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*