February 5th 2013
Should you find yourself in the Davien System this upcoming weekend, you should travel to New Arden on Davien II for this year’s Traveler’s Day. While Traveler’s Day Gatherings have become quite popular throughout the UEE, none compare to the size and scope of the Gatherings on New Arden, which have grown to one of the city’s biggest attractions for tourists and inhabitants alike.
For those unfamiliar with the holiday and its origin, Traveler’s Day is the chief holiday of the Church of the Journey. The Church, which rose to prominence toward the end of the last century, was founded by Vita Perry and began as a form of meditation, but grew into a Secular Sentient’s faith that celebrates the journey rather than the origin or destination. The group’s missionaries, known as Journeymen, travel throughout the UEE and even into Xi’An and Banu space to share their experiences and spread the word their principles.
The first Traveler’s Day — observed in Croshaw System in 2905 SE — was an inauspicious event, simply a gathering of Journeymen who had grown up together who wished to exchange their experiences over the previous year. These early practitioners began to celebrate it every year in whatever system they happened to be, and eventually it grew to become the religion’s most famous holiday and a way for people from all walks of life to impart their experiences and hear those of others. Now almost forty years later, a growing number of worlds in the UEE have Traveler’s Day festivities in addition to their New Year’s celebrations.
“We’re a religion only in the loosest sense of the word,” Journeyman Faisal explains. “Our church is simply a system of beliefs, and for that reason, it is with us wherever we go. We celebrate the experiences that shape and change each one of us throughout our life.”
The Church of Journey is still not officially classified as a religion, as it is commonly recognized to be but a simple moral code combined with general thirst for knowledge and experience. The financial needs of the organization are met through franchise endorsements of specific shipping hubs, comm-relays and con-stores. Not a member? That’s okay. The Church welcomes people from all faiths.
“It’s funny, most people avoid coming to our Gatherings because they think we have a congregation like a conventional religion,” Journeyman Faisal continued. “We don’t. We hope that the beliefs and morals that we follow can help bolster your own faith in whatever form of divinity you worship.”
The festivities on New Arden will start at sundown in the SataBall Stadium, opening with a blessing and potluck feast. Many of the local businesses will provide games and entertainment throughout the night. There will also be a series of storytellers, comedians and speakers at a variety of stages. A full list of events and activities is available through the Church of the Journey Davien Chapter.
The Pilgrimage itself will begin at the South Gate of the Stadium promptly at the crossing into the New Orbit (midnight local time) and end at the old docks just outside New Arden in the Garden District. This will be a twenty-kilometer trek through the city and countryside, so any who wish to join should wear appropriate walking attire. Commemorative walking sticks will also be available on site.
Upon reaching the docks, there will be a final Gathering and exchange of stories until dawn. Kel-To ConStores will supply refreshments and snacks for the Pilgrimage and Gathering.
Admission is open to everyone, but a donation of money or food is traditional.