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Feast of the Great Eye: A Day of Reflection

 

     Also known as the Day of Reflection, it is a Kalesian-Astraevan celebration marking the exchange of Kaleith's high priestess Astraeva who ascended into godhood to become the lady of light, the antithesis of Itzal. For many Kalesians, it symbolizes the rite of passage, continuous progress and the act of letting go. It is a time of self-reflection, understanding and acceptance.

 

     The "Great Eye" is a historical reference to Kaleith, symbolized by a full moon the color of silver. It is often a moon that appears closest to the mortal plane, the largest, brightest moon of the year and marks the beginning of winter. This typically occurs early in the month of Kale. The festival traditionally begins two nights before the rise of the Great Eye, which many refer to as "Waking Father."

     A great amount of revelry and boisterous celebrations are held during the two nights before, as participants of the festival attempt to "wake father" with their games, stories, and celebrations. However, fasting is traditional during this period, as it is said to clear the mind and soul of past grievances. Great amounts of libations are consumed instead, as festival goers seek to sustain themselves only on liquids blessed by Kaleith.

     During the day, Kalesians traditionally pay respects to their own shrines, and those of Astraeva, giving gifts to the followers of light symbolizing Kaleith's generosity in giving Astraeva to the world as a beacon of light against the shadows of Itzal. Likewise, Astraevans on the isle leave offerings at nearby shrines to show their appreciation for the sacrifices made. Over the centuries, this ritual has changed to include the giving of small gifts of peace and atonement from one to others whom were viewed as their enemies - part of "letting go." At night, as the moon shone reflecting the brilliance of Astraeva's light in Kaleith's waking eye, the festivities would continue.

     On the Day of Reflection, the time leading up to the rising of the Great Eye, participants meditate on their past transgressions, seeking the forgiveness and blessing of Kaleith and Astraeva. Traditionally, this is a time for many children on the cusp of adulthood to pack their belongings and prepare to leave their parents' homes to explore the world for one year before coming back during the night of the following year's feast. As day leads to night, Astraevan shrines and temples set up the grounds for the feast, providing the nourishment to thank Kaleith for the gift of Astraeva.

     When the full moon rises, bright and full with the light of Astraeva's gratitude, the revelers feast together in harmony and thanks, releasing all of their anger and animosity, giving their grief up to the Gods to begin anew, centering themselves in acceptance and understanding. For as Kaleith understood Astraeva's need to move on without him, and accepted her as a new deity in the pantheon, so to must their followers understand and accept the paths of others, and ultimately the paths they walk themselves. It is a time to forgive, but not forget.

     In the year four hundred and thirty-six, the Celebration of the Great Eye was held in Pearl, Astraeva's city of Light, for the first time ever. The event resulted in eased tensions at sea, if only for a few nights, in the spirit of the tradition that has for centuries existed between the Kalesians and Astraevans on the isle of Kaleith.

 



 
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