October is here and Harvestmath is upon us early this year! As the name suggests, the harvest celebration is the impetus for this in-game festival but many of our activities relate to the Primary World tradition of Hallowe’en, the evening before the Feast of All Hallows. While the Feast of All Hallows is from the Western Christian tradition, All Hallow’s Eve is thought to incorporate pagan Celtic elements that would be more at home in pre-Christian Middle-earth. The Celtic festival of Samhain, in particular, seems to lend many concepts to Hallowe’en. Leading into the “darker half” of the year (that is, winter), it was thought to be a night when otherworlds (the perilous realm of Faërie, to use a Tolkienian term) were closer and magical things could happen. To the Celtic peoples, fairy-hosts and phantoms might fly through the air on this night, and the night was a feast of fairies. Bonfires were lit to ward against these fey hosts, and turnips were carved into lanterns to honour the dead. A more recent tradition, recorded as early as 1895 in Scotland, is that of guising — going from house to house in disguise to collect coins, apples, and nuts — and this sounds like something that might be right at home among the Hobbits of the Shire!
So, if you are going to be attending a Harvestmath event on your server this year, why not go “in guise”? Maybe you even plan to attend a costume or fancy dress party. I’ve planned a number of posts throughout October that show some possible guises you could wear — including couples costumes — some more lore-appropriate than others, but it’s all in good fun! Hopefully you’ll see something you like, or be inspired to put together your own creation!
I’ll have the first of the costumes up later this week, but first, here are some outfits I’ve already presented over the past year that I think would make great Harvestmath guises.
Little Red Riding-hood seems perfect to use as part of a couples or group costume. Your partner(s) could go with a woodsman theme, a wolf theme, or a granny theme (the spring festival Simbelmynë dress and hat would be great for the latter).
Tips: Some great resources for making a quick and easy guise are the various Harvestmath festival masks and cloaks, the Farmer’s Faire livestock masks, and some of the cosmetic armour sets such as the three Lossoth sets (Ajokoira, Leijona, and Mammutti; crafted Lossoth reputation vendor rewards) and the Volume 3 Book 5 Ranger cosmetic sets (Fine Grey Company and Worn Ranger’s sets). The various Rohan-themed pre-order cosmetics from both the Rise of Isengard and Riders of Rohan expansions are also great, and would be especially funny if you did a couples costume with your partner wearing the Cloak of the Equine (Horsing Around deed reward) to dress up as your steed!