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Avatar Day festival

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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.[1]

History

Founding

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. Chin Village would later be founded on that location. It was also there where Kyoshi warned Chin that she would not sit passively while he took her home. Despite this, Chin persisted and challenged the Avatar, prompting her to enter the Avatar State in order to separate Kyoshi peninsula from the mainland, creating Kyoshi Island in the process. Chin fell into the sea below when the headland he stood on collapsed as the ground separated.[1]

Following the incident, the people of Chin Village decided to honor their leader, as well as condemn the Avatar and all of its future incarnations, in the form of a festival, so named Avatar Day.

Celebration

In 100 AG, the Avatar Day festival was similar to a parade, featuring vendors selling deep-fried foods, candied plums, and sugar dumplings on a stick. The celebration attracted many locals to the point where several businesses closed for the day to witness the festivities at hand.[2] The highlight of the celebration was when giant paper effigies of Avatars Kyoshi, Roku, and Aang were paraded down the village and subsequently burned.[3]

Change of commemoration

370 years of celebrating Avatar Day passed before the holiday changed.[3] 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, genuinely in disbelief over the prospect of Kyoshi having been involved in the death of Chin the Great.

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 appears

Kyoshi manifested in Aang's body to explain the events surrounding Chin's death.

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. Before the sentence could be carried out, however, the Rough Rhinos invaded the village, claimed it for the Fire Lord, and began 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 defeat the Rough Rhinos 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, like he was originally supposed to be.[1]

Appearances

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Book Two: Earth (土)

Trivia

Unfried dough

Unfried dough was served during the festival in 100 AG.

  • 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 Dusshera, which celebrates the triumph of good over evil.

References

  1. 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.
  2. Avatar Extras for "Avatar Day" on Nicktoons Network.
  3. 3.0 3.1 From older Avatar: The Last Airbender official site, originally on Nick.com (link). No longer updated.

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