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Archer's Day

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The holy symbol of Erastil.

Archer's Day or Archerfeast is a holiday of the god Erastil held annually on the 3rd of Erastus. Despite the holiday's origins in the worship of Erastil, common country folk from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings to Taldor celebrate the height of summer with a day set aside for establishing new relationships, enjoying current camaraderie, and celebrating the gifts of the gods.[1] Archery competitions are held frequently in which the men test their skill with the bow through progressively harder trials. The exact form of competition is different from place to place, and the winner is awarded a rack of elk horns and a quiver of blessed arrows. He is also given the title of "Protector", which he holds until the next year.[2]

While the festival's traditions emphasize contests of marksmanship, most have expanded to exhibit talents of all types, from baking and storytelling to racing and mock combat. Aside from encouraging a fair-like atmosphere, many of the displays and competitions serve one of two secondary purposes: either as a way for merchants to show off their superior livestock and wares, or (more popularly) as a way for eligible men and women to show off to each other.

While the day's events at most Archerfeast fairs are filled with games, food, and crafts, the night brings dancing, drinking, pranks, and the crowning of the princes and princesses of spring and summer for the two single youths and two single adults who fared best in the day's events. The festivities continue late into the evening, but end promptly at midnight, so that in true Erastilian fashion the next day's responsibilities are not overly impeded. For those not of Erastil's flock, however, private parties, drinking, and trysting carry on long into the next morning.[1]

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