The counterpart to Samha, Byltan is a celebration of love, life and fertility and during this night we pay special homage and honour to love in all its forms, be it between lovers, family members or friends. Dancing, drinking, stories, poetry and songs are the order of the holiday. Making merry and enjoying life is the command.
We opened this year’s Byltan with a small ritual to welcome all attendees and to celebrate spring and love in all its forms. The Priestesses lit ceremonial fires and beseeched the Goddess and Aessina for their blessings for the Festival. Then the attendees got to walk through the Gate of Spring Fires and enter the festival grounds.
During Byltan last year, the festival hosts put on a play based on the much beloved story of Elune and Malorne. This year attendees were able to enjoy a newly written play! The play had basis in kaldorei culture and celebrated love and devotion to family, as well as explored the topic of faith. The play was called “The Stormcrows” and, while not as lighthearted as the play of Elune and Malorne, it seemed to engage the audience emotionally.
During the festival there was also a costume contest based around the festival’s theme of love and life. We invited those who wished to participate in the contest to find someone to partner up with and create a look based around a significant relationship! No solo entries were permitted to enter the contest this time. We had three lovely entries: a couple representing the unorthodox union between a Highborne and a druid, a duo representing the union of two peoples – kaldorei and gilnean, and lastly a druid and her squirrel representing the bond with nature.
The kaldorei have a tradition of sharing kinship bracers with their friends and loved ones. These bracelets are given as a sign of friendship, devotion, love or courtship. Perhaps you want to gift one to that special someone because you want to prove your love and devotion, offer a kinship in blood, have a special connection or even just want to treasure a very special friendship? Regardless of the thought behind it, these bracers will symbolize the bond that has been forged between the individuals.
During the festival a workshop was held for those who wished to learn how to make kinship bracers. The workshop gathered quite the crowd and some wonderful creations were made.
After the play and the costume contest is done, we invited those who wishe to take the stage and entertain us with songs, poems, stories or dances. There were some songs performed and also an impromptu Moonball tournament to the joy of the attendees.
For the festival we had invited stallholders and merchants to come along and peddle their wares! There was food, drinks, jewellry, and other interesting goods being sold. There was also a saber cat petting zoo which was intensely popular!
This year’s Byltan ended with a short closing ritual where the Priestesses once again asked for Elune’s and Aessina’s blessings upon all those in attendance. The ritual encouraged wisps from the surrounding forest to come forth and make trees grow and bloom in the places where the ritual braziers had been burning during the opening ritual.
All screenshots taken by Falyra and edited by Tinwëtar.
Thanks to Ialluen, Telariel, Delanae, Kathene, Aariam, Akylath, Mimerss, Gwyddhienne, Annaeya, Highborne, Kai’Todan and all stallholders for making this such a wonderful festival!