Excerpt from CHAPTER 3:
The frolicking Renaissance music grew louder as they proceeded down three flights of stairs and arrived in the soaring white marble lobby of Merlin Hall, beneath its domed ceiling.
From there, they headed to the wide entrance of the ballroom, where the Harvest Home was in full swing.
Jake had to admit that the whimsical autumn theme made the elegant ballroom look decidedly quaint. Sheaves of wheat flanked the doorways, while the cinnamon smell of mulled cider spiced the air. Cornucopias strewed small gourds across the dining tables. Scarecrows and corn dollies had been affixed to the ballroom pillars and stared at the guests with painted-on smiles.
Overhead, rustic garlands of woodland boughs covered in bright autumn leaves crisscrossed the dance floor, and everywhere dangled little, hollowed-out turnip lanterns.
Their warm glow twinkled over the hundreds of magical folk milling about.
THE BLACK FORTRESS opens at Merlin Hall the evening of the Harvest Home. A traditional English celebration dating back to ancient times, the Harvest Home takes place annually in late September, usually during the full moon. It's a festival to give THANKS for the seasons bounty.
One of the customs we found really fun is the Harvest Home tradition of making corn dollies out of the last husks of the season. These figures are supposed to represents the spirit of the field and are saved until the next seasons planting.
Have you ever made corn dollies? Sounds like something the kids would really enjoy, especially on Thanksgiving. Perhaps a clever way to keep the kids out of the kitchen for a little while, lol. We can assure you Dani had tons of fun making these for the Harvest Home. Here's a short how to video on corn dollies. Looks easy enough. :)