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Thorn Explains: Romantic Holidays

Thorn Explains: Romantic Holidays published on 14 Comments on Thorn Explains: Romantic Holidays

I got the Sønheim holiday traditions from some “10 weird Valentine’s Day traditions around the world!” listicles, which didn’t have any source or corroboration anywhere else I could find. Perfect inspiration.

Leif: Sønheim has a holiday that’s all about romance! Do you have one of those in Ceannis?

Thorn: We sure do! It’s called the Queen’s Anniversary — or just The Anniversary for short.

I’m pretty sure we don’t really know the date when Rhódon, founding Queen of Ceannis, and Sotetsu, the Time Mage, got married. But this is the date when it’s observed. And it’s a holiday for celebrating couples in general.

If you’re single, you celebrate other couples that matter in your life — like parents or friends. It can even be fictional romances, if they mean a lot to you.

We sing (or listen to) love songs, exchange sweet treats, like cashew fudge — They sell special holiday boxes, where it’s arranged in rose patterns, or carved into heart shapes —

And partners buy each other flowers!

Leif: Pretty! So are they “roses” and “palms”, like the plants in the historical figures’ names?

Thorn: . . . those are actually used mostly for somber, political occasions. The “I love you” flowers are carnations and clover. Is your Sønheim romance holiday anything like that?

Leif: Not really? It’s at the end of Still Winter, when the birds are starting to come out of hibernation.

Thorn: The wha–? Our birds fly south for the winter.

Leif: That wouldn’t work for ours . . . they can only go so far “south” before the mountains get in the way.

So, couples go walking barefoot in the fields and look for the waking-up birds. The rarer the species you see, the better luck it means for your romance!

Thorn: Barefoot, outside? I thought it stayed pretty cold through the end of Still Winter.

Leif: It does! It’s also good luck on this day to make snowballs, and throw them at each other’s faces.

Thorn: You have got to be making this up.

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“…It can even be fictional romances, if they mean a lot to you.”

Shipping Day? Shipping Day.

As for barefoot in snow… I’ve tried that with a thin layer on the ground. Wouldn’t recommend it. Maybe it’s more pleasant if you’re walking on something other than snow-covered concrete?

As someone who’s walked on both snow-covered concrete and snow-covered grass (only a few steps in each: was going out to get the paper, which was somehow in the grass, and had decided at the last moment getting the boots on and off was just too much of an ordeal) with just socks their feet, let me assure you: pleasant is not the right word for *either*.

Just saying, so you know.

As my experience went from bare concrete to snow-covered concrete to snow-covered grass, back to snow covered concrete, and then back inside, in a matter of as few seconds as possible, I can’t really differentiate the experiences well.

Maybe they aren’t walking through the snow barefoot. We know they do have snow-shovels and there might be lots of clear footpaths, especially if it hasn’t snowed in a while. If it’s a day when snowballs are traditional, then the average temperature that day is probably close to freezing; too low and the snow is too powdery. Speaking from experience, walking on a dry outdoor surface next to snow at barely above freezing is much warmer. It’d still be pretty cold if you went straight into it from a warm climate, but at the end of a very cold winter it probably feels downright balmy by contrast.

… Wait, Palmeti? Why is he tagged? And wasn’t Açaí the Time Mage?
… Oh, okay. The long runner changes names sometimes. Why?

Presumably, it’s an affectation on the Time Mage’s part. Setetsu was female, and her name meant Palm. When Leachtric was active, The Time Mage went by Palmeti. Now, Acai is the Time Mage’s preferred name and has been since Hedge and Grassie were on the air…

Cashew fudge? Interesting that that’s the default. Does this world not have chocolate?

Like some other Ceannic foods we’ve seen, it’s an English-language description for an Indian recipe — in this case, kaju barfi.

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