The ideas and concepts below were originally developed by several people from <Silvereye> on Argent Dawn EU. The holidays have been rewritten and edited by Ialluen and Tinwëtar, and the addition of Zin Kalar’ilah is by Ialluen and Telariel. The following content is strictly fan-made and should not be interpreted as official lore.
The first day of the New Elunian Calendar is the sacrifice of Nordrassil at the cessation of the Third War. The calendar is a variation of the traditional calendars from ancient kaldorei society and has been adapted in conjunction with the calendars of the Grand Alliance.
However, the kaldorei are not ones to shed millennia of tradition. They still celebrate the new year in accordance to their ancient lunisolar calendar, which is based on both moon phases and the time of the solar year. The celebration is known commonly as the Lunar Festival, and it is typically hosted by the druids of Nighthaven, who track the lunisolar calendar.
Known as the month of the “Opening Gate”, Xallvar is conveniently thought of as a month of new beginnings. The month follows the end of Norothil and the ancient celebration of Illthanyn, more commonly known as The Cleanse.
The month of the kimchi, or the sowing month. Astrahe is the time of year when the preservers of the Sentinel Army harvest fresh winter crops such as cabbage, radish, beets, and more to make rations for the army.
Dedicated in part to Ysera the Aspect of the Green Dragonflight, Yseralla is commonly known as the month of green grass or the month of the last frost. It is during Yseralla that the ice of winter seeps up from the soil and the earth becomes soft enough to cultivate.
The priests and priestesses of the Sisterhood of Elune hold Eludore with some significance, and denote it as the birth of Elune’s motherhood to all life on Azeroth. Commonly referred to as the month of Mother Moon and the birth of the Spring season. It is during Eludore that the kaldorei celebrate Imbel, a holiday that honors wisdom and knowledge gained in a lifetime.
Farhal is the month of culture and tradition, but is also recognized as the month of fertility. Many kaldorei towns and cities celebrate Byltan, the celebration of life. These celebrations typically involve cultural displays of dance, theatre, poetry and art as well as the consumption of large quantities of holiday spirits.
Sellistre marks the beginning of summer and is branded as the month of fortune, fashion and marriage, but is commonly called “Artisans Month” or “Hunters Month”. Traditionally, Sellistre signifies bountiful hunts, young love, and bright colors. It is prosperous for artisans especially, for the surplus in crafting materials that can be found in the wilds.
Named “High Month” to signify the peak of summer, Quel’Astra also serves as a reminder of a bygone era. In the summer heat, natural arcane magic flows more freely throughout the lands of Kalimdor. Quel’Asta is the time for creating new moonwells and purifying the land of unwelcome magical forces.
By tradition, the month of Mennare is the month of kinship, competition, and pride. Kaldorei friends and families often come together during this month to host parties, religious gatherings, and athletic competitions.
According to ancient astronomers, this month was named for the point in time when Elune gave birth to the children of the stars. Any historical documentation of the event has been lost to the ages, but the kaldorei honor the month as their birth month nonetheless, and it is celebrated with great feasts.
This new month of the Elunian calendar has been named “Guardians Month” in celebration of the Watchers and Sentinel Army, two revolutionary organizations that have protected the kaldorei people from the enemies of Elune for thousands of years. It is a time of honor, justice and patience.
Called the month of “Lingering Spirits”, Curuhen marks a spiritual time when the spirits of the forest cull life from the last tree and preserve it through winter. For most kaldorei, Curuhen is a time for farewell, when ancestors are remembered and preparations for winter are made.
The month of Norothil marks the beginning of the winter season and the rebirth of the sky. It is during this time, commonly called the dark month or the moonless month, that the sky becomes pregnant with clouds and sheds its annual light. Traditionally, kaldorei make sacrificial offerings to Elune and hang dreamcatchers over their beds to ward against misfortune for the coming year.
Festivals and Holidays
Purpose: The Lunar New Year
Summary: A time to remember the wisdom and heroes of ages past, mainly the war of Ancients. In this, the Kaldorei also honour Elune and her power, and make offerings to bring good fortune for the coming year.
