Equestrian Holiday: Winter Moon Masquerade
A holiday of night and for mystery. Many traditions are involved, but the focal event is a large masquerade ball (each city that celebrates has one) that ponies show up to in masks. Enough to blur their identity, but not hide it completely. It is a time to throw caution to the side and do things you wouldn’t do any other night of the year. Where social barriers are ignored. Anyone you dance with might be nobility, or one of the royal guards, or even one of the princesses. All are equal on the Winter Moon Masquerade. It is a night to dance with the pony you thought was above your station, to confess your love to somepony you’ve never been able to talk to, or simply show another side of yourself. Who you are on the Winter Moon Masquerade Ball is not who you are either before or after. You can do what you like and leave it behind you the next day. It is for hopeful lovers, crazy ideas, and lowered inhibitions. Though a certain amount of elegance is expected.
It is considered the highest faux pas to refer to somepony’s behavior during the masquerade, at least by name or cutie mark. All conversation about it should refer only to the masks or outfits, never the pony wearing them. However, it is a accompanying tradition that in the week after the masquerade that anypony who wishes to ‘reveal’ their identity should wear their mask to a formal event afterward, or put it in the window of their house so that ponies passing by can see it. A indirect confession often used by romantic partners who met at the ball and wish to continue their romance. Of course, it is easy enough to fake a mask somepony else wore. Many plays before the time of Nightmare Moon had a faked or mistaken mask display at the center of relationship drama. Two ponies meet at the masquerade, fall in love, then a jealous pony steals or copies the mask of one of them trying to steal the pony they want away. Think ‘Twelfth Night’ but with cartoon ponies and fancy masks instead of gender-swapping.