Japanese Iris Festival and Baronial Equestrian Champs

In less than 3 months the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands will host its second Japanese Iris Festival. “What is that?” you may ask.

In Japan it is also called Tango no Sekku or Ayame no hi and was one of the five festival held at the Japanese imperial court. Originally it was on the fifth day of the fifth month or moon in the Chinese lunar calendar. When Japan switched to the Gregorian calendar the date was set to May 5th. Our festival is in early June due to the busy May calendar. Other countries in Asia have a similar festival on the same day. The festival marks the beginning of summer rainy season. Formerly the festival was known as Boys’ Day and the corresponding Girls’ Day was March 3th. After World War II, the two holidays were combined to be Children’s Day and was renamed to Kodomo no Hi. You will typically see carp-shaped banner displayed, one for each child. Treats that are traditional on this day are rice cakes called mochi rapped in oak leaves called kashiwa. The kashiwa-mochi are filled with red bean paste. Another traditional treat is chimaki, which is a sweet rice paste wrapped in an iris or bamboo leaf.

Our festival will include demonstrations and classes of various Japanese arts and skills. The demonstrations and classes include taiko drumming, shibori make-and-take gift cloths, kumihimo, and tea ceremony. All are welcome to come watch and learn. If you would like to teach a class, especially about Japanese things or run a demo, use the following link to sign-up and provide information about your class. https://forms.gle/5Bnmw25aygpWDCtw6. If you have questions about teaching or running a demo, please contact the class coordinator Gwendolyn the Graceful, gwenlygrace@gmail.com. An event schedule and class schedule will be posted closer to the event.

The traditional festival name Tango no Sekku has meaning in Japanese. Tan means beginning and go is the simified character for horse. Horse is the Chinese zodiac sign for the fifth month. Sekku means festival. So the basic translation would be first day of horse month festival. But in Japanese go is the word for five so the double meaning of go means it’s the fifth day of the horse month. Well then, horses are the perfect addition to the Iris festival. We will be holding a the Baronial Equestrian Champs for the riders and the horses. This will include the garb potion of the competition. Riders are encouraged to assemble an appropriate medieval Japanese equestrian outfit. In addition to the Baronial Equestrian Champs, there will be a number of games. Come watch the horsing around. There will also be a joust, weather permitting. Equestrians must contact THLady Gesa von Wellenstein at gwellenstein@yahoo.com or by phone at (724) 991-0917 to discuss equine logistics.

The event will be held on Saturday, June 10th, from 9 am to 7 pm at the Horse Arena at Bradys Run Park, 121 Bradys Run Road, Beaver Falls, PA, 15010. The autocrat for this event is Hara Kikumatsu, mka Sharon Booth, 1105 Shady Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. The email address is sbooth@sbooth.net, phone 412-441-1607. This is a land-line with answering machine. Please leave a message. No calls after 9pm.

Event cost:
Adult Event Registration $15
Adult Member Registration $10
Youth 17 and under are free
Bento box lunch – optional – $5

There are a limited number of prepared bento boxes. You can preorder by email to forveleth@gmail.com Make sure you specific you want regular, gluten free, or vegan box as well as your name both SCA and mundane. Note if you don’t prepay for the bento box, you must troll in by noon and pay. Otherwise your unpaid box with be sold. If you have specific dietary needs, email the lunch box lady, THL Elss of Augsburg, elss.of.augsburg@gmail.com

To preregister for the event and to purchase a bento box lunch, send a check payable to SCA PA, Inc. – BMDL, to the head trollner, Lady Forveleth Dunde: Miranda Gavrin, 326 Lincoln Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106.

From Pittsburgh: Take 376 west. Take Chippawa exit 31, route 51. Go south on 51 to the and turn right into the park entrance. First you pass a large building, Bradys Run Recreation Facility. Just past the Recreation Facility, turn left at the road with the signs for Bradys Run Recycling Center and Horse Arena Shelters 1, 2 & 3. Then, immediately turn right.

From points further south of Pittsburgh: Take 79 north, then 376 west and follow directions from Chippawa exit 31.

From north of Cranberry, PA: Take 79 south to Cranberry and follow signs for PA turnpike and go west on turnpike, I76.
From the turnpike: exit at Beaver Falls route 18. Take route 18 south. Just after the YMCA on the left, turn right on Veteran’s bridge. Turn right after you cross the river on to 51 north. Take 51 north to the park entrance. Turn left into the park. First you pass a large building, Bradys Run Recreation Facility. Just past the Recreation Facility, turn left at the road with the signs for Bradys Run Recycling Center and Horse Arena Shelters 1, 2 & 3. Then, immediately turn right.

From further further east: Take the PA turnpike west and follow the directions from exit at Beaver Falls route 18.

When searching on maps online you can use the Bradys Run Ice Arena also known as the Bradys Run Recreation Facility.

Barony Meeting – Baronial Election Results THIS SUNDAY!!! 4pm – 8 pm EST

Their Graces, Duke Byron and Duchess Ariella, have graciously agreed to host the ballot counting to determine the results of the Baronial Election at their Castle. The address is located in the Dark Pages! We are starting at 4:00pm.

