Remember, remember the 5th of November. Gunpowder, Treason and Plot I know of no reason Why gunpowder treason Should ever be forgot
Guy Fawkes Night
In the UK, Guy Fawkes Night is a pretty big deal. Random fireworks will go off every night for about a week beforehand. On the 5th, Brits gather at bonfires to eat, chat and bask in the warmth of the flames (whilst their back-half freezes in the autumn chill). An effigy of Guy is often burnt and a shower of fireworks will crack and sparkle overhead before the crowd slumps off home.
It gets very serious in some places, the bonfire night at Lewes (Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes Night are the same thing) is a particularly big deal. A procession is made through the town with various burning objects and effigies of various well–known persons are set aflame.
If you’re not British (or Commonwealth) and you know Guy Fawkes Night from anywhere, you probably know it from V for Vendetta. The traditional intent of Guy Fawkes Night is to remember/commemorate a failed attempt by Catholic rebels to blow up the Houses of Parliament, blowing up the protestant King James VI and I (he was the 6th King James of Scotland and the 1st King James of England and Ireland) and the majority of the upper crust of British politicians in the process. The intent of V in V for Vendetta is to remind the people of the UK that they should strike out against tyrannical rule and rebel on-mass against the facist party which rules the UK in the story.
Ed Balls Day
On the 28th of April, 2011, prominent Labour politician Ed Balls accidentally posted ‘Ed Balls’ on twitter.
Ten years later, some British people still celebrate Ed Balls Day, wherein adherents greet each-other by saying some variation on ‘Happy Ed Balls Day‘ or remind others of that great day by typing those immortal words into their social media and hitting enter.
So apparently Brits will turn anything into a tradition.
I’ve played through startlingly few day-specific festivals in roleplaying-games. Maybe its due to the slow progression of real-time relative to the in-fiction calendar year (which can be fixed by truncating the calendar year as I’ve previously suggested). Or maybe it’s because it’s one of those things that we forget to put into games which could really add to the verisimilitude.
Tables with which one can generate annual village festivals
|d3||Type of festival|
|d6 twice||Deity to be worshipped||How it is worshipped|
|1||fertility frog-god, bloated, four-eyed||a sacrifice is burnt alive|
|2||the guiding twin-stars of the night||sweet goods are baked and shared on the village green|
|3||a laughing baby, personifying fortune||a full-contact race to the peak of the nearest hill and back|
|4||the great lidless eye of foresight||floating animal effigies are cast down-river|
|5||Grom the destroyer, the foe-slayer||a sun-up to sun-down day of silence with a big shindig at the end|
|6||the lady of the dead, clad in white robes||a candle-light chanting procession around the village|
|d6 twice||Event to be commemorated||How it is remembered|
|1||a local battle||a barn dance|
|2||a notable birth||a great communal feast|
|3||the death of a local hero||a good old-fashioned apple-harvest|
|4||the founding of the village||a march or parade|
|5||the defeat of a local monster||a story-telling competition|
|6||the completion of the village church||a midnight bonfire|
|d6||Event to be ironically commemorated and how it is commemorated|
|1||a miserably romantic marriage proposal – a bad-poetry competition|
|2||the time an annoying lord came to visit – a parade of animals dressed in human clothes|
|3||the time someone got stuck in a rabbit-hole – the village gathers for a rabbit-themed-feast|
|4||the time someone fell of their stool – kicking seating out from under others|
|5||when the local priest said ‘dow do you who’ instead of ‘how do you do’ – ‘dow do you who’ is the greeting of the day|
|6||an absolutely dreadful pie Old Mrs Higgins once made – the villagers take turns knocking on Mrs Higgins door begging for pie|