Description: The Lunar Festival is a time of celebration, but it is also a time of reflection and remembrance. The people of Azeroth come together to celebrate their triumph over the Burning Legion many thousands of years ago. During that time the forces of the Kaldorei, Tauren, furbolgs and earthen banded together to put an end to the first incursion of the Legion into Azeroth. During the Lunar Festival, wisdom, stories, and memories of those ancient ages are shared, and tales of old are told to inspire valour in the participants. Food and gifts are shared, and there are not seldom bright displays of fireworks in celebration of the occasion. It is also not uncommon to walk pilgrimages in honour of the Ancients of old, sharing their tales.
The Lunar festival is commonly celebrated in Nighthaven, beginning at the first turn of a new lunar cycle in early Astrahe. Whilst it is an important festival and celebration, the season has split the Kaldorei in twain through the last decade – those who believe it has become a bit too big of a celebration with too much circus and colour, and those who believe that any celebration venerating the victory over the Burning Legion deserves all the spectacle Nighthaven can muster. Regardless of what camp one belongs in, The Lunar Festival is a holiday sure to bring the Kaldorei together, all in bright colours for celebrating the arrival of a new year.
Rituals are often hosted by either priestesses of the Sisterhood, or druids of The Cenarion Circle. This is a rare occasion where memories take precedence over religion and faith, thus the ceremonies are a little more varying in nature than during some of the more traditional and religiously inclined holidays.
Date: Yseralla (Spring Equinox)
Purpose: The spring equinox has arrived, and the time has come to celebrate the beginning of spring.
Summary: With the arrival of the spring equinox, the season turn from darker to lighter, and thus, nature awakens anew. Life blooms in glades and woods across Kalimdor once more. Thus, Imbel is commonly celebrated as the start of spring itself.
Description: The Kaldorei are closely tied to nature, and as the cycle turns, the spring equinox marks the birth and beginning of spring. A time not for harvest, but appreciation of what nature will grow into with the returning daylight, and this is a holiday commonly celebrated where one might find markings of nature’s beginnings. In a glade with trees yet to bloom, in flowerbeds about to sprout, or by the shores of springs that are yet to flow into rivers. The traditional colours of Imbel are green and white, and even if the celebration is closely tied to what would be commonly thought of as druidic, Imbel ceremonies do not necessarily lack religious markers. Even if Imbel itself does not mark a new year, it celebrates renewal in many ways, and thus, offerings are made to the Goddess in seeking protection for new undertakings, beginnings, and relationships.
The Sisterhood celebrates Imbel as a rite of renewal and growth, and an initiation or an ascension within the Sisterhood around Imbel is considered a good sign in someone’s future religious undertakings. Similarly, The Cenarion Circle celebrates the birth of spring as an important holiday. Despite the importance of the event, it is seldom celebrated in grand festivals and similar, but more so in smaller, more intimate ceremonies.
Date: Farhal (Height of Spring)
Purpose: The Celebration of Life and Kin alike
Summary: The counterpart to Samha, Byltan is a celebration of all that lives and breathes, and the ties that binds everything together.
Description: Byltan is celebrated as a rite of High Spring, and along with nature and the wilds, it venerates the kinship, love, and relationships the Kaldorei have for one another. It is a counterpart to Samha and lies around half a cycle earlier, in the latter months of spring. As opposed to Imbel, this is normally celebrated in a much grander fashion, with festivals, flowers, songs, dance, tales told in fashions big and small and in the company of the masses. It is not unusual that stories about Elune and Malorne or Elune and the Blue Child are told during this holiday, as they are well known tales of kinship and love. In celebrating companionship, the Kaldorei celebrates life itself, and this is often paired with veneration for of the wild god Aessina. She is the ever-beating heart of the woods itself, a constant companion to anyone calling the woods of Kalimdor their home.
Commonly, the Kaldorei trade kinship bracers with one another during the festivities, and the practise of sharing things between one another in general is of utmost importance. In a way, Byltan can be described as a celebration of love, but not only the kind of love that manifests between two partners. Love within a family, between siblings or friends are just as important. Rumour suggests that relationships confirmed between Imbel and Byltan will be blessed with joy and longevity, and likely to last a lifetime. In the northernmost parts of Kalimdor, it is around Byltan the stars leave the skies, only to be welcomed back by Zin’kalar’ilah.
