In the world of the Wheel of Time, there are many feasts throughout the year, some of them meant to be lighthearted and full of joy, while others are more somber and solemn. One of these lighthearted holidays, Shaoman, is celebrated on the twelfth day of the month of Shaldine, the eleventh month of the year. Shaoman is particularly geared towards children, who are pampered and given gifts. And, in many places, groups of children go from door to door singing and are rewarded with small gifts or sweets.
Here at TarValon.Net, we celebrate Shaoman with a Free week, a time in which members from Guests to the Amyrlin come together to celebrate, both on the forums and on Discord. Throughout the site, many of the membership groups edit their avatars and signatures around a common theme. We also have a tendency to spam and pull pranks in order to add to the light-heartedness. One of the reasons we do Free weeks like Shaoman is because we want to build up community, and part of building up community is to have fun together.
So, what is the earliest recorded Shaoman festival we have on record in the Main Library? Well, if we go fifteen years back, to 2006, we will see the first themes recorded. Four of our Community Groups are written as having themes: Blue Ajah were Fades, White Ajah were Black Ajah, Dai M’Hael were Evil Sesame Street, and San D’ma Shadar were the Not So Care Bears. As we move through the years and travel to 2017, it is there that we see what appears to be the first recorded universal theme for the Shaoman, “Attack of the WitchCloaks.”
Now, we come to this year, 2021, in which the Outreach Activities Team has changed things up. Instead of participating with one’s own Membership Group, we have had a sign-up and our participants are playing on randomly-selected teams. This is something that we are doing on a trial basis, because of community feedback. Having teams, we’re going to have a sort of House Cup competition, and there will be activities that can be completed by the group or individually, to help gain each group points and the winner will be announced at Online Anni 2021!
Be sure to pay attention, even if you haven’t signed up to be on a Team, because there’s fun to be had in watching too. It’s going to be a spooky time at Shaoman, be prepared!