Like any society, the Changelings observe special days of the year. They have holidays like anyone else, though different kiths place importance on different holidays. The Pooka, in particular, place more empahsis on certain fae holidays and have several unique to themselves. What is presented here are several holidays important to the shapechanging kith, plus, as an added bonus, an example of the Pooka Saining Ritual.

COUP de Mardi Gras - February 28th
Each year, coinciding on Mardi Gras, Pooka from around the world gather in one of two locations. New Orleans, Lousiana (for American Pooka) or the French Riviera (for Europeans). As many Pooka as can make it go (Childlings obviously have trouble with this and typically have to miss it).
The COUP de Mardi Gras (COUP standing for Convention Of Universial Pooka, Camp Of Unbiquitous Pranksters, Council On Ultimate Pranks or a hundred other definitions, depending on which Pooka you ask) is open to all Pooka and lasts for a week.
Always held in some hotel convention center, the shapeshifters basically get together and cut loose as only the Pooka can. Wild parties, endless drinking and eating, seduction of hotel staff and, of course, a huge parade of pranks and jokes and riddles and tricks. The hotels typically don't mind, as they are well reimbursed for any damage to the premises or emotional trauma to the staff.
Similar to Pranksgiving (see below), COUP crowns a king or queen for the Pooka that plays the best prank at the convention. But whereas the Pranksgiving King/Queen is only known locally, the King or Queen of COUP de Mardi Gras is known by Pooka all over the world as the greatest prankster around. His reign only lasts for the last day of the convention, but his fame lives on until the next Pooka outdoes him.

Alban Eiler - March 20th
The Spring Equinox (also know as Ostara), when day and night are in perfect balance, the Pooka celebrate the new growing season with wild dances, wearing crowns of flowers and eating many Boggun-made desserts. Local Inanimae are always invited. As a celebration of the new fertile season, mating is a common activity.

Earth Day - April 22nd
Although it was started by mortals and is more of a yearly event than a holiday, the Pooka supported the idea of Earth Day right from the get-go in 1970 and have been heavily involved ever since. It is very much a holiday to them. Pooka everywhere spend the day organizing and running Earth Day events, from fundraisers and tree plantings to highway clean-ups and environmental awareness seminars. Pooka take this day very seriously and urge other fae to support it as much as possible, dragging fellow commoners to events and sweet-talking nobles into donating money.
Earth Day ends with a party, typically in a park or somewhere in the wilderness. They clean up afterwards, of course.

Alban Heruin - June 21st
Ah, the Summer Solstice (also known as Litha). A night when the Pooka spend all day and all night playing out in the wilderness, dancing and singing and having cookouts around bonfires. Pooka are some of the best hunters around, and they capture much game for the feasts. This is a time to enjoy nature's beauty and bounty. Many Pooka oaths and promises are renwed on this night.

Pranksgiving - July 17th
On what other fae call Highsummer Night, the Pooka hold their greatest prank competitions throughout the world. This is the epitome of Pooka Prankology. In every Duchy, the local Pooka play their most outlandish, complex and hilarious tricks on mortals. At the end of the night, the Pooka gather and vote in a secret ballot (no one may vote for themselves) to see who pulled off the greatest prank of the night. The winner gains enourmous prestige among his kith for the next year as the "King/Queen of Pranksgiving."
The pranks can take any form, from complicated romantic entanglements to artful burglary to the traditional pie-in-the-face (though with some interesting variations). Pranks that result in injuries or death are considered artless and tasteless and Pooka who pull them are banned from competing. Even the Unseelie Pooka know better than to take Pranksgiving that far, if they want to accolades.

Alban Elfed - September 23rd
On the Autumn Equinox (also called Mabon, the Feast of Avalon, Winter Finding or Cornucopia, depending on the region), many Pooka celebrate the harvest season by picking fruits and vegetables from local farms (rarely with permission) and prepare a Thanksgiving-like feast of bread, nuts, apples, pomegranates, potatos, carrots and onions. Here, in the multi-colored forests, the Pooka dress in their finest voile and eat until they're ready to burst, then spend the rest of the night lounging around the campfires, telling stories and falling asleep. This is how the Pooka celebrate the slowing down of the natural cycle as Mother Nature prepares to sleep for the coming winter.

Samhain - October 31st
Like other Kithain, the Pooka let their Unseelie urges out to play on this night of shadows. The pranks become nasty, and often dangerous. Destruction of private property is common. Fae the Pooka dislike wind up getting hurt. Animalistic sexual urges are also indulged, giving the Satyrs a run for their money. The Pooka cut loose on their violent urges as well, which gives rise to rumors of wild animal attacks on Halloween. All in all, it's not pretty. If not for the Mists of Samhain, the other Kithain would be more frightened of the Pooka the rest of the year.

Alban Arthan - December 21
The Winter Solstice (commonly known as Yule), where the Pooka share a quiet feast to salute the end of the autumn and the coming of winter. A traditional Yule Log is burned for this festival (typically of Ash wood) in Pooka homes. Childlings go door to door, giving gifts of apples and oranges (representing the sun), evergreen boughs (showing immortality), wheat stalks (representing the recent harvests) and flour (triumph, light and life). Mistletoe is as much a part of this holiday as it is of Christmas, and the Pooka enjoy running around stealing kisses.


