Races and the holidays...

Wyrmrest Accord
Greetings all,

With Winter's Veil coming, and organizing a role-play event (Midwinter Gala in Silvermoon), my thoughts dwell on why the different races celebrate the holidays.

I know we can look up the meaning of the holidays and why they exist. But it seems to be, the reason one race (for example, Tauren) would celebrate a particular holiday (ie Hallow's End: Forsaken liberation from the Scourge) doesn't seem all that clear.

In that line of thinking, why would the Blood Elves, celebrate and decorate for Winter's Veil in a land of eternal spring?

Thoughts on why certain races celebrate any and all holidays?
I think Blood Elves probably take a lot of excuses to drink heavily, dress scantily and seize presents from each other.
For a lot of the races, it'd probably just be hard to not at least take a passing interest when the rest of their allies are throwing around confetti, offering gifts of tangible value to one another, and being visited by a crusty old dwarf and his goblin helpers. Or when they're building giant wicker statues with the expressed purpose of burning.
Ideas I had...

    One more journey around the eternal sun complete?

    The blessings of magic to avoid Winter in Quel'thalas?

    And, of course, the obvious coming of more sunlight (assuming days in Azeroth get longer and shorter)
I headcanon that mages in SMC create very localized snowdrifts for ambiance and for the kids to play in. And that the environmental spells no longer work in the Ghostlands, so those who work at clearing out the Scourge remnants do experience real winter.

Also,

11/26/2016 10:13 AMPosted by Enekie
I think Blood Elves probably take a lot of excuses to drink heavily, dress scantily and seize presents from each other.
What's strange is that according to chronicles, Blood Elves typically ABHOR snow, seeing as during their original trek to what would become Quel'thalas, the Highborne suffered through a long and terrible winter, they would have died if not for the aid of a few sympathetic Humans...

Perhaps it could be a sign that even after all of the trials and tribulation that the elves have been through, they've still made it, it is near the end of the year after all, so why not have it be a sign that, "Quel'thalas shall remain here, no matter what this new year brings!"
The holidays celebrated around this time of year usually always symbolise more light (hope) coming into the world. The beginning of longer days, spring will be here soon, etc.

Thats why we hang lights on everything.

I'd love to find some headcanon for myself that has some connection to this. But the Elves have Spring all the time, they are never waiting for it and they are never in fear of not eating.
Gnomes probably inherited the custom from Dwarves, bringing their own little tidbits into it. Of course, there were a few that probably wanted to avoid the ravages of winter in general that made a region-wide climate change device, to some success. And so was made the first electric space heater.
11/26/2016 01:11 PMPosted by Axiann
I'd love to find some headcanon for myself that has some connection to this. But the Elves have Spring all the time, they are never waiting for it and they are never in fear of not eating.


Because Praise the Sun
With Hallow's End, everyone has suffered from the Lich King, and the reason for celebrating it changed from its past too. So the Forsaken celebrate a defeat of the lich king with a holiday that has variants in other cultures, being a time of spirits and harvest, so when Azeroth starts becoming more global, their way spreads through the cultures of both factions.

As for Belves and Winter's Veil, I'd say it's celebrating the fact that their power prevents it within their borders. They can certainly live long enough that for some of them, their grandparents could be the ones who actually settled the nation. They went through a frigid hell, as largely former aristocrats. Winter's Veil could basically be celebrating "We don't have to go through that darkness and cold anymore. We're so awesome, it sucks out there!" And as a side note, I think one, that's probably the biggest reason they rejected Elune, more than politics, winter sucks and winter at night sucks harder. Also, I'd figure they have some of the biggest celebrations during midsummer, and it's the time of year they REALLY cut loose. (Seriously, that's a very authoritarian city with strict rules)

I love these thought experiments.
Before, I used to imagine that when Hallows end was celebrated by just the Horde, the developers let the Alliance celebrate because of Gameplay reasons, but couldn't come up with a good idea on WHY the Alliance celebrated it, hence why some of the revelers would ask "Why are we celebrating this if we aren't Forsaken?"

Then Cataclysm came in and Genn gives this speech before throwing the torch at the Wickerman.

