Date: Winter Solstice (start), lasts 12 days
According to Nornoriel, there’s ritual sex among the consorts of the King and Queen (on the night before) as well as between the Queen and King (the day of) with public orgies to add fuel. There’s also feasting and the King and Queen do a Krampus and Perchta procession, and then the rest of the days are feasts (presumably on a smaller scale).
My personal deviations prominently include the non-English name (hyphenated here), that the King and Queen are priests Who do not hold these royal titles, and that the priests do not have consorts. There’s also deviation in what happens and Who does what for this day.
These priests serve as a bridge to Horn Father and Star Mother, and there is no guarantee as to how Horn Father and Star Mother may wish to proceed with this holy day. It depends on how the year has transpired and what blessings They feel the land and people of Vanaheim need. Some sort of ritual takes place on the first day followed by a feast. The rest of the days are often family celebrations for many citizens, but there may be additional rituals in some years.
The main ritual may be sexual, but it is not a guarantee. The priest Who serves as the bridge to Star Mother has reenacted Star Mother’s masturbatory creation of all Worlds via ritual masturbation, and the priests have had ritual sex together. Star Mother wanted a ritual for mothers who had lost their children (no matter how old they were) and provided a safe place for grieving and comforting. Horn Father wanted a mirroring ritual for fathers, and the priest orchestrated rituals for other relatives to grieve throughout the 12 days. Just depends.
It’s not uncommon for couples to elect to engage in ritual sex, whether it’s to add fuel to the blessings of the main ritual, for catharsis, or for personal reasons. If the main ritual didn’t include sexual activity and provide space for citizens to also engage in sex, couples often choose to wait until they’re home after the feast. Just because the citizens of Vanaheim can engage in sexual activity publicly, doesn’t mean that they will always do so.
There’s some sort of gift-giving on the first day, usually before the feast, but it isn’t always as Nornoriel has described. Sometimes visiting ambassadors / dignitaries Who are able to [it’s something They already have the power to do] will hand out gifts. In the past, Odin, Kari, and Holda have all done so on this basis. Sometimes Star Mother and Horn Father will want Their priests to do so, and at other times, it’s a matter of drawing Someone’s name out of a hat. Through this method, the leaders of a Tribe, the Prime Minister of Vanaheim, and Deities (as we know Them) have filled this role.
So, the first day has a main ritual decided by Star Mother and Horn Father, gift-giving, and a feast. Various kinds of ambassador events, traveling between Worlds, and Tribe specific rituals often happen for the rest of the 11 days. Two Tribes celebrate each day (including on the main one), so that relatives in other Tribes have time to visit and priests don’t have to do every ritual in one day. The order typically changes every year, and there can be a fair amount of information in flux if you’re not involved in the actual planning of this holy day (such as me). There’s usually a ritual for each World of Yggdrasil, a ritual for non-Norse allies, something to acknowledge the dead, and there can be additional rituals chosen by Star Mother and Horn Father as well.
Observing this holy day:
- With how important the sun is to the land and areas related to the Vanir, I can see acknowledging Sunna as being compatible with a Vanic holy day even though Sunna isn’t classified as Vanic.
- Someone could journey to the Capital and take part in the main ritual, unless indicated that the ritual is ‘non-citizens by invitation only’ that year.
- It’s possible to do ritual sex and/or sex magic, whether solo or partnered, corporeal partner or non-corporeal.
- A candle can be lit, a prayer can be said, or some appropriate action can be taken to acknowledge Star Mother and Horn Father.
- Sharing food and drink with corporeal family and/or non-corporeal family, friends, associates, etc. It just depends on how you handle edible offerings.
- Lighting a candle, sharing an offering, or doing something else to acknowledge two Tribes a day for the 12 days.
- Gift-giving. Christmas will probably be expected for corporeal family, but if you’re giving Someone a gift, there may be a different day that works.
- If you’re close to Someone, you may be able to join in Their family celebrations. It can depend on how close you are, what relationship you have Them, and whether Their job kicks into high-gear around Yule or not.
- Depending on the year, there may be additional rituals and/or counterparts that you can do in Midgard. This will take planned spontaneity in not scheduling too much time for other (known) activities.