Another bloody holiday?

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I hate Valentine’s Day with a passion beyond understanding.

In my opinion, it’s a made-up holiday designed to make unmarried/unattached adults feel bad about their unattached state and to prop up the card industry suffering from the post-Christmas slump. I apologize if this is your favorite day of the year, if you and your honey wait breathlessly for this day to shout your shared adoration from the rooftops. You see, I taught in a preschool for over ten years, where once a year I had to spend about nine hours with 20 to 25 children whose parents had proved their undying lurve by feeding their precious darlings chocolate chip pancakes garnished with candy hearts for breakfast, then sending two pounds of bagged candy and several dozen cupcakes topped with 4″ icing to share with their friends at school. (No, I couldn’t just throw away the cupcakes…four year olds have pretty sophisticated communication skills, especially when those expected cupcakes don’t show up.) So by the time I got home, all I wanted was a cup of peppermint tea and silence.

But despite my intense dislike of the day, it actually lent itself to a thought for this blog (as Faith has pointed out, writers have a unique skill of tying disparate subjects together.) So here’s your writing exercise for today…what holidays would you like to create for your fiction? What are the rules? The expectations? The history? (If you’ve already created one you’d like to share, that’s cool, too.)

I’ve been thinking about an end-of-summer celebration. My novels take place in a tropical archipelago which suffers the onslaught of storms every summer. The holiday would move, being celebrated on the day the wind finally changes and signals the end of the storm seasons. Observances in the larger cities would be feasts and dancing in the main streets. Out away from the cities, the dancing would be more religious in nature, resembling the zar dancing of certain Middle Eastern cultures. All the dances would involve spiral patterns, matching the behavior of the storms themselves, with people on the sidelines throwing water at the dancers. The dancing would go on until the sun rose the next day, at which point the revellers would straggle to the highest point in their city to greet the clear sky.

There would be no heart-shaped candy involved. *smile*

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8 comments to Another bloody holiday?

  • Bah humbug.
    I’m a holiday … not hater, exactly … just not celebrator at heart. Heart .

    But it’s time to stop for the day and snuggle with the hubby, which we do every day I am home in the evenings (usually 5 nights a week). That means I celebrate heart day nearly every day, I guess.
    Bah humbug… *grinning*
    Faith

  • R.

    I’ve got a prolonged ‘holiday’ in one of my stories that’s inspired by the local brew-fests here in the Pacific Northwest — it’s prolonged in order to deal with the inevitable hangovers, and such. There are anniversaries of various sorts, and birthday celebrations, too.

  • MelanieGriffin

    A writing prompt! Cool! =)

    Misty, this is something I already have lined up to happen in Book 2. It requires some research (a happy thing for writers!) and tailoring for the society it applies to, aside from the human one. Hmm. Maybe this will lure me out of the edit / rewrite creative mire as a mental break. Thanks!

    ~ Melanie
    (who is with you both on holidays in general, and doesn’t like societally dictated emotional arcs!! >=( )

  • Michele Conti

    *shrug* Today I spent with the best girlfriend I have, since the boyfriend is out working. I made a nice salmon dinner and she was quite pleased as all she’d eaten prior to coming over was chocolate and candy.

    I’ve got ideas for holidays, but they’re all variations on old real ones…*Shrug* Most of them don’t involve gift giving or cards though. Dancing, lots of dancing. And a bit of drinkin’ though.

  • Mark Wise

    I am afraid to say that I enjoy Valentine’s Day if for no other reason than it is a day to focus our love on our friends and family..

    As for holidays in general, I have always enjoyed the holidays around Springtime. They are filled with life and rebirth. There is such joy with them.

  • Nancy and I enjoy Valentine’s simply because it’s an excuse to give each other candy. I mean, c’mon: here’s a holiday that’s built around chocolate and sex. How bad can it be?

    Holidays I’ve created — in my Winds of the Forelands books the land had two moons, and each cycle there’d be a night when both moons were full (Night of Two Moons) and a night when there was no moon at all (Pitch Night). For each month, each of those nights carried some significance. For instance (as long as we’re talking about Heart day) in the month of Adriel, the goddess of love, it was said that a love consummated on the Night of Two Moons would last a lifetime. A love consummated on Pitch Night would end in betrayal. Not holidays, per se, but something like.

  • I agree on the thesis of Valentine’s day, although because of my little sisters project on the origin of Vday it turns out that there is actual lore and roots dating back to the Roman Empire that lead to the today’s twisted version parade of red and pink. Still I don’t enjoy that holiday!

    In my future novel project with a radical new world there are six major holidays that are celebrated, when the seasons change. The exact date a season changes, the world tree changes colors on leaves and flowers and people dress the same way and celebrate a new season, a special time dedicated for new activities connected to the land and agriculture. For the different classes there are different ways to feast and reasons too.

  • Judy

    Friends of ours also “hate” Valentine’s Day so they celebrate Lincoln’s Birthday instead!
    You really have to use your imagination to come up with cards, gifts and decorations all revolving around Lincoln! Luckily, they both have imagination to spare and have come up with some great celebrations.
    They also celebrate “1/2 Price Chocolate Day” on the days after Valentine’s Day, Easter and Halloween! They are the original chocoholic couple! They once had a “Choc-luck” party instead of a Potluck party. Everyone had to bring something made of chocolate. You should have seen some of the food we had. Yum!To make matters worse, they are both slim and in great shape! Damn their metabolisms!