Jokingly, it is said that in smaller communities, members of the Sisterhood and The Cenarion Circle have closed celebrations between the two groups exclusively. Rumours say that Byltan is the time to celebrate the union and respect between these two organisations that have had such a great impact upon Kaldorei society. Whether this is true or not, however, is frequently debated. But there is no doubt no lack of humour to be had from these secretive celebrations – if they do happen, that is. Given the implications and the season…
Date: Sellistre (Summer Solstice)
Purpose: The Great Hunt
Summary: With the sun at its highest point in the skies, the Kaldorei gather to celebrate the height of summer and the land being fertile and in brightest bloom, all in the colours of gold and yellow.
Description: As a festival dedicated to the short night and the fires of summer, Jurina’tore is rarely celebrated in any discrete or low-down fashion. In grand festivals with markets, food and music aplenty, it marks a counterpoint to Illthanyn as the cycle of the year has turned halfway. A bountiful festival of plenty. From Jurina’tore and onwards, the nights grow darker again, and the event marks an important turn of the season and the light of the day and night. It is also not without reason that Jurina’tore is called The Great Hunt. Aside from the general merriment and religious celebrations, the holiday itself commonly venerates Malorne. The more eager participants in the festivities commonly join The Great Hunt – a rapid quest through the woods and wilds for the wisdom shared by the spirits. The chase itself is largely symbolic in nature, and the participants are often dressed in fashions mimicking animals or other denizens of the woods as they set off to find those of their kin representing The White Stag. The stags are hidden away throughout the forest and are ready to impart their wisdom upon the participants. Once the winners are crowned, there is almost always a great feast to be had. Perhaps it goes without saying that Jurina’tore tends to be one of the wilder celebrations of the year, and that it is not uncommon to see many a tired reveller the night after – unless the festivities are still ongoing, of course. Which is likely.
As with so many other celebrations, the religiously inclined Kaldorei make offerings to Elune, as well as Malorne. As with most of the holidays, Jurina’tore is celebrated and observed within both The Sisterhood and The Cenarion Circle through offerings and ceremonies, but more so within the Circle than The Sisterhood. It is the height of summer after all, and there is no better point to celebrate all that grows when the wilds are at their most alive.
Date: Mid Mennare (When the skies darken anew)
Purpose: The glory of the stars’ return
Summary: Zin Kalar’Ilah is celebrated early on in Mennare a few moons after the solstice has passed. The purpose of the festivities is to celebrate the night’s return, where the sky yet again will darken enough for the stars to be visible and for the light of Elune and her handmaidens to illuminate the nights once more.
Description: The stars’ return is a time to honour the Mother’s blessing upon the Children of the Stars, and should be celebrated where the sky can be seen both above and below – where the stars can reflect upon the surface of a calm lake, and where the moonlight accompanying them will make the quiet ripples on the water shimmer. The greatest difference between the lighter and darker nights are observed further north – hence it is a more common celebration amongst elves of northern heritage than it is for most others. The celebration holds a very special place for those within the Sisterhood.
An event like this is usually celebrated in Moonglade, where Lake Elun’ara and its undisturbed surface of holy water are unobscured by verdant boughs and tall trees. Even if Zin Kalar’Ilah might not be comparable to Jurina’tore or Illthanyn in celestial importance and occurrence, it still offers a valuable reason for a northbound pilgrimage for many of the more religiously inclined Kaldorei. For certain parts of the Sisterhood especially, this is a holiday in which gratitude to Elune is both shown and celebrated extensively, and for many it marks an opportunity to renew one’s faith.
Date: Kaldore (Autumnal Equinox)
Purpose: The Watchers Flame
Summary: A celebration dedicated to the turning of the season, as the wilds shift colours to bright reds and golds. A marker of the dark night’s dominion over the light days. A time for reflection.
Description: Much like Imbel, the counterpoint of Illuridei, the holiday is celebrated in recognition of a stellar event – this time, the autumnal equinox. Illuridei is also called The Watcher’s Flame, and normally celebrated in woods and wilds where the Kaldorei make their home. Ashenvale forest tends to be a popular place for the holiday in question. The ceremony is held at night, and commonly involves a procession of revellers dressed in the red and orange hues of autumn. All carry lanterns which are lit along the way. The lighting of the lanterns is a symbolic gesture, as the Kaldorei ask the Goddess to bless their people with her guiding light for the season to come. Other ways of celebrating the holiday include shorter pilgrimages, as well as ceremonies that observe past wisdom, reflections of the past year, as well as a petition for the Goddess to offer her guidance and wisdom for the months to come. These ceremonies are commonly hosted by priestesses from the Sisterhood. The Sisterhood also mark this as a common point for acolytes and younglings to reflect upon their teachings and make no secret of celebrating the holiday amongst themselves and with the communities they serve.
