Moot Bolarda!

As we enter the wonderful holiday season of Christmas one might ask, “Do they celebrate Christmas on Telamier?” Why yes, yes they do.

Christmas on Telamier is a bit different than the traditions we’re use to. It is not filled with the presents and feasts and parties we all know. In fact, Christmas is a one-day affair that remains in large part a holiday for those of the Christian faith. Yes, Christianity made it to Telamier with a missionary couple. For Humans, it is the most prominent faith recognized, though many do not follow. Those that do set aside the darkest day of the year as Christmas, where they have a special service and lighting ceremony to represent Christ’s coming to bring light into the darkness of the world. It ends with a feast and the singing of traditional carols.

So what about the holiday traditions we know and love? That all happens during the most widespread celebration on Telamier – Bolarda. Bolarda takes place on the last nahm of the year, Reuvmet, which is also the last nahm of winter. (The Telamierian calendar starts on the first day of spring.) It began as a New Year celebration, saying goodbye to winter and hello to springtime. Many cultures set aside the full 20-day nahm period for celebrating, going to various parties, feasts and ending with a large gala that usually flows onto the streets.

Humans adopted Bolarda with many Christmas traditions including the decorating of trees and giving of gifts. The tradition of Santa Claus has faded over time and has been replaced with the stories of a giving spirit that inhabits those of good heart. To show your good heart, gifts are freely given to both loved ones and those in need.

One of the most popular traditions involved in Bolarda are the Bolarda bands. The festivities begin with wearing a band, which is much like a charm bracelet, where each bead represents something hurtful or unwanted that has happened to the wearer over the past year. It can be as generic as fear and sadness to more specific issues (loss of a loved one, loss of a job, etc.) People flock to shops selling these bands, stringing the various styled beads to represent themselves or purchasing a generic one with the beads of sadness, fear, hopelessness, pain, loss and anxiety. On the last night when the biggest party begins, bonfires are set in the center of the celebrations and at midnight, people throw their bands into the fire. They then replace the old bands for new ones that represent the many joyous events to come (wedding, new job, baby, etc.). There are generic ones for this as well, depicting joy, hope, love, peace, friendship and prosperity.

So from Telamier, “Moot Bolarda!” and for all those on Earth, “A very merry Christmas!”

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