"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" (In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming)
~ H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu, 1928
Celebrated thrice every year, Cthulhu Day is named for the fictional cosmic entity created by writer H. P. Lovecraft in 1928. A gigantic deity worshipped by cultists, Cthulhu is variously described in appearance as a massive hybrid of human, octopus, and dragon. R'lyeh, for which this tartan is named, is the fictional lost island city in Lovecraft's tales, sunken deep under the Pacific Ocean where the Great Old One, Cthulhu, is interred. While waiting for Cthulhu's call, modern fans can even indulge in Cthulhu Offerings (OFF), an actual Cthulhu-based cryptocurrency! OFF users have adopted their own slang: coins are "offerings" or "blessings," users are "cultists," and mining is done via "sacrifices."
"Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die."
~The Kraken, Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1830)
In February of 1928, Weird Tales magazine published “The Call of Cthulhu” H.P. Lovecraft’s most celebrated story.
Cthulhu is depicted by Lovecraft depicts as a gigantic entity worshipped by cultists. His appearance is described as looking like an octopus, a dragon, and a caricature of human form. Its name was given to the Lovecraft-inspired universe where it and its fellow entities existed, the Cthulhu Mythos.
The influence of Howard Phillips Lovecraft’s works on horror and fantasy literature inspired many successful writers such as Stephen King and Neil Gaiman.
Cthulhu Day is held thrice every year, on April 2nd, February 27 and December 2nd.
Although not an official tartan, this tribute tartan has been woven into a few special kilts. Are you one of the lucky owners? For more on the Cthulhu mythos, click Cthulhu!