Much like any other celebration during the cycle of the year, this too is celebrated with foods of different kinds, but the feasts of Illuridei tend to stand out from the rest. The reason why is because they are made for the sake of celebrating the harvests the wilds have blessed the Kaldorei with for the past year. Fruits and nuts are especially bountiful, together with colourful vegetables and creative dishes showcasing the best of what the woods have to offer. Tales of reflection are also commonly shared during the feasts, but in a more subdued and calm fashion than the tales shared during the springtime celebrations.
Purpose: Night of Lingering Spirits
Summary: The veil between life and the afterlife thins, and the winter is nearing. The time has come to celebrate what has passed during the cycle.
Description: Samha is the counterpoint to Byltan, and an unusually clear one at that. Where Byltan is celebrated in bright colours, Samha is done so in darker garb. Called The Night of the Ancestors for a reason, this is where the Kaldorei look back towards the past cycle to remember what has been and what has passed, as well as celebrating what could have been. This is most clearly manifested in venerating the dead and those that has passed away during the cycle that has passed. An important celebration in every way, but also a more serious and respectful one in tone. Ceremonies invoking the protection and care of the Goddess for deceased kin are enacted, and tales told in their memory, as well as celebrating their examples are all common and important parts of the night. Shrines to the Ancients are visited, where one honours their sacrifice, and burial grounds, glades or memorial marks are tended to and cared for as a sign of respect to those that has left the waking world in favour of Elune’s embrace. A common, more public tradition in villages or public celebrations, involves tying ribbons of different colours to a tree or by a central moonwell. One ribbon each for the deceased to remember, all whilst their names are spoken.
Even if it is a celebration commonly tinted by sorrow, Samha is more than that. The Sisterhood observes it to honour what has been, and The Cenarion Circle does so to observe the coming dormancy of nature for the winter. Even the common Kaldorei might move past sorrow alone and recognise Samha as a time of sharing tales and memories of their past loved ones and celebrate the life they lived.
Date: Norothil (Winter Solstice)
Purpose: The Cleansing and the New Beginning
Summary: The land lies cold and dormant, and sometimes even frozen. As it does, new beginnings are celebrated as the cycle turns anew, and the solstice heralds the return of warmth and light.
Description: Illthanyn marks the longest night of the year, and with that, the touch of the Goddess is never as present as during the winter solstice. In this touch, the light of Elune heals, mends and cleanses her beloved children and thus, the night is celebrated as a point of renewal. As the dark colours of Samha are cast aside, the time for remembrance is replaced by the bright white and silvers of moonlight and rebirth. To many of the Kaldorei outside the Sisterhood, this marks an obvious celebration to Elune, as her favoured children gather around moonwells and shrines alike, all in the presence of those of the Sisterhood. Blessings are bestowed upon the revellers, seeking wisdom, strength, and health for the new cycle to come. It is not uncommon for those seeking to pilgrimage, to do so to places with snow, as the moonlight is clearly reflected against the wilds clad in white. That alone might grant a feeling of a cleansing. In places like these, the celebration continues through the night with warm drinks, food to share, freshly baked bread and gathering around fires with kin.
Illthanyn is not called “The Cleansing” without good reason. It is in the light of Elune that the Kaldorei gather to not only receive her blessing, but also to let go of the past that still might weight heavy upon the Children of the Stars. Be it sorrows or troubles from the cycle that has come and gone, be it memories one would rather forget or tales one wish untold. In letting go of the past, there is a spiritual cleansing, a new beginning, and marking the Winter Solstice as the point where one looks ahead from.
As opposed to many of the celebrations through the year, Illthanyn is somewhat forgotten by the Cenarion Circle. The wilds lie dormant, and resting, and many of the circle instead choose to wander the dream in the absence growth in the waking world. The Sisterhood however, recognises the holiday as one of many important events. One looks to where the moon phases will be during the year, and Illthanyn falling on a new moon or a full moon is seen as a good sign. It is especially common for a Novice to start her studies around Illthanyn, as it marks a new beginning and a cleansing from what has been – a good sign for a student to be.