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Holi, And Other Local Cultural Festivals

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:19 am
by alex_greene
2019-03-20 and 2019-03-21 are the days of Holi, where celebrants pelt one another with clouds of multicoloured gulal powder.

A while back, I was inspired by Holi to write in a local custom called powderpuffing in Castrobancla, the City of Aliens. There's a slight difference - powderpuffing is a benign way of getting rid of an undesirable element, by knocking them out with a drug in the powder. However, there is a drink called Mother's Milk which is offered to celebrants. The powder doesn't knock you out, but it doesn't block the euphoric element, meaning that characters still get roaring.

It seems that Traveller should have cultural festivals like Holi, Diwali, Ramadan, Mardi Gras and Pride for the Travellers to encounter. Someone mentioned the Sword Worlders' festivals and mock shuddered, so presumably that's images of torchlight processions and supremacist salutes of the leaders as said leaders stand on balconies, all peaked caps and jackboots.

So I countered with the Sword Worlder Tea Ceremony, ikebana championships, poetry festivals, the Sword Worlder Trans Recognition Festival where all their beloved trans followers are respected and venerated ...

I think the Annual Village Cuddle thing might have sent their reaction over the top a little.

So. Festivals. Because endless expanses of grey steel and glass buildings and one spaceship interior after another would get so dull. What bright and joyous festivals would you create for your setting?

Re: Holi, And Other Local Cultural Festivals

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:38 pm
by paltrysum
I'm currently running a "Pirates of Drinax" campaign, but it started as a more typical 'tramp trader' campaign centered on the Albe system. The OTU description of the world includes the following: 'The last heir, Gorluun III, was placed in
a stasis field for legal reasons. He is unfrozen once a year for a few minutes, just long enough to sign various documents authorising the bureaucracy to rule in his name for another year.'

In our campaign, Gorluun III's annual awakening was cause for a week-long holiday season, including numerous festivals and parades, the latter of which featured the Albean citizenry dressed up in their finest regalia and pretending to sleepwalk down the capital city's streets, doubtlessly also enjoying food and drink along the way. The event added some spice to our game with the players being spied upon by some agency or other as the celebration went on around them. I envisioned a sort of Día de los Muertos holiday with sleepwalking fetishes instead of skulls and ancestral shrines.

Re: Holi, And Other Local Cultural Festivals

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:54 pm
by NOLATrav
In my last campaign the group ended up on Heya during World elections:

The Heya Republic, the world's main governing body, is democratically appointed by a series of raucous elections taking place every five years; every three years, local bureaucrats and regional mangers are also forced to stump for office. Heyan elections are massive affairs, essentially planet-wide celebrations, and very few incumbents survive them to enjoy a second term. The Scouts' Cultural Analysis branch believes this is due to a strong need in the Heyan psyche to institute life changes in whatever ways possible against a planetary seasonal cycle that can last as long as some people will live.

I treated the celebrations very much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans: parades filled with wildly colorful and extremely irreverent floats, entire sections of the city essentially shut down to celebrate, throws (the beads, cups and trinkets the parade riders toss to the crowds), pop-up concerts and impromptu restaurants and basically Law Level 0 within reason. As Heya is a TL 5 Ag world it was all very old school and naturalistic, with local oxen and horses pulling the parade floats, flowers raining down, the local wine (yayo) flowing freely... imagine a sultry, steamy, Carribean island vibe, music in the streets, everyone throwing inhibition to the wind. One of the more memorable adventures for that gang.

Re: Holi, And Other Local Cultural Festivals

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:27 pm
by FreeTrav
For those of you who remember the (original) Star Trek episode "Return of the Archons", Richard Morey imported 'Festival' from that episode into the culture of Rethe, and wrote an adventure around it.