War of the Burning Sky
Festival of Dreams
Though Gate Pass has its share of holidays, the most prominent is the Festival of Dreams, a holy day observed by all of the city’s major temples, taking place on New Year’s Day. Parades march from either end of the city, stopping at the grand square on Summer’s Bluff just before sunset for a ceremony in which the high priests of each of eight different temples “offer up the dreams of the people.”
Every citizen is encouraged to write a prayer or hope on a slip of paper and place it in a small clay urn, which the city produces by the thousands every year. People deliver their urns to Summer’s Bluff in the days leading up to the festival, and on the holiday itself, each high priest chooses one from amid the thousands. Each breaks open his or her urn and reads the prayer held within, then pledges to fulfill that dream if possible during the next year. Selfish requests are frowned upon, and often the city takes great glee in perverting the words of selfish prayers, fulfilling the adage “be careful what you wish for.”
The rest of the urns are left in the center of the square, and citizens are encouraged to pick one up and try to fulfill someone else’s wish. The morning after the festival, those left unopened are carted en masse to the countless small caves that dot the cliffs around the city, where they are buried. Many folk tales involve stories of these buried dreams coming to life and bringing good fortune, though most adults of the city just view these as merely superstition.