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Le Crésto
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Gourd carved in the fashion of a traditional skull.
Official nameLe Crésto D'Autonya
Observed byInyursta
SignificanceDisputed; sources include harvest season, indigenous beliefs, relation to all Saints Day, commercialism, etc.
CelebrationsParades, Parties, Work releases, Candle Light Vigils, Storytelling
DateLast weekend of October
Related toHalloween, Dia de los muertos

Le Crésto, short for Le Crésto D'Autonya (English: The Crest of Autumn) is a 2-4 day holiday event celebrated in Inyursta. It includes a wide variety of activities including parades and carnivals in large cities to parties and cookouts in local villas and enclaves, as well as candle light services and remembrance of deceased loved ones.

File:Inyur halloween03.jpg
Gourds, quash and pumpkins stacked in late October.

It is similar in nature to both Halloween and Dia de los muertos, especially in relation to the Catholic All Hallows' Eve, but combines several elements from both in addition to adding in traditions entirely of its own, such as storytelling and neighborly gatherings or bonfires. Much like Halloween, Le Crésto involves carving gourds and squash of the Cucurbita variety into faces and likenesses of skulls or mythical legends.

History

On the solar calendar of the indigenous Pre-Columbian Coaquendo peoples, the fall equinox was considered the end of the year. This time also coincided with the harvest of several crops, including squash, in addition to the end of the rainy season. During these times, the indigenous clans would engage in celebration for days before preparing for the winter dry season.

During colonial times, the French and Spanish brought with them the Roman Catholic holiday of All Saints Day, and with it the tradition of paying respects to those who have passed on to heaven. Missionaries used the close annual proximity of the two celebrations to help spread their Catholic traditions and beliefs.

Historians are unsure when exactly the art of carving gourds originated in Le Crésto; some scholars believe it was brought over by Irish immigrants sometime during the 19th and 20th centuries while others assert that the indigenous peoples were inscribing faces in their fruits long before the Europeans came to the Inyurstan subcontinent. Some contemporary critics have made the claim this tradition was just copied from pumpkin carvings in the US during the Cold War.

Modern Times

File:Inyur halloween01.jpg
Top Left: A young couple in costume; Top Right: Festival poster depicting a Rougarou; Bottom: Festival participants dressed as animals in the streets

Le Crésto has continued to be celebrated in Inyursta into the 21st century, and has steadily grown in popularity and participation throughout recent years, especially with the social media boom in the last decade. Recent surveys and documentation has concluded that this is the third-most observed holiday in Inyursta, coming in behind Navíelle (Christmas) and Journa de la Libertas (Independence Day)

Modern activities still involve city-wide carnivals, and now often include nightly drinking and socializing amongst the younger generations. People of all ages dress up in costume at least one night of the weekend, often the second or third night (after the night of prayer and remembrance); however, unlike Halloween costumes and regalia for Le Crésto are often much more simple and universally themed than the diverse and broad-spectrum assortment dress-ups for its American counter-part.

Public offices and schools are closed for the preceding Friday (Vendras) and following Monday (Lundos), and most private institutions offer similar leave for the popular holiday. This leaves several open days for both late-night celebrations, partying and spending time with family.

Criticism

Le Crésto has been subject to some controversy and criticism throughout its existence. Most vocal historical critics were pious Protestants who saw the holiday as Catholic blasphemy mixing with pagan traditions. Indigenous pride voices have also criticized it for "hijacking" their annual customs. More recent criticism has labelled the holiday as a commercialist copy of the American holiday Halloween.

This holiday is not observed in either neighboring nation of Inyursta, Gran Cuscatlan and North Guerroca. The heavily religious population of Cuscatlan has negative views of the perceived pagan and spiritualist observances behind Le Crésto, while the socialist government of North Guerroca rejects its capitalist and consumerist values.

Miscellaneous Facts

File:Inyur halloween04.jpg
Young woman in simple dress for Le Crésto. Note the candle.
  • The Carníval dul Crésto a massive parade in the city of Fjorda De'Rivera lasts for almost a day and covers roughly twenty linear miles. In 2014 it had over seven million people directly participating in it.
  • Président Jean-Baptiste Calderone had three white pumpkins professionally carved to mimic the faces of Alastair Moriarty, Adriano Timente and Prince Henry Kapfort - which he soon after assisted his children in smashing.
  • Famous Inyurstan director Lucas Corillien has stated multiple times that, unsurprisingly, this is his favorite holiday.