Their Graces have offered to let us have a potluck and enjoy the evening while we await the results. The evening will end at 8pm.

REMINDER: The official count will start at 4:30 PM at which time any valid ballot in a sealed envelop not in the hands of His Excellency Brandubh shall become null and void.

Additionally; Their Graces’ Castle is in the process of renovation.

Please note that the driveway is extremely treacherous with many caltrops to impede descending hordes. Plan to walk down the driveway!

The grass used for parking has also suffered from the masses of laborers who have been assisting with the renovation.

Please park carefully because mud can be problematic in early spring.

In Service,
Baroness Muirhgeal inghean Dubhghaill, Seneschal of the Barony-Marche of the DebatabeLands

Call for Letters – Barony Webminister

Salve Accolens!

As my term as the current Webminister of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands comes to a close in April, I wanted to invite all interested and qualified members to submit a letter of intent for the position as I am not seeking a second term.

If you are passionate about the Barony and have the necessary skills and experience, I encourage you to consider submitting a letter of intent by the April business meeting. I will happily act as deputy in order to assure a smooth transition as long as I am needed. For technical skills, you should have a basic understanding of HTML. Most of the role involves being able to promptly respond to email requests to publish new information to the site, blog, and Barony calendar.

Please include your qualifications, relevant experience, and vision for the role in your letter of intent. As a reminder, in order to be considered for the position, you must be a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism in good standing and a member of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands.

You can submit your letter of intent via email to Their Excellencies, Baron Brandubh and Baroness Hilderun, and to our Seneschal, Baroness Muirgheal by April 12, 2023.

In service to the Barony,

Reinhard Regenbogen, Outgoing Webminister of the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands

Baronial Elections Update, running out of time!

Hello Debatable Lands!

The Baronial Election is underway and will soon be over.All ballots must be received by Baron Brandubh IN HAND (mail or hand delivery), sealed in the provided envelope by 4:30pm on Sunday April 2nd. If you are mailing in your ballots, please mail them today to ensure that the Post Office has sufficient time to deliver them. Last postal mail delivery must be received at Brandubh’s house by Saturday April 1st.

The Ballot Counting Barony Meeting Party will start at 4pm on Sunday after martial practices, April 2nd, at Their Graces Byron and Ariella’s Castle in Wexford. See you there! At 4:30 the Baronial Election Committee will take all ballots received by Baron Brandubh and begin the tally. No further ballots will be accepted after this point.

Want to read about the candidates? Check it out here:



Baron Brandubh

Election: Ballot Reminder!

Hello Debatable Lands! Salve Accolens!

Baronial Election ballots were mailed about 3 weeks ago. If you were a member of the SCA as of January, or requested a ballot before the nominating meeting, you should have already received it.

Drop Baroness Hilda an email if you believe you should have gotten a ballot but didn’t. baroness@debatablelands.org. (She will answer every email – if you didn’t get a reply, she didn’t get your email!) You may send any questions about the election her way as well.

Ballots are due IN HAND by Baron Brandubh, sealed in their provided envelope, by 4:30pm Sunday, April 2nd. That’s when the counting will commence at the Barony Meeting Election Counting Party, at Duke Byron and Duchess Ariella’s Castle in Wexford (party starts at 4pm). Link to FB event.

You may hand-deliver any completed and sealed ballots to Baroness Hilda at the Vikingathing event this Saturday, if you like. Event web. Event FB page. (I hear there are still a couple feast spaces left) SO EXCITED to see everyone!

BMDL Rapier practice on March 12th

I am subbing in to run rapier and cut & thrust practice this Sunday, March 12th. Practice is at our indoor winter location, starting at 11am and lasting until 3pm. The location is, if you need it: Ace Axe Throwing, 145 E 8th Ave, Homestead, PA 15120. You can park in the Aldi parking lot, and head towards the old bank. Entrance is around the opposite side. Simply walk straight in and ask where the elevator to the SCA practice is if you don’t know. Practice is on the “penthouse” or 5th floor. I will have very limited rapier/cut & thrust loaner equipment and weapons available.
If anyone is interested, at the beginning of practice I will be doing a brief description/demo of how you fight with rapier legal spears. Otherwise, we will have free sparring and then a bearpit. See you then!
-Clewin Kupferhelbelinc

Online sewing Mar 16th 7:30pm

The next online sewing is Thursday, March 16th at 7:30 pm in the kingdom zoom. There is a guest host this month, Lady Elinor Walden. Lady Elinor is a sewing powerhouse with a wide range of beautiful gowns, skirts, tops, hats, and other accessories to her credit. See the zoom information below. If you have questions or want the zoom information, email sewing (at) debatablelands (dot) org.

Armored practice Sunday 3/5/23

After some consideration, we will be holding practice at the Baronial Social event linked below. I had intended to keep practice at its normal time and place, but reconsidered. It should be nice weather for outdoor fighting. I hope to see everyone there.