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  FESTIVITIES
           Carnival   Waiting Hand   New Year   Omen Year   Planting Feast  
           Harvest Feast   Love Feast   Kajuralia  
           Rencers Festival   Love War   The Thing   The Feast Season of Odin  

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FESTIVITIES

Carnival

"In many Gorean cities, accordingly, the Twelfth Passage Hand, the five days preceding the Waiting Hand, that time to which few Goreans look forward with eagerness, is carnival. The fact that it was now only two days to the Twelfth Passage Hand, explained the presence of the unusual number of theatrical and carnival troupes now in the city."
"Players of Gor" page 10

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Waiting Hand

"On the first day of the Waiting Hand, the last five days of the old year, the portals of Ar, including that of even the House of Cernus, had been painted white, and in many of the low caste homes had been sealed with pitch, not to be opened until the first day of En'Kara. Almost all doors, including that of the House of Cernus, had nailed to them some branches of the Brak Bush, the leaves of which, when chewed, have a purgative effect. It is thought that the pitch and the branches of the Brak Bush discourage entry of bad luck into the houses of the citizens. During the days of the Waiting Hand the streets are almost deserted, and in the houses there is much fasting, and little conversation, and no song. Rations even in the House of Cernus were halved during this period. Paga and Ka-la-na were not served. The slaves in the pens received almost nothing."
"Assassin of Gor" page 211

"Torches, unlit, in wall rings, were still illuminated as we passed near them. Many of the columns carved, with painted surfaces, on the walls, reminded me of rune stones. These stones, incidentally, are normally quite colorful, and can often be seen at great distances. Each year their paint is freshened, commonly on the vigil of the vernal equinox, which, in the north, as commonly in the south, marks the new year. Religious rune stones are repainted by rune-priests on the vigil of the fest-season of Odin, which, on Gor, takes place in the fall."
"Marauders" page 230

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New Year

"Then, at dawn, on the first day of En'kara, in the name of the city, the Administrator of Ar, or a Ubar if it be Ubar, greets the sun, welcoming it to Ar on the first day of the New Year. The great bars suspended about the walls of the city then ring out for more than an Ahn with their din, and the doors of the city burst open and the people crowd out onto the bridges, clad in the splendor of their finest, singing and laughing. The doors are painted green and the pitch washed away, and the branches of the Brak Bush burned in a small ceremony on the threshold. There are processions in the city that day, and songfests, and tournaments of the game, and recitations by poets, and contests and exhibitions. When the lanterns on the bridges must be lit the people return home, singing, carrying small lamps, and give the night over to feasting and love. Even the slaves in the iron pens in the House of Cernus received that day a small cake with oil and had their troughs filled with water mixed with Paga."
"Assassin of Gor" page 211/2

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Omen Year
For details see the Wagon Peoples page

"In the thinking of the Wagon Peoples it is called the Omen Year, though the Omen Year is actually a season, rather than a year, which occupies a part of two of their regular years, for the Wagon Peoples calculate the year from the Season of Snows to the Season of Snows...the Omen Year, or season, lasts several months, and consists of three phases, called the Passing of Turia, which takes place in the fall; the Wintering, which takes place north of Turia and commonly south of Cartius, the equator of course lying to the north in this hemisphere; and the Return to Turia, in the spring, or as the Wagon Peoples say, in the Season of Little Grass. It is near Turia, in the spring, that the Omen Year is completed, when the Omens are taken, usually over several days by hundreds of haruspexes, mostly readers of bosk blood and verr livers, to determine if they are favorable for a choosing of a Ubar San, a One Ubar, a Ubar who would be High Ubar, a Ubar of all the Wagons, a Ubar of all the Peoples, one who could lead them as one people. The omens, I understood, had not been favorable in more than a hundred years."
"Nomads of Gor" page 11/2

