The Festival of Philos is a celebration of love and sisterhood within Nymph culture. When one is held, news of it is usually spread throughout the world to the various Nymph communes in advance, and Nymphs are encouraged to visit other communes to participate in these festivities.

Mainly Nymphs participate in Festivals of Philos but Therians are fairly common, and even the other races are sometimes welcomed (though it would be easy for outsiders to feel out of place). News of these events are also normally only spread throughout Sylvan circles.

Nymphs spend particular effort when it comes to their Festivals of Philos. They hold several a year of varying sizes, and they can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Smaller versions are sometimes simply called "Philos Parties" and usually last only a day. Some are officially held by a commune's ruling council, but any group or well respected Nymph can throw one.

The purpose to these festivals is to attract Nymphs from other colonies and communes in the hope that a few may enjoy themselves so much that they decide to stay permanently. Usually, such a thing would only happen for great reason, so it must either be a really great party or, much more likely, a visiting Nymph must fall in love with a local Nymph and relocate for this new relationship. That is the ideal outcome of the event and the underlying reason for all of it. A successful Festival of Philos can mean fresh faces and new blood for the commune that held it.

This practice is to help communes grow, as well as to promote genetic diversity among the localized populations of non-Wanderers. Although most who attend a festival do not end up relocating, it is widely understood that these festivals are mainly match-making parties. According to tradition, if a traveling Nymph falls for a local Nymph at the festival, she is expected to relocate to the local Nymph's commune rather than the other way around. This practice is hyped up to be dramatically romantic within Sylvan culture, and so it actually happens more than might be expected.

The actual events of the festivals can vary greatly, but a romantic atmosphere is the common theme. Generally, both male and females are invited, but some smaller versions are for one gender only. For some communes that enforce gender divisions, these events are the only time singles are allowed to mingle.

There are many practices and traditions in Sylvan culture that promote romance at these festivals, like the giving of sweets and notes of affection as gifts. There is usually a lot of traditional Sylvan music and dancing. There are also small trinkets available in temporary stalls and established shops alike.

The stalls set up generally offer activities and games. Some just sell or trade for gifts. Most offer some kind of gift as a prize that can be won with a small feat of strength, skill, or luck. Some games test the abilities to manipulate? the elements. There are also various rides and performances that are usually set up for the festivals. Many 'hip' Nymphs complain that these festivals have become too focused on the material aspect of giving and receiving gifts and thus refuse to give gifts. These are usually very lonely Nymphs.

Although the focus is on match-making and meeting a soul mate, the environment is also very welcoming to already established couples. There are several myths and love stories are floating around depending on the region. Many of them are similar in that they involve "living happily ever after". Many Nymphs have heard that if a couple forms during the festival, they will always be happy. Likewise, many believe that if they confess their feelings for the one they love during the festival, their confession will be successful.

Details on these myths vary, sometimes requiring certain specific things like standing under a certain tree when they confess, or confessing on a certain day of the festival. Another popular myth centres around announcing their status as a couple during a Festival of Philos. Some booths and stages are set up for just this type of thing. Most boast that visitors will be lucky in love if they use that particular stage for their announcement. Of course there is also the belief that if they bond with a life partner during the festival, their hand-fasting will be happy presumably forever.

Created by Colleen?