Ceremonies are rare on Beacon, due to their connotations with the cultures and histories people came with.
There are only four ceremonies held:
This is a day to commemorate the founding of the community, on the anniversary of the day the first residents settled. Each community holds a mini festival where everyone eats, drinks and plays together and residents exhibit new works – performing new plays, compositions or dances, hosting new art works in the galleries, demonstrating new technologies, debuting new recipes etc – in celebration of the talents of the people and the pioneering spirit of Beacon.
Unions and Transitions
Unions are the equivalent of weddings – colloquially people tend to call each other husband and wife, although partner is also common. These are opposite-sex partnerships. They are not called weddings because of the different connotations with cultures, religions etc. For this reason, although special outfits are designed and worn, these are not to resemble the traditional outfits of any other culture. Unions occur at the age of eighteen both within the Academy and in the wider communities of those born in Beacon. Partners entering a union are seen as equals in everything. They choose a new name upon uniting that represents their vocation. The Academy Union ceremonies have a second purpose, which is to send those united out from their training grounds and into the communities to live, work and raise a family.
Babies born into the community are welcomed with a special day, usually within the first month of birth. Friends and family offer good wishes for the child’s future, and eat and drink together in recognition of the new life.
Each death is also marked. Given the age of the community, only a small number of residents have died thus far. A ceremony is held for all who wish to mourn the deceased. As with unions, many of the traditional colours and rituals from different cultures are discouraged. The ceremony is a simple remembrance of the person’s life in Beacon, recalling what they did and who they were and honouring their contribution. Bodies are buried in a natural setting, to return them to the earth. They are not marked with any form of headstone, but all names and biographies are recorded and displayed in the public records after death as a commemoration.