Ark Galactapedia

Luminalia is a holiday celebrated by both Banu and Humans annually on December 22nd. It originated as the irregularly-held Banu festival tsikti efanga (Glow Festival), marked by the lighting of ceremonial lamps that stay lit until their fuel is consumed (about 34,000 beats / 2 Standard Earth Days). While the lamps are burning, all Banu, no matter where they are, are considered one Souli. They invite friends, business associates, and passing strangers into their Soulis and give them gifts so they will always have something to sell. All attendees are expected to provide food, drinks, and/or party favors in return, and if they can’t, the host will often have those items available for sale.

Humans in the Davien system began to participate in the festival with Banu shortly after the Banu-Human Interstellar Peace and Trade Accord in 2438, when a ship repair Souli on Cestulus (Davien II) lit their lamps and invited Humans to come and celebrate with them. It spread from system to system as Humans in commercial workshops or trading ships used the festival to boost sales. Private events for family, friends, and extended families inspired by these profitable galas became common enough that the United Empire of Earth (UEE) officially recognized Luminalia as a holiday in the 2557. Banu began to light their lamps at the same time as Humans as a symbol of friendship and a way to enjoy an increase in business. As the holiday grew in popularity, Human merchants modified the traditional gift sharing by hiding empty gift-wrapped packages that could be returned unopened in exchange for a surprise like a few credits or a small toy. The increased foot traffic into their stores increased holiday sales and became a tradition in its own right. Today, Banu and Humans commemorate Luminalia with gift-exchanges, present hunts, glowing lights, gatherings of family, friends, business associates, and acquaintances, food and drink, limited-time discounts, and decorations in green and red.

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