The festival can be traced back to the days of Arthur Eld in the village of Brockest where Maerlyn convinced the inhabitants to forsake Gan and other gods and worship the gods of the Old Ones the can-char and burn one of their own as an offering building a bonfire from Ghostwood. To their relief the sacrifice worked and they were blessed with fertile lands around their village and the Reaptide festival soon spread throughout Mid-World.
Arthur Eld banned human sacrifices, though it carried it on regardless so he had to compromise, he deemed one person in all of All-World would be sacrificed at the Ghostwood/Charyou Tree.
In later years Arthur's barren wife Rowena conspired with a witch from the Barony of Garland to conceive a child to exact revenge on Emmanuelle Deschain who had already born Arthur a male heir. The conspiracy would make Emmanuelle the selected person for the lottery and that Rowena would become pregnant with the child she desperately wanted. However she gave birth to a were-spider and so the Reaptide sacrifices were stopped and Gan and the other gods once again became worshipped. The human sacrifices were replaced with 'stuffy guys,' straw bundled together to look like humans.
Over the years the celebrations have begun to take different forms around Mid-World. In places such as Hambry preparations for the festival begin weeks in advance after the final harvest of potatoes and apples are gathered. Lanterns and banners are made and hung in anticipation in Hambry's Green Heart pavilion. A stage is also erected here adorned with autumnal flowers. Though they too now burn the 'stuffy guys' on the bonfire erected diagonally from the stage, if there is a particular troublemaker accused of heinous crimes they will sacrifice him on the bonfire instead.
A week before wealthy citizens arrive from all over Mejis to convene with the Mayor and when the Eve of the festival is upon the town the people are often in a celebratory and amorous mood, and decorate their clothing with Reap Charms. While parents entertain themselves, children can take part in games, ride, fire-works, turkey runs, pumpkin-carving, pig scrambles, Riddling Competitions and dancing.
The share with Gilead the practice of choosing a 'Reaping Girl' who is escorted to the festival by a 'Reaping Lad' and parade infront of the townsfolk in five different dresses during the day. The next morning is called, Reap Morn, and symbolises the first day of winter.