The Forgotten Realms: The Lady Silver
Festivals and Holy Days
As Waterdeep is home to all manner of churches, cults, sects, nationalities, and racial groups, almost every calendar day is celebrated by one group or another, and not a tenday goes by without some local festival in one of the smaller neighborhoods of the city.
The City of Splendors has long been tolerant of all such activities, so long as they do not violate the law or interfere with the fl ow of commerce. Waterdhavians became blasé about
such public displays long ago, and most celebrations draw little more than a casual glance or a curse of annoyance when they momentarily get in the way. Nevertheless, in addition to the standard festivals of the Calendar of Harptos, there are several other noteworthy festivals and holidays observed in the City of Splendors.
Celebrated on the first day of Eleasis, in honor of the Old Mage’s birthday, this holiday does not affect the city’s operation (aside from closing the Lord’s Court). It is honored in small ways, with many toasts to the Lords of the city in tavern talk, bards performing songs in honor of the much-loved Old Mage, and the leaving of violets at the base of Ahghairon’s Tower, the Plinth, or atop the altars of the House of Wonder. The Open Lord often visits
taverns and inns throughout the city to wish the people well, a practice continued by Novrember over the years, despite two assassination attempts during such visits.
Serving more to ward off the Frostmaiden than as a true celebration, this holy day is observed on the day of winter’s first frost. Nearly everyone in the city wears white clothes, no one eats or serves hot meals, and vendors are largely absent from the streets. In the past century, a disrespectful lark by some unclothed and besotted young nobles
has become a traditional part of the Auril’s Day ceremonies; as such, a parade of white-cloaked (but otherwise naked) men and women runs from Cliffwatch in North Ward across the city, through the West Gate, and out onto the westernmost beaches. From there, the participants leap into the icy waters of the Sea of Swords, thus sacrificing their warmth to the Cold Goddess.
Spanning the last tenday in Ches, this mariners’ festival celebrates the sea, the sea trades, and the gods of the sea. Events are concentrated primarily in Dock Ward, although the
Fiery Flagon in Sea Ward sees a great deal of activity as well. Notable events include boat races (involving both private boats and the navy’s rakers), the annual Shipwrights’ Ball at
the Shipwrights’ House, and guild-sponsored galas at the Copper Cup festhall. Any ship entering the harbor during Fleetswake is charged 1 gp per day (rather than the
standard docking fee), which is added to the Fair Seas tribute to Umberlee.
Celebrated on the 7th of Flamerule, this nightlong festival honors the Lady of Joy with dances and balls held throughout the city. The Cynosure Ball is the highlight
of the night, sponsored jointly by the Lords, the local clergy of Lliira, and various noble families. Many festhalls become centers of wild carefree dancing and other pursuits under the Lady’s purview.