The Pooka Saining Ritual

Every kith has its own Saining ritual. Sure, they all utilize Naming 4 (Saining), but the nature of the ritual itself is different for each kith. Despite some ridiculous claims that Naming is a Sidhe Art, all Kithain possess knowledge of it. How else could they have Sained their young members during the Interregnum?

In any case, this is an example of the Pooka Saining Ritual. It holds true to their history and culture, making it clearly unique among the Kithain. My thanks to Brander, the Evil Changeling Storyteller on Digital Dreaming, for helping flesh out the details during play.


The Poula Phouk is a waterfall in County Wicklow in Ireland. The name means "Hole of the Pooka." The Pooka, when they took to the Changeling Way 700 years ago, used the site for their first Sainings. As the kith spread to other lands over the next seven centuries, local Pooka kept up the Poula Pholk tradition by holding their Sainings at whatever waterfalls they could get access to, even if it meant traveling a considerable distance. In some ways, the Pooka are just as tradition-bound as any other Kithain.

Like any Saining ritual, it is Kith-only. outsiders are not allowed. The Pooka gather together at the waterfall, watching and giving moral support to the Ritemaster (the Pooka casting the Saining cantrip) and the Pooka-to-be-Sained.

One interesting note about the Pooka Saining Ritual is that when it begins, the Pooka present are able to speak the truth freely. As with speaking Oaths, the Dreaming temporarily lifts the Pooka's Frailty. Some events are too important to confuse with lies.

The Pooka-to-be-Sained (hereafter refered to as the Sainee), is brought blindfolded to the site of the waterfall. His hearing is also confused with a Fuddle cantrip, to prevent him from hearing the sound of the water (typically made to sound like birdsong or other natural noises). Thus the Sainee is generally ignorant of the waterfall. He might smell water nearby, but that's about it (sometimes his sense of smell is Fuddled as well).

The Sainee is seated at the edge of the water, and the other Pooka gather around. The Ritemaster steps forward with three items: A feather, a large tooth and an antler. These are the traditional items, though other animal parts can be substituted if necessary (or for a good joke. Sheep testicles have found their way into more than one Pooka Saining. Hey, you didn't think it was always that serious, did you?). And so the ritual begins...

The Ritemaster hands the Sainee the feather and speaks.
"Do you know what this is?"

The Sainee feels the feather in her hands. "A feather."

"And do you know from which bird the feather comes? Or its color?"

"No," the Sainee replies, "I do not."

The Ritemaster nods and takes the feather away. He hands her the tooth.
"Do you know what this is?"

The Sainee feels the tooth in her hands. "A tooth."

"And do you know from what animal it comes? Or what it ate last?"

"No," the Sainee replies, "I do not."

The Ritemaster nods and takes the tooth away. He hands her the antler.
"Do you know what this is?"

The Sainee feels the antler in her hands. "An antler."

"And do you know from what sort of deer it comes? Or how it was lost?"

"No," the Sainee replies, "I do not."

The Ritemaster nods and takes the antler away.
"Do you see the truth? The truth of nature, and the truth of the Pooka?"

The Sainee thinks for a moment in blindfolded silence, considering what the answer is.
"That there is more to nature, and to the Pooka, than meets the eye? That there are answers unknowable?"

The Ritemaster smiles, removes the blindfold, and helps the Sainee to stand up. The Fuddle is dropped as well.
"Quite right. Nature is a force that will always be unknowlable. People think they know the truth of it, that they know what they need to know of it. But they are wrong. Assuming that what little you know is all there is to know is not the truth. It is Banality. This is why we lie. We serve the Dreaming by speaking lies to bring about a greater truth. Never take things at face value. Look deeper. Help others to find the real truth by confusing what they believe to be the truth. This is how we fight Banality. This is our truth."

The Sainee thus learns the final lesson of what it is to be a Pooka. Her kithmates smile and nod as they see she understands what they already know. The Ritemaster gestures to the waterfall.

"Now, enters the waterfall. Let the power of nature wash away the grime of supposed truth. Let the power of the Dreaming and the real truth come clean."

The Sainee is a little unsure, but she walks into the water and wades to the waterfall. There, she stands under the falling liquid, letting it soak her to the bone until her teeth chatter from the cold. Glamour washes down through the water as well as the Saining cantrip takes effect, revealing to her mind her True Name. When this final truth has been revealed to her, the Sainee emerges from the water, where she is welcomed by her fellow Pooka. She is now officially one of them.

The entire ritual acts as one long Bunk (Level 5) for the Saining cantrip. It culminates when the Sainee enters the waterfall, revealing to her and the Ritemaster her True Name, which is, of course, kept secret forever more.

From there, the Pooka celebrate. Like with most Sainings, the celebration is a party at the local freehold, where the other kiths are invited. There's food and music and presents for the new Pooka. Some Pooka add other activities to the celebration. Predatory Pooka, for example, may enact a hunt in the local woods, while aviary Pooka may all go on a wild flying trip around the region, dancing in the sky and performing aerobatics.