Hidden Winds Holt
The elves have brought adapted versions of their three main celebrations with them from the Frozen Mountains. While they only have the three official ones, there is always room for an impromptu howl or some such thing.
Whisker Fish Hunt
In the Frozen Mountains, this was the hunt for the Longtusk, the biggest prey the elves had readily available to them. Here, that prey is the Whisker Fish. Because they are still new to the area and the animals in it, a proven technique for catching this massive fish has yet to be found. This tribe-hunt is held at the end of the rainy season, to give the elves storage food for the drier times to come. After a successful catch, the elves retreat to forest floor beneath their dens where a celebratory bonfire is erected and they dance the night away in a frenzy of drunken debauchery.
Howl for the Rains
While in their lodge at the Frozen Mountains the elves welcomed the all-too-short warm season, here they have found it more appropriate to welcome the cool rains. A hunt is held for the Longtooth Cat, which is not usually hunted due to the danger of taking on a predator. The first hunter to draw blood is awarded the prized pelt, and more of the usual celebration stuff takes place.
Howl for Chieftains Past
This, the oldest celebration, has survived almost unchanged. Whenever the elders feel it is appropriate - usually in the middle of the rainy season when elves find themselves cooped up inside their dens for days at a time - the elves gather in the community den. With the assistance of the dreamberries, Willowbrake will weave stories for the elves of previous chiefs of the tribe, thus helping them to remember who they are and where they came from. Unlike the other celebrations, this one is more solemn; there is no dancing or carousing and any flirting is done quietly, privately, and with respect for the ones whose tales are being told.
The original artist that took up the bangled dance was known as Windchime. Windchime was famous for her beauty, her sensual dances and her many, many, many lovemates. In the end Windchime had two lifemates, both of whom she recognized. It is a great misconception that Windchime came up with the six dances, for in truth it was her daughter Glimmerwater that did much of it. Glimmerwater had no daughters, so she passed on her skills to another female in the tribe when she came of age. From that point on, Windchime’s Steps were passed to a single female within the tribe at the predecessor’s choosing.
The dance is very complicated, hard to learn, and requires great endurance, timing and skill (it is the equivalent of a mix of belly-dancing, hula dancing, flamenco and modern Dance and you kind of get the idea). Music is brought to the dance in two forms. Drums are the chosen instrument for this dance. One is required but there can be as many as desired. These drums must be played by a female, because historically speaking, males usually stop playing after a while and just watch. The second source of music is the dancer herself. The bangles on the dancer’s body are set at different notes, so the sound produced at the hips is different than the one on a wrist. Needless to say, when Sunfeather performs, the cubs should be tucked into bed.
The six dances are for different occasions and vary in degree of complexity. A dancer rarely performs all the dances in her lifetime but is trained to know all of them (Sunfeather has only performed two).
Freespirit’s Step – This dance is not really a set one like the other six. This dance is free form and ad-libbed by the dancer, emulating the great Windchime herself during her time; this dance is the least done of the six. Only the most skilled can pull off this Step and most don’t live long enough to reach a level where they would be comfortable doing so.
Giver’s Step – This dance is the first Step all Dancers learn and the most commonly preformed, though it is far from tame. Hot and fast, this dance is usually done to warm up the blood of those that watch so that they can carry off their individual loves for a night of passion (Sunfeather has done this dance).
Skyclad’s Step – This is a slower yet still steamy dance during which the dancer usually removes most of her garments. This dance is semi-popular and the frequency it is done depends on the dancer herself. Needless to say, young single elves have a fond place in their… ah… hearts for this dance.
Lovers’ Step – Another dance attributed to Windchime herself; this dance is the most sensual and suggestive of all the dances. However, unlike Skyclad or Giver’s Step, this dance is directed for a single love. While others may watch this dance, in truth it is for a single lucky male. This dance is usually done when a recognition and/or lifemating happens to the dancer.
Sunshine’s Step – This is a rather popular dance, but isn’t as sexual as some of the others (which isn’t to say that it isn’t). This dance is a celebratory one, used for any sort of gleeful occasion. There are a lot of jumps and kicks involved in this very energetic dance.
Twilight’s Step – This dance is a somber one used for mournful occasions, most commonly deaths. It is slow and agonizing, usually evoking tears even in the most stalwart of elves. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful dance even considering the unhappy times during which it is preformed.