|“||Fire Night signals the official start of spring—in Prythian, as well as in the mortal world.||”|
Calanmai (pronounced: Cal-an-may) also called Fire Night is a ceremony held in Prythian which signals the start of spring. On Fire Night, various celebrations occur, including lighting bonfires, playing of drums, and the Great Rite. The crops depend upon the magic in The Great Rite on Fire Night. Each High Lord must perform the Great Rite, which consists in allowing powerful magic to enter their bodies and seize control of them, causing the High Lord to attempt to find the Maiden and have sex with her to release magic that will spread through the lands and allow crops to grow until the next Calanmai. In the Spring Court the Great Rite is performed in a sacred cave big enough to accommodate hundreds of Fae and a large number of bonfires.
Smoke and magic often fill the atmosphere during the celebration where hundreds of male and female High Fae gather, many have sex that night as other dalliances will help the land too.
Calanmai is an annual celebration, that would have been created centuries before the events of A Court of Thorns and Roses.
Before Calamai, Feyre Archeron is ordered by Tamlin to stay in her room at the manor and not leave under any circumstance. Feyre attempts to leave the manor to visit the Fire Night celebrations but is caught by a shirtless Tamlin who orders her to go to her chambers and lock the doors.
Feyre is unable to stay in her chambers as Tamlin ordered, leaving to see the Fire Night celebrations when she could no longer bear the "call" of the drums. After arriving on horseback, she sees dozens of fairies dancing around bonfires. Unfortunately, she is noticed by three Fae who uninvitedly fondle with her as they are fascinated by a mortal in their realm thinking that she was there for the Great Rite. Feyre tries to free herself from them but does not succeed. She is saved by an unnamed High Fae, later revealed to be Rhysand. He offers to escort her somewhere but she declines and she later leaves him.
Not long after, she is found by Lucien Vanserra who appears to be furious at Feyre's attendance at the ceremony, even after both of his and Tamlin's warnings. He explains the events of the Great Rite to her; leading her to finally comply to return to her rooms.
Despite Lucien's second warning, Feyre decides to visit the kitchens, as she expects the ceremony to have finished. Whilst returning to her rooms, she encounters Tamlin; who is still under the influence of the Fire Night magic. He corners her against the wall, where he bites her neck, leaving a bruise.
Lucien tells Feyre that after Tamlin believed Feyre had been abducted in the Night Court at the time of Calanmai, he refused to perform the Great Rite. Lucien took his place, taking Ianthe, the most powerful Fae female in the court at that moment, into the cave and performing the Rite even though he hated her. Ianthe had insisted it be her, blurring the line between willingness and duty, and giving Ianthe some power over Lucien and making her feel entitled to him.
When this happened in A Court of Mist and Fury, Feyre was still in the Night Court. It was at this point in the book's storyline that she accepted the mating bond between her and Rhys, and they spent the night mating in the Cabin.
- Calan Mai is a celebration in Wales which is held on May 1st each year. Celebrations start on the evening before, known as May Eve, with bonfires; as with Calan Gaeaf or November 1, the night before is considered an Ysbrydnos or "spirit night" when spirits are out and about divination is possible. Calanmai in A Court of Thorns and Roses is a possible reference to this celebration.
- World of Sarah J. Maas' Tumblr: Pronunciation Guide
- A Court of Thorns and Roses: Chapter 20
- A Court of Thorns and Roses: Chapter 21
- A Court of Wings and Ruin: Chapter 2
- Wikipedia: Calan Mai