MM: Freeweeks and Festivals
During TarValon.net's early years, a freeweek was a time during either a real life or The Wheel of Time holiday when members from all ranks came together to celebrate and have a good time on the boards and in chat. These freeweeks would also sometimes coincide with our real life events to help include those not attending in a sense of community and camaraderie. Novices were allowed into the Garrison and Recruits into the Hallways, and both were allowed into the City. Everyone was encouraged to make merry with their own choice of spirit despite their rank. Ajahs and Companies would plan contests and activities geared towards their genre of expertise or participate as groups in site wide competitions, such as avatar theme contests for Halloween or Christmas.
In recent years, however, the freeweek has taken on a slightly different form. The Departments of Community Development and Marketing now has an array of administrators and staff dedicated to planning and coordinating much of the events that previously had no management. These events are held in the Frivolous Fun forum, which is taken over for the events. The number of 'official' events has also been limited to approximately four a year, so as to keep up interest in the membership and make them feel more special upon each occurrence. Four official festivals occur throughout the year, one in each of the four seasons which generally correlate to some holiday in The Wheel of Time's Farede Calendar. Smaller events may occur througout the year, but do not often merit a freeweek. Groups in membership also plan specialized events throughout the year, and the Amyrlin may decree a freeday whenever she wishes.
Recruits, Novices, Soldiers, and Accepted are no longer given access to their counterpart's private forums; all celebrating takes place in Frivolous Fun. However, within the forum, all discrimination by rank and class is forgotten, and members are encouraged to speak freely and to have a good time however they please with other members.
Freedays/freeweeks are usually very chaotic. Pranks and spamming are part of the typical fare. In addition to atypical posting, avatars and signatures are often altered or wildly different (though the only times you are allowed to completely change your avatar to something different is during our Fall festival or with the express permission of your membership administrator). Occasionally even the graphics at the top and side of the forums are changed as well. Should you enter the forums and find things look all out of sorts, please remain calm and look in the General forum for details as to what exactly is going on.
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