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Taxfest

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Helping the collection of taxes

No one enjoys paying taxes but the collection of fair taxes is considered an integral part of the maintenance of society, and is therefore holy to the god Abadar. Every year on the 15th of Gozran, priests of the church of Abadar spend the day walking city streets, doing what they can to make the bitter pill of annual taxes a bit easier to swallow.

The Business of the Day

From dawn to dusk, clerics of Abadar attend the tax collectors of sizeable communities as the tax wagons roll from door to door. The church officials monitor these activities to make sure that the process is conducted respectfully and justly, and that citizens know that the process is monitored. More than just aiding in the yearly errand, the faithful personally thank every citizen for contributing to the improvement of their city, extol the public works funded by their contributions, and foretell the grandeur of civic projects to come. The disenfranchised and destitute they attempt to comfort as best they can, quoting from their god's dogma on work and worthiness, but this is not a day for discounts or deferrals. The citizens are able to voice their concerns and ideas as to where the monies levied should best be applied. Citizens are free to speak their mind on any issue here without fear of repercussion.

The Celebrations of the Day

At dusk, the Abadarans host several celebrations in parks, plazas, and other communal areas about the city, organizing donations and contributions from local vendors to feed and entertain all-comers. Having already preached to most of the city over the course of the day, the clerics perform only a brief opening ceremony, dedicating the feast to Abadar, the city, and its great people. These celebrations are often quite distinct from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and are almost always divided along economic boundaries.

The festivities involving the wealthiest citizens usually happen on the steps of city hall or other grand civic buildings and feature the best music and food, but often little more than polite card and guessing games. These galas usually wrap up by midnight.

For the common folk, the parks and marketplaces take on a carnival atmosphere, with simple but good food, local ales, performances by talented citizens, and games of chance going on well into the night. A prevailing superstition through these festivals is that, during the celebration, it is lucky to kiss—or in some regions, pinch—a cleric of Abadar, leading to many a rosy-cheeked cleric.

Even the city's poor are given reason to celebrate, as the local temple of Abadar hosts a cheery but unabashedly religious gathering on its steps, feeding all comers, doling out a hearty ration of wine, singing hymns of the faith, and providing tokens for a second wine ration for any who return to attend a service within the month.

For a holiday that revolves around paying taxes, this Abadaran festival is not as reviled as one might expect.[1][2][3][4]

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