National Cultural Contest for the Day of Secession

The Sôgmô is to organise a national cultural contest for the Day of Secession, asking that Sandum citizens — and only Sandum citizens — construct some sort of creative cultural object using the iconography of the national holiday. The object can be a construction of any matter: it can be virtual and digital, or it can be real and a piece of art. Citizens are given flexibility in deciding exactly what to make and how to make it, though it must be representative of the citizen’s perception of the meaning and symbolism of the holiday. A $20 USD award will be granted to the winning citizen who makes the winning object and the award-winning piece will likewise also be used in future Sandum Day of Secession holidays. The piece of artwork can also contain elements of the Regifugia and the Matronalia, the two Sancta holidays which make up the Sancta new year celebrated on 1 March.

About the Holidays:
The Day of Secession is the Sandum holiday celebrating the declaration of independence from the St.Charlian Commonwealth on 20 February 2011. In October 2010, Sandus decided to join the St.Charlian Commonwealth as a dependent, non-sovereign territory known as the Territory of Sandus; the reasons for independence included a lack of representation in the St.Charlian Parliament and a cultural renaissance that led to the rise of Sandus’s Sancta culture, a pluralistic yet independent culture that takes inspiration from many sources. The holiday is celebrated as a renewal of Sandum independence and as the first step in the establishment of the State of Sandus, the current and most successful government to have ever governed Sandus. On the first anniversary of the Day of Secession, as well, on 13 February 2012, the Sôgmô released the first Realist treatise, an essay which forms the basis of Sandus’s political policy focus on pragmatism, professionalism, and seriousness in governance. The Day of Secession likewise celebrates the continual renaissance of Sandum independence by the innovation of Realism as a political ideology prevalent in the governance of the State of Sandus.

The Regifugia and the Matronalia are, in reality, two very different holidays yet transformed into New Year holidays in Sandus’s Sancta calendar. The Sancta calendar is a hybrid mix of the early Roman (Romulan) and modern (Gregorian) calendars; as a result, the months remain the same in number and time as the Gregorian calendar, but the system of weeks and the beginning of the new year dates to the Romulan calendar. As a result, the archaic Roman new year of I Martio (1 March) is used as the Sancta New Year. The Sancta New Years eve, the Regifugia, is celebrated on XXVIII ou XXIX Februario (28 or 29 February), though the Roman holiday is originally celebrated on XXIII Februario (23 February). In Sandus, this holiday is marked with the termination of the old year and the welcoming in of the new year by invoking all of the Olympians, both major and minor. The Matronalia is the Sancta New Years and celebrates divine and mortal mothers alike, as a sort of Sancta Mother’s Day.

Iconography of the Holidays:

Iconography (the symbols and motifs used in visual and musical art to represent something else) is strongest and most clear for the Day of Secession, rather than the Sancta New Year.

Iconography of the Day of Secession focuses primarily on a wintery dawn, representing both the holiday’s placement in the calendar but also its role as the awaking of a new Sandus in both season (winter, early spring) and in time (sunrise, dawn). The colours used in this holiday’s iconography include the colours lavender, amethyst, and purple: all colours found at a late-winter/early-spring sunrise. A focus is often placed on land- and seascapes with the sun’s rays and corona being a profound element of the visual artwork; in music, melodies used to symbolise the dawn and spring are often used, in addition to chords which express both pride and activity. Music often begins on low notes and slow tempo, before rising in both pitch and speed — songs used in previous Sandum musical concerts for this holiday often finish abruptly, representing a short span of the Spring season. Lavender plants, violets, and other purple-coloured plants are often a focus of this holiday and, so, are encouraged in use. National colours (Prussian blue and white) and national emblems are also encouraged to be used. Literature and poetry representing the visual and political themes of pride, freedom, love of country, yearning, Spring, and so on may be used, as congruent with the iconography found above.

Iconography of the Sancta New Year may focus on the traditional holidays of the Regifugia and the Matronalia specifically, though Sandum iconography tends to focus on the dawn and Spring (instead of Roman iconography). The difference expressed between the Sancta New Year and the Day of Secession in relation to the dawn and Spring is primarily through colour and type of images. Whereas the Day of Secession shows an early sunrise often in the mid- to late-Winter, the Sancta New Year depicts a more mature Spring and sunrise. In terms of colour, the Day of Secession focuses on shades of purple whereas the Sancta New Year focuses on Spring-like greens and yellows. Other visual elements include tall grasses, which have been used in previous posters. Music often includes the same elements of the Day of Secession, however, though with less of an association with freedom and independence than with renewal and invigoration for work done in the New Year.

Taking these iconographic elements into mind is helpful but not altogether necessary. You are encouraged to think outside the box and for yourself to create an interesting cultural product for the Day of Secession and/or the Sancta New Year. It can be anything — visual, musical, digital, etc. Your use of symbols and motifs should focus on the basic themes surrounding the holidays, however, but you are encouraged to think critically and freely as to what you choose.