Sons and daughters of Gilneas! Friends and allies old and new! Please, come close!
As you know, Hallows End is a celebration of transition... of change.
The people of Gilneas understand the gravity of change all too well.
For we have endured much... far beyond what any of us could have imagined.
However, this is a time of neither mourning nor grief.
It is an opportunity to mock the fearsome - to gaze boldly into the grim unknown and laugh!
It is a time to celebrate new friends and the future we may forge together.
New struggles await us with each dawn, and uncertainty weighs upon us all.
As you stand before me, I pray you cast your burdens behind me.
Let this wickerman embody any unrest within us.
With turmoil as tinder, let it blaze; may it temper us against what tomorrow may bring.
Genn turns around to face the Wickerman and takes out a torch as he orders it.
Torches ready!
Let the flames fly! Hallow's End is upon us!


I like the idea that both factions celebrate the same holiday for different reasons, the Horde celebrates it because it marks the day that the Forsaken broke free from the Lich King and regained their free will, the wickerman being burned as
a metaphore that they are not ashamed of what they are, and that they won't stand idly by should anyone try to wipe them off the face of the land.

The Alliance celebrates it as a season of change, when the leaves turn brown, when the air turns cold, and the passing of time, change can be frightening and people are less likely to trust something that they aren't used to, the Wickerman here is burned as a metaphore for leaving their doubts behind them, to burn away the regrets that they may feel when they make the changes they need to survive, to throw away the fears and keep moving on.
My troll and his family celebrate it cos it's a Horde holiday. They are Horde.
What we do though, we wrap and give out gifts to people. It makes Ty happy to make others happy.
most likely picked it up from the humans. We did help them out in the Troll Wars, kinda helped found Dalaran. Like material goods, ideas also get exchanged in trade
Night Elves probably celebrate it in a similar way as the Tauren do, as in they are celebrating the coming of winter. They also probably throw in some Elune, for that Night Elven flavor.
Pandaren celebrate because food.
11/26/2016 10:13 AMPosted by Enekie
I think Blood Elves probably take a lot of excuses to drink heavily, dress scantily and seize presents from each other.


That's called a normal Saturday.
11/27/2016 02:44 PMPosted by Banrok
Before, I used to imagine that when Hallows end was celebrated by just the Horde, the developers let the Alliance celebrate because of Gameplay reasons, but couldn't come up with a good idea on WHY the Alliance celebrated it, hence why some of the revelers would ask "Why are we celebrating this if we aren't Forsaken?"

Then Cataclysm came in and Genn gives this speech before throwing the torch at the Wickerman.

Sons and daughters of Gilneas! Friends and allies old and new! Please, come close!
As you know, Hallows End is a celebration of transition... of change.
The people of Gilneas understand the gravity of change all too well.
For we have endured much... far beyond what any of us could have imagined.
However, this is a time of neither mourning nor grief.
It is an opportunity to mock the fearsome - to gaze boldly into the grim unknown and laugh!
It is a time to celebrate new friends and the future we may forge together.
New struggles await us with each dawn, and uncertainty weighs upon us all.
As you stand before me, I pray you cast your burdens behind me.
Let this wickerman embody any unrest within us.
With turmoil as tinder, let it blaze; may it temper us against what tomorrow may bring.
Genn turns around to face the Wickerman and takes out a torch as he orders it.
Torches ready!
Let the flames fly! Hallow's End is upon us!


I like the idea that both factions celebrate the same holiday for different reasons, the Horde celebrates it because it marks the day that the Forsaken broke free from the Lich King and regained their free will, the wickerman being burned as
a metaphore that they are not ashamed of what they are, and that they won't stand idly by should anyone try to wipe them off the face of the land.

The Alliance celebrates it as a season of change, when the leaves turn brown, when the air turns cold, and the passing of time, change can be frightening and people are less likely to trust something that they aren't used to, the Wickerman here is burned as a metaphore for leaving their doubts behind them, to burn away the regrets that they may feel when they make the changes they need to survive, to throw away the fears and keep moving on.


I was so thrilled when they added Gilnean reasoning to the Alliance version... Because it coincides almost perfectly with the pagan celebration of Samhain. Adding that in with Celestine, the harvest witch, was a nice touch.

Very much appreciated by this IRL-pagan.
(Real life pagan here as well)

:)

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