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Crystalhue

From PathfinderWiki

Crystalhue is a Shelynite holiday celebrated on the winter solstice.[1]

During the day, in towns where the holiday of Crystalhue is celebrated, locals hang crystal prisms and glass baubles throughout town in order to spread light and scatter rainbows in the streets. As townsfolk prepare for the evening festivities, artisans and musicians ply their trades, hoping for a coin or two while they sell their crafts and play tunes for the people while they browse. Throughout the day, the locals exchange small gifts—typically handmade—as tokens of appreciation or as peace offerings to those they feel they wronged during the year.

To reflect artistic depictions of their patron goddess, women dye colored streaks in their hair. Young girls commonly have half a dozen different colored locks, while older married women usually only have one or two. Men wear colorful patchwork coats they call melaros that they keep their whole lives, adding new patches or scraps of scavenged cloth every year.

As night falls, the community gathers every available lantern and candle, bringing them out onto porches or lining the streets with their communal light. The town square hosts a large feast around a bonfire complete with roasted meats, stewed vegetables, roasted root vegetables, and winter squashes—all seasoned with plenty of fragrant spices. Around these bonfires, the clergy of Shelyn perform marriage ceremonies, where the whole community gathers to witness and affirm the bonds of love. During the ceremonies, teenagers pursue their budding romances, giving trinkets and other symbols of their affection to the ones who caught their eye throughout the year.[2][3]

The Zonzon

One of the stranger traditions among the faithful of Shelyn is the Zonzon doll. A child chosen to be the "sibling" passes this strange little doll, made from scraps of leather and cloth and sewn with red thread, among neighbors. The townsfolk give it symbolic gifts and whisper apologies to those they’ve wronged during the year or share with the doll happy memories in order to represent Shelyn's kindness and mercy to her now-lost brother Zon-Kuthon. The "sibling" child brings the doll to everyone in town during the festival, making sure everyone has had the chance to pay their dues and make peace. As the celebration winds down, the doll is cast into the wilderness or set afloat to drift down a river in the hope that it will find its way to the Midnight Lord and relate his sister's kindness, mercy, and goodwill in the face of the dark place he now resides.[2]

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