is what we do? We worship what it gives us, what it represents – life, warmth and protection from the horrors of the night. I have heard there are many gods who dwell within it and why would we want to upset all of them? So no, we don’t “Worship” the sun any more than you worship the blacksmith that made the sword on your belt. But we do celebrate it!”
High Sun is the name given to a collection of holidays around the world that all take place on the same day when the sun reaches it’s highest point at noon, marking the longest day of the year for many people and cultures. It goes by many names, such as the Summer Solstice, the Longest Day or Midsummers Day. One culture, that lives mostly underground calls it Burning Day, as to the sun seems to be brightest and hottest and the chances of them being burnt are vastly increased.
Each has their own version and reasons behind the festival, but the virtually worldwide holiday has helped with diplomatic issues, uniting nations and in one famous case, ending a war when both sides realised they both celebrated the same thing and perhaps, just perhaps they were not so different after all.
One common thing, apart from the day, that unites the various shared versions of this holiday is the time it starts. Preparations start weeks, sometimes months beforehand. Every group has a traditional place to hold the holiday celebrations and these places get more and more people as the day approaches. There may be music beforehand, a few things to lighten the mood. The night before is often filled with sombre reflection on the year passed, remembering those that have fallen or have been lost. Offerings may be made of drinks or, as in one culture, a person has been chosen to be a “sacrifice” and theatrically and ceremonially “killed”.
The moments before dawn are often described as peaceful, quiet and serene. People generally don’t make a sound as the horizon starts to glow. Children and babies are exempt from this and one place encourages them to make as much noise as they want, telling them to “wake up the sun!”, hand out drums, cymbals and noise makers for the children, and to be honest many of the adults as well to encourage the sun from its short slumber.
The point at which the sun finally dawns begins, with the horizon, glow getting brighter and brighter until the true light, as it’s referred to, arrives, shining across the world and it’s people, bringing warmth, life and protection from the night. Then the celebrations begin in earnest, lasting until the sun rays have once again disappeared behind the horizon. These celebrations are often loud, playful and full of drinking and eating. Grievances and issues are traditionally ignored on this day, as many say it is bad luck to shed blood or be angry at someone on this day, with the bad luck following you until the next High Sun, a year from now.
A reminder folks that next week there will be no “A chunk of..” on Wednesday and Thursday. In it’s place will probably be some older re-done posts so there is no gap and you got at least one thing to read 🙂