The Cleaning of Fishbones

Summer Solstice – the Cleaning of Fishbones. The Cleaning of Fishbones celebrates the many types of harvesting that sustains the Jotun Tribes throughout the year. It depends on the Tribe as to which harvest is the priority, so Tribe specific observances frequently happen throughout the summer and autumn based on when the Tribe needs to perform rites.

Priests and their assistants gather at the Henge to bless the first rounds of harvest and ask for continued bounty. Who offers up what changes from year to year, but Someone will often touch on grain, fruits, nuts, vegetables, fish, other types of seafood, fowl, and other game. Offerings and prayers will bless the canning and preserving underway to store adequate food for the winter as well.

Because the start and end of harvest season differs depending on what is being harvested and where in the three Realms one is, many Jotuns focus on attending Tribe specific rites in the summer and autumn. The extra hours of sunlight on the Cleaning of Fishbones makes it ideal for working longer hours, whether harvesting, canning, or working on other crafts / projects.

The Cleaning of Fishbones isn’t solely about work and harvesting, though. The small feasts that occur throughout the Realms, including at the Henge after the official portion is over, focus not only on freshly harvested food but quite often on seafood. Depending on where one lives in the Realms, this is the main time of the year for fresh seafood to be enjoyed (rather than salted / preserved seafood).

As the sun starts to set, candles are lit and an hour or so of rest is also often part of the day’s activities. Many families enjoy less strenuous activities and games for the rest of the night and toast the sunrise the next morning with a seafood based breakfast. Mead is often symbolically offered up to Sunna to thank Her for working on the longest day of the year as well.

Dignitaries and ambassadors (often including Angrboda) are typically busy with strengthening Vanir / Jotun relations around this holy day. The Vanir don’t have the sole claim on the health and bounty of the land (and magic related to it), but it is unwise to needlessly upset this relationship around an important harvest festival. This often means that the higher ups are engaged in politics, working out trade and merchant information, and attending the Vanic holy day to help create a bridge for the blessings of Vanaheim to help Jotunheim (and to a certain extent, Niflheim and Muspelheim as well).

Observing the Cleaning of Fishbones:

  • Traveling or journeying to the Capital in order to attend astrally may be possible. It may be possible to attend a televised event and family celebration, if you have a relationship with Someone that warrants this inclusion.
  • Sharing a meal with Someone (whether blood Family, chosen Family, or an Ally in the Realm) in a fashion appropriate for you and Them. It would be particularly appropriate to aim for seafood, if you’re able to consume this.
  • Lighting a candle at sunset and doing something creative throughout the night, preferably until sunrise if you can make it.
  • You could also travel to Vanaheim and attend the Lights of the Phoenix observance or otherwise observe it here in Midgard.