You would be surprised at how many people have expressed surprise at the fact Christmas is celebrated in Purerah. The holiday has been celebrated in the Custod world for almost 2000 years. It was started three years after the Merlin was reborn. Its traditions are quite similar to our own with some slight difference.
The biggest difference is how central phoenixes are to the Christmas esthetic in Purerah and other Custod nations. Cedrick Custod was born on December 25th, so the holiday has become an odd merge of the traditions established by Cedrick and Damian Custod and those expanded upon celebrating the Merlin’s birthday.
Performances and Music
One of the biggest differences between our celebration of Christmas and those in Purerah is a much heavier emphasis on performances of classic Christmas stories, most of all A Christmas Carol.
Originally, only the royal family and Custods celebrated Christmas. They celebrated with making it a national day off, decorations, giving of gifts, and hosting a Christmas ball. But when Damian Custod first put on A Christmas Carol at the Armuary theater, it caused such an impact on those who saw it that it not only did the show sell out every showing until it closed for the season, but it started the tradition of Christmas in the Custod world that grew to be worldwide.
Because of this, seeing a performance of A Christmas Carol at least once during the season is simply a must. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it. And soon other Christmas-themed shows were made and performed to give variety and more options to the audience that insisted on seeing the show. In later years, reading the story was often a substitute tradition to poorer families, though the Armuary theater and most national theaters do a lottery for free tickets to lower income families.
The traditions of Christmas stayed a key element of Christmas Purerah and other Custod nations but having the Merlin be the source of the holiday has changed up some of the decorations. Cardinals, golden phoenixes, and golden flames are the real symbols of the holiday for the Custod nations. The cardinal was chosen for its brilliant red colors, making it a simpler bird to contrast the golden phoenix used to symbolize the holiday. Though a golden star is often associated with the holiday as well, sometimes looking more flame-like.
Though most people aren’t sure where the tradition comes from, a phoenix over a stable or even with its wings around a baby are common decorations as well. Golden nests with cardinals or red nest with phoenix inside of them are often set along flat surfaces with evergreen under it is the most common household decoration apart from a Christmas tree
Here are some common styles of phoenix depictions you may see in Christmas decorations in Purerah.
Cedrick’s Christmas Phoenixes
Another tradition that is unique in Purerah is the belief in “Christmas Phoenixes”. The story goes the Merlin with his own flock of phoenixes delivers gifts to the faithful to find on Christmas morning. Not too different from our Santa Clause tradition. But there is a much more intense debate over if this belief is true. It is said the Merlin never dies but is always reborn. So the idea he could actually give Christmas gifts year after year is not as farfetched as some find out Father Christmas tradition. Then of course loved once always exchange gifts on Christmas morning.
Not Unlike Our Own
But other than those things, a Christmas in Purerah and other Custod nations aren’t that different from our own. It’s a time for family, gratitude, giving, charity, and renewal. The theme of second chances, most spurred by A Christmas Carol, as well as the rebirth of the phoenix, brings a season of hope.
Though unlike our Christmas, it does not come at the end of the year. Custod nations start their year on March 1st because that is when the Merlin first died. Learn more about how Restoration Day or Season is Celebrated here: Restoration Day
There are no better ways to summarize it than the words of Nephew Fred. “I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time… as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time… the only time… when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers….”