Frewyn Lesson: Ailineighdaeth (Alinade)

An Ailineighdaeth card from my Anonnaa featuring selected characters from the series in stickfigure format.
Ailineighdaeth (pronounced Alinade in Old Frewyn) or the Day of Rebirth is one of the major holidays of the Frewyn calendar.

The 24h day of the last month of the year (December 24th in our calendar) is reserved for the particular observance. The history and customs are illustrated below by Boudicca, as she explains the holiday to Unghaahi and Rautu:

"Ailineighdaeth is the Day of Renewal and marks the beginning of the Frewyn calendar year. Most Frewyns who cannot be bothered to pronounce the Old Frewyn phrase call it Alineide, which means Rebirth. This night is supposedly the night upon which the Gods forgave our ancestors for their sins. Ages ago, before the Church overtook our faith people believe the Gods walked among us. We asked them for sustenance, gave them tribute and they provided, and that sort of nonsense."
       Unghaahi seemed bemused. "Your people were pleased to be subjugated?"
       "Frewyns enjoy satisfying others. It seems to be a curse we possess. Your brother can tell of the truth in my claims, I'm certain," the commander said with a smirk.
       The Den Asaan responded with a small grin.
       Unghaahi laughed but the subject of happiness in servitude still bewildered him. "And your people are rejoicing because their Gods did not abandon them?" he carefully asked.
       "Not exactly. You see, the history of it is the endless clan wars offended and upset the Gods. Although we were the loyalist of subjects, they wished to teach us a lesson. They disappeared from among us, only promising to return when we had learned the meaning of acceptable and camaraderie. Once we learned how to befriend one another, the Gods reappeared as the constellations in the sky."
       The commander motioned toward the canopy of stars above them to illustrate her allegation but her gesture was met with scoffs from the Den Asaan who found the entire history ridiculous.
       "If the skies were unclear on this evening, your people would see it as an omen and run to your Churches to repent," Rautu grunted in a smug tenor.     
       He and the commander shared a snide laugh. Captain Connors wished to join in the snickering but felt hampered to do so when his mother was so devout she probably would have leapt to the Church on such an occasion and instead he remained silent.
       "I cannot disagree with you, Iimon Ghaala. However, as the story goes the ancient Frewyns rejoiced at their learning to love one another, made a feast to honour the day, exchanged gifts to their newfound friends, and decorated their settlements and villages with lights to honour and emulate the stars." The commander reached over to one of the trees at the edge of the square and took from it a small string of entombed candles to show the Den Amhadhri. "These are Sealenrelta, or starlights. They are candles encased in a glass sphere with a hole at the top so the wicks may be easily lit and fingers may just as easily be burned."
       Unghaahi examined the odd contraption. He noted the manner in which the candle inside the glass was stationary as the commander turned it upside down. He marveled at its constancy to give off heat and radiance even though most of the candle was trapped within the spherical tomb. He looked out at the various homes surrounding the square and noted that each one was decorated with the ceremonial lights but his attention from them was drawn when he took notice of another custom being practiced. He observed many couples exchanging a small silver charm. He pointed to it, asked many questions to the meaning of it and why it warranted an embrace after it was given.
       "That is a charm of the goddess Libhan, Frewyn goddess of friendship," the commander explained. "The charms are given out by the Church for a small donation and can be exchanged between any two people. In recent years, however, they've been hailed as a clever disguise for young men to woo young women of their choosing into their nest."

Oh, and the 24th also happens to be the day the Den Asaan Rautu was born. :D

Maeith Ailineighdeath to all!