I wanted to add in holidays for various parts of the Mercuy series. Since my main character is a Fae Prince, I spent time looking up various holidays attributed to fairies. Now listen, this is not going to be an in depth look at any of these holidays. This is about using the holidays for a story. Many of the holidays attributed to the Fae are pagan, Norse, and Celtic. If you want to know more about the holidays themselves please use Google.
Here is a list of the most consistent holidays that I found:
Beltane - A late Spring fire festival that celebrates the coming of Summer.
Litha - Summer festival that usually uses a bonfire and honey for celebration.
Mabon - An Autumn celebration for taking joy in the harvest you have worked for all year.
Samhain - A celebration to welcome in the darker half of the year as we move into winter.
Yule - Kissing under the mistletoe, holly wreaths, carols, sharing gifts, sun rebirth, and a spider horse, are traditional for celebrating this holiday. Now, if all of that sounds familiar to you and you feel confused about Yule vs Christmas HERE is what you should look at.
In Mercury Rising I reference Litha as a celebration that the vampires sometimes attend-
“She saunters closer, eyeing my bondmate with a casual carnal pleasure that reminds me of the annual Litha celebrations at the palace. Like the rest of her kind, Alukah’s pleasure-seeking knows no bounds and they always turn the festival into a bacchanal.”
I chose this holiday because I wanted something that wasn’t as commonly known as Beltane, but still carried an expectancy of turning into a wild celebration.
Another holiday I reference is Shana Tova. Shana Tova is a phrase people use when celebrating Rosh Hashana. I chose to use the phrase instead of the holiday name because I wanted this holiday to be familiar but not too specific. When I’m writing about specific aspects of the Fae world I like to create something that readers can relate to, but not so familiar that it feels like urban magic.
I also wanted the holiday to be nonspecific as I used it in a newspaper article to reference a specific amount of time. Because the story moves between human and Fae lands I didn’t want the time line to be clear. To be honest, I also think the phrase Shana Tova is pretty.
When you are designing your own holidays for your fantasy world, I recommend using existing holidays to base them off of. I also recommend referencing more than one culture. The human race is rich is diversity and you have the internet.
As a quick end note - You don’t have to create holidays. You don’t have to create anything, including languages, maps, weapons, currency, magic systems. You need to create things that are specific to your story! For my story I have a map because the characters reference it often, I have bits of language to pull in different meaning, and I have holidays because they will play a major role in the final book. For your fantasy world, create what you want to and what you need to in order to tell the story you want to tell.
Happy Writing <3 Alter