Today is the First of May. This means different things to different people. For some, May 1st is the beginning of Spring. For others, It holds a much deeper meaning in the form of Beltane. Still others, don’t see it as anything other than an ordinary day.
This isn’t to put one viewpoint over another, but it does highlight how, depending on who you talk to, any particular day could have some kind of deeper meaning.
This is something that you can include in your worldbuilding to add depth to not only your world, but to specific characters in the way they choose to celebrate (or not) a particular holiday.
The example that comes to mind immediately is from the Book and Movie “Gremlins.”
If you’re familiar with either, then you already know where I’m going with this. If not, there is this scene in the movie – which takes place during the X-Mas Holiday – where Kate (Played by Phoebe Cates) tells a sad story about a past Christmas, which is why she doesn’t celebrate the holiday.
I’m not going to get into any spoilers, but that scene stuck with me even after decades. It subverted expectations, gave me important bits of Kate’s backstory and bolstered the point that not everybody has the same feelings about the same holiday.
Now, for those of you writing Sci-Fi or Fantasy, you get a treat:
You can make up your own holidays!
That’s right! And the more diverse your world is, there’s the potential for more holidays. Those holidays can be for anything. Take that and run with it. Are there formal rituals to observe? Is it a big, chaotic party that last for days? Do you race lizards painted with symbolic images for what you hope the coming year will bring?
The Sky isn’t even the limit.
And there may be characters who have different feelings about a particular holiday. This can generate conflict, or provide you with the opportunity to dive a little deeper into a particular character’s story.
So as you’re thinking about your story, and the world your characters live in, go ahead and sprinkle some holidays in there
Just don’t take the racing lizard thing…I might use that somewhere.
Thanks for reading. Be safe out there. Be Excellent to Each other – and yourself.
I’ll see you on Thursday.
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