Gleðiganga means "walk of joy" in the Froyalanish and Wintergleamish languages. It is the cultural term for an ancient custom regarding a formal public ritual of laudation and exaltation in the Froyalanish Ancient Ways.
The Walk of Joy
In this Vanic custom a Vanakvinna, either in a group of fellow honourees or solitary, walks a certain distance - of a maximum of thirteen miles - naked between two prominent sites, while being watched, praised and cheered by the (mostly Vanafolk) locals who are lined along the way. All men must kneel for her when she walks by. The Lady is accompanied by a band of merry musicians, male and female, who play their lutes and flutes to a fast-paced tune to the driving beat of several drums. The longer the distance walked, the higher the prestige and honour for the Vanakvinna.
At the finish the Vanakvinna is given the Sevenfold Kiss, anointed with sacred oil on the Seven Areas, and crowned. The Vanakvinna's body is then solemnly and ritually poured over with milk and honey. The former is usually performed by a Priestess, the latter by women selected at random from the crowd of watchers.
As an Honour
Performing a solitary walk of joy is one of the highest honours a Vanakvinna can be afforded and it is usually reserved for:
- Ladies of Grand Mysterious Sisterhoods such as the Daughters of Freyja and the Daughters of Elwynn;
- Vanakvinner who have performed an extraordinary feat;
- Vanakvinner who have carried at least thirteen pregnancies to term;
- Royal Princesses.
As Part of Investiture
The Lady Superior Mortal and Archsisters of the Daughters of Freyja as well as those Ladies of the same rank of the Daughters of Elwynn perform a walk of joy as part of their Investiture festivities. The same applies to the High Priestesses of the Thirteen Temples of Eluin.
Power to Call a Gleðiganga
In Elwynn, the sole mortals who have the power to call a walk of joy anywhere in the Elwynnese Union are the King, the Hjartardýrlafðir, or the Jólaslafðir. Most Gleðigangar, however, are performed in Froyalan.