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Planting Feast

"The Home Stone of a city is the center of various rituals. The next would be the Planting Feast of Sa-Tarna, the Life-Daughter, celebrated early in the growing season to ensure a good harvest. This is a complex feast, celebrated by most Gorean cities, and the observances are numerous and intricate. The details of the rituals are arranged and mostly executed by the Initiates of a given city. Certain portions of the ceremonies, however, are often allotted to members of the High Castes.
In Ar, for example, early in the day, a member of the Builders will go to the roof on which the Home Stone is kept and place the primitive symbol of his trade, a metal angle square, before the Stone, praying to the Priest-Kings for the prosperity of his caste in the coming year; later in the day a Warrior will, similarly, place his arms before the Stone, to be followed by other representatives of each caste. Most significantly, while these members of the High Castes perform their portions of the ritual, the Guards of the Home Stone temporarily withdraw to the interior of the cylinder, leaving the celebrant, it is said, alone with the Priest-Kings.
Lastly, as the culmination of Ar's Planting Feast, and of the greatest importance to the plan of the Council of Ko-ro-ba, a member of the Ubar's family goes to the roof at night, under the three full moons with which the feast is correlated, and casts grain upon the stone and drops of a red, wine-like drink made from the fruit of the Ka-la-na tree. The member of the Ubar's family then prays to the Priest-Kings for an abundant harvest and returns to the interior of the cylinder, at which point the Guards of the Home Stone resume their vigil."
"Tarnsman of Gor" page 68

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Harvest Feast

"After the murder of Om, who had been on tolerable terms with the Administrator, the new High Initiate, Complicius Serenus, in studying the omens of the white bosk slain at the Harvest Feast had, to his apparent horror, discovered that they had stood against Kazrak."
"Assassin of Gor" page 15

"This crop had actually been sown the preceding fall, a month following the harvest festival."
"Marauders of Gor" page 102

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Love Feast

"On the other hand, the single greatest period for the sale of slaves is the five days of the Fifth Passage Hand, coming late in the summer, called jointly, the Love Feast." "The Love Feast, incidentally, as I may have mentioned, occupies the full five days of the Fifth Passage Hand, occurring late in summer. It is also a time of great feasting, of races and games. Cernus, sensing the temper and curiosity of the crowds, had determined to make them wait for his surprise delights, over a hundred of them, whose supposed qualities of beauty and skill, enhanced by the mysterious aura of barbaric origin, had been for months the object of ever more eager rumors and excited speculations. Many were the furious Gorean slave girls who found themselves, early in the Love Feast, forced to ascend the block, while buyers were still waiting, before the larger quantities of gold would be spent, to be sold for prices less than they might otherwise have won for themselves under the conditions of a more normal market. The evening of the fourth' day of the Love Feast is usually taken as its climax from the point of view of slave sales. The fifth day, special races and games are celebrated, regarded by many Goreans as the fitting consummation of the holidays."
"Assassin of Gor" page 281

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Kajuralia

"The Kajuralia, or Holiday of Slaves, or Festival of Slaves, occurs in most of the northern, civilized cities of known Gor once a year. The only exception to this that I know of is Port Kar, in the delta of the Vosk. The date of the Kajuralia, however, differs. Many cities celebrate it on the last day of the Twelfth Passage Hand, the day before the beginning of the Waiting Hand; in Ar, however, and certain other cities, it is celebrated on the last day of the fifth month, which is the day preceding the Love Feast."
"Assassin of Gor" page 229

"“KAJURALIA!” CRIED THE slave girl hurling a basket of Sa-Tarna flour on me, and turning and running. I had caught up with her in five steps and kissed her roundly, swatted her and sent her packing.
“Kajuralia yourself!” I said laughing, and she, laughing, sped away.
About that time a large pan of warm water splashed down on me from a window some sixteen feet above the street level. Wringing wet I glared upward.
I saw a girl in the window, who blew me a kiss, a slave girl. “Kajuralia!” she cried and laughed.
I raised my fist and shook it and her head disappeared from the window.
A Builder, whose robes were stained with thrown fruit, hastily strode by. “You had better be indoors,” said he, “on Kajuralia.”"
"Assassin of Gor" page 223

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Rencers Festival (For details see the Rencers page)


"For rence growers, the first of Se'Kara, the date of the Autumnal Equinox, is a time of festival. By that time most of the year's rence will have been cut, and great stocks of rence paper, gathered in rolls like cord wood and covered with woven rence mats, will have been prepared.
Between Se'Kara and the winter solstice, which occurs on the first of Se'Var, the rence will be sold or bartered, sometimes by taking it to the edge of the delta, sometimes by being contacted by rence merchants, who enter the delta in narrow barges, rowed by slaves, in order to have first pick of the product."
"Raiders of Gor" page 17

