- This article is about the celebration. For the episode, see "Avatar Day".
The Avatar Day festival was originally an annual festivity held to defame the Avatar in Chin Village following the death of its patron, Chin the Great. Under the firm belief that Avatar Kyoshi murdered their leader, the people of Chin Village resented the Avatar until Aang arrived in 100 AG and saved the village from an invasion by the Fire Nation's Rough Rhinos. Following the rescue, the villagers forgave the Avatar and the festivity became a celebration to honor Aang and all future Avatars.
In Avatar Kyoshi's time, Chin the Great instituted a continental conquest, occupying all corners of the Earth Kingdom, save for Ba Sing Se and the neck of the peninsula where Avatar Kyoshi lived. The Avatar warned Chin that she would not sit passively while he took her home when Chin arrived to the peninsula with his army. Despite this, Chin persisted and challenged the Avatar, prompting her to enter the Avatar State in order to separate the peninsula from the mainland, creating Kyoshi Island in the process. Chin fell into the sea below when the overhand on which he stood collapsed as the ground separated.
Following the incident, the people of Chin Village decided to honor their leader while also condemning the Avatar in the form of a festival, which was celebrated on the day of Chin's death and eventually became known as Avatar Day.
In 100 AG, the Avatar Day festival was similar to a parade, featuring vendors selling deep-fried foods, candied plums, and sugar dumplings on sticks. The celebration attracted many locals to the point where several businesses closed for the day to witness the festivities at hand. The highlight of the celebration was when giant paper effigies of Avatars Kyoshi, Roku, and Aang were paraded down the village and subsequently burned.
Change of commemoration
370 years of celebrating Avatar Day passed before the holiday changed. After Avatar Aang and his companions were ambushed by the Rough Rhinos, they ended up not far from Chin Village. After learning about the celebration, the group decided to attend, not realizing its true purpose. When they discovered that the celebration was in fact a festival to shame the Avatar, Aang defended his previous incarnation, in genuine disbelief over the prospect of Kyoshi having been involved in the death of Chin.
In order to defend the honor of the Avatar, Aang allowed the village to arrest him and put him on trial. In the meantime, Sokka and Katara journeyed to Kyoshi Island to learn more about Avatar Kyoshi in an attempt to collect sufficient evidence to clear the Avatar's name. After failing to properly relay the evidence Sokka and Katara had gathered and convince the villagers of his innocence, Aang dressed in Kyoshi's old clothing in a last effort to trigger a connection with his past life.
Kyoshi appeared through Aang's body and gave her testimony to the crime, essentially pleading guilty. However, she explained that Chin's death was of his own doing and not directly her fault. Nevertheless, Aang was sentenced to be boiled in oil. However, before the sentence could be carried out the Rough Rhinos invaded the village and claimed it for the Fire Lord, beginning to destroy everything in sight. The mayor pleaded with Aang to save them, but he refused, declaring that he had to be boiled in oil. In resignation, the mayor changed Aang's punishment to community service, prompting Aang to fight and save the village from Fire Nation occupation.
Aang effectively fought off the Rough Rhinos with the help of Katara and Sokka, and in order to celebrate the Avatar, a new Avatar Day festival was declared in honor of Aang. A new tradition was started, where unfried dough became the new festival food to remember how the Avatar was not boiled in oil on that day, which was his original punishment.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book Two: Earth (土)
- 205. "Avatar Day"
- The main dish served during this festival was originally deep-fried dough, but after Aang defeated the Rough Rhinos, the main dish changed to Aang-shaped, unfried dough, an allusion to how the Avatar was not boiled in oil. This change was not met with positive reception, as made evident by the expressions of Aang, Sokka, and Katara.
- The burning of the effigies of the three Avatars is similar to the burning of the effigies of Ravan, Kumbhkarna, and Meghnad on the Hindu festival of Vijayadashami, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
- ↑ Avatar Extras for "Avatar Day" on Nicktoons Network.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated, encyclopedia now broken though archived here.