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Assassin's Creed Day
- The 21st of December
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20/12/19 By Thea Marie Rivendal Edited by Ashlea Buckley
Why do we celebrate Assassin’s Creed (AC) Day, and why exactly the 21 st of December? Like every other person, firm, land, event etc. each have their day of celebration, why should our beloved franchise be any different? To have a specific day to celebrate something thousand of people have in common is a great way to reminisce the games, the characters and the stories they tell.
Why then the 21 st of December?
The Winter Solstice – Early Human Tradition and Celebration
The 21 st of December is commonly known as the Winter Solstice when the Earth’s North pole reach its furthest point away from the Sun, and for the people in the North the days grow longer again, and the darkest time of the year is finally coming to an end. The same thing happens in the South in June. The Winter Solstice have been celebrated by humans for thousands of years, both as a way of remarking the Sun’s lowest point on the horizon, as well as it’s rebirth and new rising. As far as 10,000 years ago, humans witnessed the Sun’s fall and rise on the sky, and celebrated it thereafter with religious and burial grounds being built to mark the turning Sun.
Throughout the World, humans have made monuments according to the Sun and its movements. Both advanced civilisations, like Ancient Egypt and Greece, as well as more primitive ones like the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age civilisations in the North of Europe built their tombs based on the placement and the importance of the Sun. Some even studied the Sun and used it in their calculations. In 240 BCE. the scholar Eratosthenes used the Summer Solstice and the measurement of the angle of a shadow cast by a stick to calculate approximately just how big the Earth is.
The Sun have also been used as one of the first symbols created by humans. The Spiral is considered one of the earliest symbols made by man, and although the meaning of it varies from place to place, the worship of the Sun has left its mark on many civilisations through time. As a symbol of growth, strength, rebirth and new life, we have discovered in modern times just how ferocious and dangerous the Sun really is. In Assassin’s Creed, solar flares followed by a massive coronal mass ejection was the doom of the First Civilisation in 75 000 BCE. It would
have been our doom again was it not for the Assassin Desmond Miles and his team in 2012.
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Desmond Miles – the Little-Known Ultimate Sacrifice
As we know from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the 21 st of December isn’t all about the fall and rise of the Sun. The first modern world protagonist we meet in the franchise, Desmond Miles, sacrificed his life on December 21st in 2012 to save the Earth from the disaster that would occur, saving billions of people.
The Number 72 – Both a Password and a Puzzle
72 isn’t a number that is strikingly astonishing alone, and unless you’ve kept your eyes and ears open, it’s even illusive in the franchise. The number first appears in 45 BCE when the Vault in Rome was opened by Marcus Junius Brutus, then again later by Ezio Auditore in 1506 and his descendant Desmond Miles in 2012. The number’s importance becomes evident when it reveals to be the very password for the Vault. As explained by Shaun in AC: Brotherhood:
The Tetragrammaton. The 72 names of God. You see? They're all contained within three verses: Exodus 19 through 21. And, get this, you'll like this. If you arrange the four Hebrew letters in God's name within an equilateral triangle, their numerical values add up to the same number: 72.
Although Assassin’s Creed may be quite fond of the number 72, it can also be found outside the franchise. If you dig into the amount of occasions 72 have been mentioned through time, the list grows longer and longer the further you dig. From the 72 sicknesses, the 72 steps from Earth to Heaven in the Bible, the 72 old men of the Synagogue, the 72 Immortals in Taoism, the 72 evil disciples who enclosed the god Osiris in a coffin, the list, to say it short, goes on forever. If it’s God’s little joke, a human made coincidence or just Nature having fun with the number, it’s not a number to be throw under the carpet. It is an important number, both in history and in Assassin’s Creed.
Before the release of AC: Origins and Odyssey, every main game from Ubisoft have been released within the time frame October 10th to December 21st. Whether it be intentional or not by the developers, it’s a funny coincidence nonetheless. From October to December, the franchise celebrates the growing amount of beloved games. Everyone has their own favourite, their first game or the one that touched a special place in our hearts. For the community, to have a day of celebration simply adds to the joy (and make an excuse for giving gifts).
Image by Assassin's Creed Wiki
The Community – a Day of Celebration, Charity and Reminiscing
AC Day may have multiple meanings and significant facts behind the date, but first and foremost it’s a day for the fans, for the community and the hardworking people behind the games we all love.
About the Author
Thea is a full time student studying archaeology at the University of Bergen in Norway. She is a huge fan of the franchise and enjoys writing both fictional and academic texts.
Thea Marie Rivedal