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Love War (For details see the Wagon Peoples page)

"The institution of Love War is an ancient one among the Turians and the Wagon Peoples.(...) The games of Love War, of course, are celebrated every spring."
"Nomads of Gor" page 115

"The theoretical justification of the games of the Love War, from the Turian point of view, is that they provide an excellent arena in which to demonstrate the fierceness and prowess of Turian warriors, thus perhaps intimidating or, at the very least, encouraging the often overbold warriors of the Wagon Peoples to be wary of Turian steel." "Nomads of Gor" page 116

"I once asked Kamchak if the Wagon Peoples had a justification for the games of Love War. "Yes," he had said. And he had then pointed to Dina and Tenchika, clad kajir, who were at that time busy in the wagon. "That is the justification," said Kamchak. And he had then laughed and pounded his knee." "Nomads of Gor" page 116

"As I knew, not just any girl, any more than just any warrior, could participate in the games of the Love War. Only the most beautiful were eligible, and only the most beautiful of these could be chosen." "Nomads of Gor" page 117

"I do not know if there are, by count, a thousand stakes or not on the Plains of a Thousand Stakes, but I would suppose that there are that many or more. The stakes, flat-topped, each about six and half feet high and about seven or eight inches in diameter, stand in two long lines facing one another in pairs. The two lines are separated by about fifty feet and each in a line is separated from the stake on its left and right by about ten yards. The two lines of stakes extended for more than four pasangs across the prairie." (...) "In the space between the two lines of stakes, for each pair of facing stakes, there was a circle of roughly eight yards in diameter. This circle, the grass having been removed, was sanded and raked." "Nomads of Gor" page 112/3

"But to my amazement, Kamchak only smiled. "Why should I fight?" he asked. "What do you mean?" demanded Kamras. "What is to be gained?" inquired Kamchak. "Aphris of Turia!" cried the girl. There were cries of horror, or protest, from the men crowded about. "Yes!" cried Aphris of Turia. "If you will meet Kamras, Champion of Turia, I, Aphris of Turia, will stand at the stake in Love War!" Kamchak looked at her. "I will fight," he said." "Nomads of Gor" page 102

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The Thing (For details see the Torvaldsland page)

“I have an appointment with Svein Blue Tooth,” said Ivar Forkbeard. He kicked the captive with the side of his boot. She uttered a small noise, but made no other sound. “The Thing will soon be held,” he said.
"Marauders of Gor" pages 120

"The Forkbeard, too, and his men, were armed. Blows are not to be struck at the thing, but not even the law of the thing, with all its might, would have the termerity to advise the man of Torvaldsland to arrive or move about unarmed."
"Marauders of Gor" pages 141

“This man,” called out Svein Blue Tooth, obviously im-pressed, “has earned in these contests six talmits. Never in the history of the thing has there been so high a winner.” Svein Blue Tooth was of Torvaldsland himself. He well understood the mightiness of the winner’s exploits. It was rare for one man to win even two talmits. Thousands entered the con-tests. Only one, in each contest, could achieve the winner’s talmit. “I distinguish myself, and enter into the history of our land,” said the Blue Tooth, “in being the high Jarl to award these talmits in the games. As we honor this man we, in doing this, similarly do honor unto ourselves.” This was cultural in Torvaldsland. One is regarded as being honored when one rightly bestows honor. It is not like one man taking some- thing from another, so much as it is like an exchanging of gifts. To a somewhat lesser extent, it might be mentioned, this is also cultural in the south."
"Marauders of Gor" page 182

The Feast Season of Odin "Torches, unlit, in wall rings, were still illuminated as we passed near them. Many of the columns carved, with painted surfaces, on the walls, reminded me of rune stones. These stones, incidentally, are normally quite colorful, and can often be seen at great distances. Each year their paint is freshened, commonly on the vigil of the vernal equinox, which, in the north, as commonly in the south, marks the new year. Religious rune stones are repainted by rune-priests on the vigil of the fest-season of Odin, which, on Gor, takes place in the fall."
"Marauders" page 230

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