The festival of Cladan is strictly a Fereldan celebration, with no ties to the Chantry or other nations in Thedas. It originated in the heartland of the Bannorn, centuries ago, as freeholders came together before the true onset of winter to help members of their community who were less fortunate. Preserves and other supplies would be provided to freeholders whose crops had failed, or whose land had been damaged by the fighting that plagued the nation before Calenhad, the Silver Knight, unified Ferelden.
Cladan traditionally occurs after the first snowflakes fall, but before the true snows of winter set in, usually in late Firstfall (month 11).
Cladan in present-day Ferelden respects the noble roots of the tradition, but it has expanded into a celebration of community and the coming of winter. The focus of the one-day festival is a bazaar, usually set up in the heart of town. Merchants will gravitate toward the larger centers in Ferelden in time for the festival, such as Denerim, Highever, and Gwaren, but smaller towns also observe the tradition. In the smaller towns, you may find non-merchant citizens with stalls set up to offer trades of preserves, baked goods, salted meat, knitted clothing, and so forth.
In the larger cities, a stage is erected in the centre of the bazaar, and entertainment is provided from dawn well into the night. Minstrels, theatre troupes, singers, comedy acts, and local talent will traditionally perform light-hearted and joyous numbers in order to stave off the severity of winter a little longer. In smaller towns, the entertainment offering might not be so extensive, and generally focuses more on local talent than professional performers.
The festival is not only a time of celebration, but a chance for citizens to stock up on items they will need for the winter, before snows make travelling more difficult and interfere with shipments of goods.
Cladan will be set on 11-30 (in character). OOC, this event will start on Nov. 19, 2010, at the latest. (IC/OOC dates modified)
The moderator who is running this event will start open threads in the various town/city boards (as an NPC) in order to set the scene for the festival. Players may participate however they wish in these threads, or create their own threads set on that day, using the setting information provided in the open threads.
If you have any questions about this festival, please contact Rae/Aedan.
(Thanks for Aerion for the suggestion to make it a stock-up-for-winter festival!)