May 3rd – Rising of Our Stars. The Rising of Our Stars celebrates the beginning of summer and family.
Angrboda often gives a televised blessing for the Tribes, lights a candle, and ends the official portion with “May you not howl alone today”. Everyone gathers at designated locations in their Tribe / Realm to watch, light candles, and howl afterwards. The brunt of this celebration is the feasting and games that happens afterwards where the Tribes celebrate being a Family (think of a family reunion and multiply).
The candles stay lit throughout the day and are typically watched over by the elders who tell stories of the Tribe, ancestors, and current family members. Besides storytelling, the elders often work on projects (sewing, knitting, carving, repairing nets, etc.) and catch up with extended family. The many families within the Family often only meet up in such a fashion for weddings, funerals, and on this holy day.
Those seeking to have children but experiencing difficulties often seek out diviners and priests for the Tribe to work out solutions. Untangling wyrd through discussions with partners, offerings, and prayers often happens, as well as magic for conceiving. Mediation between partners, friends, and family happens, and today is a good time for strengthening ties between Tribes (many associate with one Family officially but have relatives in several).
There are games and competitions for adults and children. These include agility courses, knife throwing, judging animals and crafts for prizes, various kinds of races, and depending on the Tribe and how they’re affiliated with Midgard crossover competitions from our World. Children often enjoy racing and tag in their shifted form, in addition to learning skills and competing in child friendly versions of the adult games.
Children who have been born since the last Rising of Our Stars are blessed by priests, and offerings and prayers for their good health are said. Craftsmen and workers (farmers, fishers, etc.) often seek out blessings for their work as well, and various booths can be found to purchase crafts and supplies. These often include booths and wares from other Tribes, as intermarriage among Tribes is common.
While those with children are included in the crafters and workers, the representatives of the different fields of work are often childless in the blessing rites to honor family members who do not or cannot have children. Single Jotnar also represent the Family in blessings for the health of the Tribe as they prepare for winter to honor and acknowledge those who don’t prioritize marriage / partnership.
Vanir who married into Tribes typically celebrate a close Vanic holy day (Dance of the Lovers on May 1st) with feasting and sex on that day. They often request putting up a small pole at the Tribe celebration on this day to weave ribbons for blessings in the year to come. Sometimes it’s a small family within the Family affair, but if a fair number of Vanir are in attendance, a large pole is erected and they all dance to weave the ribbons.
After a final meal together that often lasts past sundown, the elders pray one last time for their Tribe before using the candles to light a bonfire (and often blowing the candles out). The priests and diviners can be sought for advice, while the merchants with their booths often pack up and leave with the families. Couples or individuals who desire privacy about counseling and/or need to discuss magic and courses of action ‘borrowed from the night’ (what humans would consider cursing and ‘baneful’ magic) are often the ones who stay behind. The priests and diviners are available until sunrise when the bonfire is extinguished and everyone returns to their homes.
Observing Rising of Our Stars:
- It may be possible to travel / journey and 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.
- Lighting a candle for Someone and Their Tribe.
- Enjoying games and a meal with your family, even if you can’t hold a large family reunion.
- Depending in your interactions and relations with the Vanir, elements of observing the Dance of the Lovers may be applicable (such as the pole and weaving ribbons).