Tough Travels: Holidays!

tough travels

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR to all (both to Tough Travelers and other random visitors to this corner of the blogosphere)!! :)

I’m participating in this week’s Tough Travels meme again – hosted by Nathan of Fantasy Review Barn, this is one great way to explore Fantasyland and create lists, YAY! Don’t forget to go and check out what other participating bloggers have put on their lists – my tbr expands every week because of them! :)

This week, we’re exploring HOLIDAYS: because fantasy festivals and feasts are always fun! I just saw an article about holidays in fantasy fiction over at Fantasy Faction, where they expore holidays from a worldbuilding point of view! It’s really interesting. I decided not to include weddings (because they seem to have a bad reputation since George R. R. Martin). There are probably many New Year’s celebrations and random feasts, but I can’t for the life of me remember more than these:

  1. In Patrick Rothfuss’s The Name of The Wind, there’s a week-long holiday in Tarbean called the Winter Pageant, the celebration of the new year. People get their demon masks on and are led through the city streets by the man who dresses up as the demon Encanis. They dance and drink and cause general mayhem, but Encanis is pursued by another man who dresses up as the god Tehlu. On the last day, Encanis gets caught and the new year begins. // Rothfuss also just tweeted that we cannot expect to see Doors of Stone in 2015, so there’s a bummer.
  2. christmas-hogwarts2Christmas in the Harry Potter books by J. K. Rowling. I know Christmas isn’t a true Fantasyland holiday but it’s intriguing nevertheless to see it celebrated in a world of magic. As far as I know, it’s Christmas of the non-religious sort for Harry and his friends, but I find it interesting that they don’t have a different kind of celebration only for the wizarding world.
  3. The Day of Changes in Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. I’m totally cheating with this one because it’s listed in the artice. It’s also a day of dancing, celebration, and balls, and the bad guys in the story use that for their nefarious plans. I have to re-read this trilogy (maybe for my re-reads challenge, plus I would really like to review the books on the blog and I can’t do that with such a wonky memory of the plot).
  4. The Warlord’s Ball in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone. It’s a celebration where all the city of Loramendi gathers and dances in the streets (and the second time Madrigal and Akiva meet). The theme of the ball is “come as you aren’t”, meaning that chimaeras with beast aspect don human-faced masks while those of human aspect put on something animal related. Drunken revelry ensues.

* * *

What holidays made it to your list? Who throws the best party in Fantasyland?

  • Ohhh, I was going to use Christmas in Harry Potter in my list but completely forgot! I love the wizard crackers. HP always makes me feel Christmassy. :D

    • Kaja

      Yep, I agree! I’m always up for a HP rewatch/reread come Christmas, but I didn’t manage this year because of my massive TBR :(
      Thanks for stoping by, Laura! :)

  • The Warlord’s Ball! Great pick. I found that the holiday that seems to crop up the most often is some sort of Midwinter feast celebration, usually a solstice kind of deal. Pretty cool that a lot of those holidays are actually based on pagan holidays!

    • Kaja

      Yes, most of the fantasy worlds seem to have something Yule-like to celebrate. It can be somewhat repetitive – as are most tropes we deal with in Tough Travels. I love this meme exactly because it shows the most common fantasy features!

  • I’m so kicking myself about your Rothfuss and Taylor picks – I knew they had festivals in them but I couldn’t think for the life of me what they were!! My brain is bloody useless!
    Nice going and Happy New Year to you.
    Lynn :D

    • Kaja

      Confession: I spent 20 minutes searching the internet to get Rothfuss’s holiday + I translated Laini Taylor’s books into Slovenian so I know them practically by heart by now. I’d never have remembered otherwise! This was a really hard topic!

      • Translated them professionally? Very cool :)

        • Kaja

          Yep, I work as a freelance translator for the largest publishing house in Slovenia (which is still really tiny compared to anything in the English-speaking world). I just turned in the last edits for Laini Taylor’s Dreams of Gods and Monsters :)

    • I only just finished The Name of the Wind so that festival was still fresh in my mind (plus there’s a nice Kingkiller wiki to help me with details.) Nice list!

      • Kaja

        I use these Wikis all the time – for Rothfuss, Jordan, Martin! There are way too many names and places for me to remember everything, so they’re really useful!
        Thanks for stopping by!

  • I managed a few Terry Pratchett holidays, but that was it – drew a complete blank this week.

    • Kaja

      I think next week should be better – at least it looks this way! :)
      Thanks for the comment, Bob!

  • Great list! Love the Daughter of Smoke and Bone pick!

    • Kaja

      Thanks, Lisa! :) I really like Laini Taylor’s books.

  • Had I known Fantasy Faction had an article I would have totally cheated as well. Everyone remembered Lies of Locke Lamora but me.

    • Kaja

      This was a really tough week and I think every single one of us wrote something along the lines of “I can’t think of any more, goddammit”. :)

  • Nice job on the one in Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I always seem to forget YA in these Tough Traveling lists, and they’re usually full of great stuff. I loved the scene in the Warlord’s Ball too when they first meet off the battlefield (and Akiva’s, like, not half-dead :P )

    • Kaja

      Mm, yes, I love how they’re drawn together despite her reluctance. And that he risks his life coming into Loramendi! So romantic :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lol, I reckon Christmas is definitely a fantasyland holiday! It’s basically our version of the Winter Solstice (admittedly a couple of days off and with lots of added religious bits, but still…). I was always jealous I couldn’t celebrate at Hogwarts!

    • Kaja

      Hi, so sorry for the late reply! :)
      Yeah, I was always jealous of the Hogwarts food. I mostly just eat muesli or something for breakfast but would love a full English breakfast served every day without having to do the dishes :) And the Christmas decorations were always crazy!