The festival begins at sunset on the longest night of the year, our Winter Solstice. Illuminarium honors Hupogaia, the Goddess of the Underworld. At sunset, Amorans either gather at a temple dedicated to Hupogaia or in their homes and light candles or fire pits. They stay up through the night and talk about those who have gone on to the Underworld since the previous Illuminarium. They grieve. They laugh. They remember their lost loved ones.
As dawn approaches, they burn asphodel petals. Asphodel is said to be the food of the dead.
Once the sun has broken the horizon, they extinguish the flames and celebrate life. Even though it's a long dark night without their loved ones, the sun has risen and it's very golden--or maj--to be alive. The Amorans exchange gifts and will often eat, dance, and make merry up to a week afterwards.
As Illuminarium comes in our realm, I think of my uncle who passed away in March. He was a big man who gave the best hugs and made awesome food. He loved Salem football (local high school) and going to yardsales, garage sales, etc. He knew I loved collecting owls, so when he found something at a yardsale, he would buy it for me. My favorite item is an owl teapot.
As an Illuminarium gift, I give to you a free copy of Reborn, the first book in The Fate Challenges. Use the coupon code JL35Q at checkout on Smashwords. The coupon code is good until December 31, 2015.
What a wonderful Illuminarium gift and a lovely sentimental post. Love that teapot. It's so cute. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! I really do love that teapot. It's adorable.Delete
I love that teapot too. So sorry for the loss of your uncle but what a touching way to remember him.ReplyDelete
I kind of wish we had an Illuminarium holiday here in our world.
Thank you, Julie! I wish we had Illuminarium here too. Well, I suppose there is no reason we couldn't. The Amorans aren't stingy about sharing their gods and traditions to us Earthlings. :)Delete
It's a great idea for a holiday. Maybe I'll observe it myself this year. Though I don't have any of those petals. If I can find some almond paste, I might make an almond cake instead. And that is an awesome teapot.ReplyDelete
It's a good holiday. People should make time to remember not only those they've lost but also those who they still have. It can put things into perspective. I'm not really sure where one might find asphodel petals. The ancient used to make honeycakes for gods. Almond sounds good too.Delete
PS, just want to add what a fantastic book, Reborn is.ReplyDelete
Aww, thank you! I just hope the rest of them are as good, if not better. :)Delete
What a lovely post - and way to remember those who have gone before. Thank you for the reminder.ReplyDelete
You're welcome! Illuminarium is one of my favorite Amoran holidays.Delete
I really like the spirit of this holiday you've created. It's wonderful and caring. A celebration to be cherished.ReplyDelete
Love the owl teapot! Your uncle sounds like an awesome relative to have had.
Thanks, River! Illuminarium is a great holiday--Amoran or not. :)Delete
What a lovely way to remember loved ones and you obviously were thinking of your Uncle. The teapot is greatReplyDelete
Thank you. I created Illuminarium--or the idea for it--years ago, but it's a fitting way to remember loss loved ones. :)Delete
Wonderful post! Thanks for sharing a little Illuminarium with us. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tyrean! And you're welcome. I kinda wish Illuminarium was a real holiday. :)Delete
I love having things in my life that remind me of special people. I think Illuminarium should be a real holiday. Sounds like one I'd enjoy. I'll add your Free Book Offer to my Dec. Newsletter.ReplyDelete
Illuminarium would be a very nice holiday, especially the week of festivities afterwards. :)Delete
Thank you for adding my free book offer to your December newsletter!
Ah, wonderful post. I lost my mom in July. I will think of her on these dark winter nights with much love.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Catherine. It's good to reflect on the good times with lost loved ones.Delete