For many authors Fall is a great time of year to begin clickity clacking on the keyboard and write their next greatest work. And, contingent upon the location of the author, leaves maybe changing color . . . the air becomes a bit more crisp and the heat has definitely let up no matter where a writer resides. The seasons that lie ahead are rich with sensations as the “events” and “holidays” center on food, festivities, fun and friends . . . there are lights and treats and gifts . . . the warmth of celebration takes the place of a tranquil spot on the beach. And, allows for many authors creative juices to stir.
Good writing is often a result of prompts, which may or may not serve as the crux of a story but getting the creative juices flowing is “key” to a solid bit of wordsmithing. Here are some dates to consider, which may proffer a little webbing to an impending plot or might draw your wit to a day of recollection . . . and just might serve as an insightful list to share with others in day-to-day conversation; these include:
- Christian Event: All Hallows’ Eve (Halloween) – 31 October – a Christian-titled holiday that is often celebrated with traditions originating from a mixture of secular and Celtic pagan influences.
- Hinduism Event: Diwali – mid-October–mid-November – known as the Festival of Lights, this Hindu holiday celebrates the victory of good over evil.
- Historical Event: Columbus Day – 2nd Monday; United Nations Day – 25 October.
- Pagan Event: Samhain: 31 October–1 November – first day of winter in the Celtic calendar and Celtic New Year’s Day.
- Secular Event: Dia de los muertos (Day of the Dead) – 31 October–2 November
- Christianity Event: All Saints Day – 1 November – in Western Christian churches; Nativity Fast – forty days leading to Christmas – also St Philip’s fast, Christmas fast, or winter lent or fast,
- Secular Event(s): Nanowrimo – 1 November-30 November; Calan Gaeaf – 1 November – the first day of winter in Wales;All Souls Day – 2 November; National Deviled Egg Day – 2 November; Look for Circles Day – 2 November; Plan your Epitaph Day – 2 November; Housewife’s Day – 3 November; Sandwich Day – 3 November; General Election Day – first Tuesday in November; King Tut Day – 4 November; Guy Fawkes Night -5 November – celebrated in the UK commemorating the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot; Saxophone Day – 6 November; United States Marine Corps Birthday – 10 November; Armistice Day (Remembrance Day or Veterans Day) – 11 November: memorial day honoring the war dead; Thanksgiving – fourth Thursday of November (US); Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
- Buddhism Event: Bodhi Day – 8 December – Day of Enlightenment, celebrating the day that the historical Buddha (Shakyamuni or Siddhartha Gautama) experienced enlightenment.
- Christianity Event(s): Advent: fourth Sunday preceding 25 December; Immaculate Conception – 8 December; Feast of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December; Krampusnacht – 5 December – the Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated in parts of Europe on 6 December. In Alpine countries, Saint Nicholas has a devilish companion named Krampus who punishes the bad children the night before; Saint Nicholas’ Day – 6 December; Our Lady of Guadalupen – 12 December – an important honor of Mexico’s Patron Saint before Christmas officially begins on December 16; Saint Lucia’s Day – 13 December – Church Feast Day. Saint Lucia comes as a young woman with lights and sweets; Longest Night – a church service to help those coping with loss, usually held on the eve of the Winter Solstice; Christmas Eve – 24 December; Christmas Day: 25 December – one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, increasingly celebrated by Christians and non-Christians alike.; Anastasia of Sirmium feast day: 25 December; Twelve Days of Christmas: 25 December–6 January; Las Posadas – 16–24 December – procession to various family lodgings for celebration & prayer and to re-enact Mary & Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem; Saint Stephen’s Day: 26 December; Saint John the Evangelist’s Day – 27 December; Holy Innocents’ Day – 28 December; Saint Sylvester’s Day – 31 December.
- Fictional or Parody Event(s): Feast of Winter Veil – 15 December–2 January – a holiday in World of Warcraft. This holiday is based on Christmas; Feast of Alvis – in the TV series Sealab 2021. “Believer, you have forgotten the true meaning of Alvis Day. Neither is it ham, nor pomp. Nay, the true meaning of Alvis day is drinking. Drinking and revenge.”–Alvis; Hogswatch – a holiday celebrated on the fictional world of Discworld; Festivus – 23 December – a parody holiday created by Daniel O’Keefe and made popular by Seinfeld as an alternative to Christmas; Decemberween – 25 December – a parody of Christmas that features gift-giving, carol-singing and decorated trees. The fact that it takes place on December 25, the same day as Christmas, has been presented as just a coincidence, and it has been stated that Decemberween traditionally takes place “55 days after Halloween”; Wintersday – the end-of-the-year celebration in the fictional universe of the Guild Wars franchise, starts every year mid December and ends the next year on early January.
- Hinduism Event: Pancha Ganapati – 21–25 December – modern five-day festival in honor of Lord Ganesha, celebrated by Hindus in USA.
- Historical Event(s): Malkh – 25 December; Mōdraniht or Mothers’ Night – the Saxon winter solstice festival; Saturnalia – the Roman winter solstice festival; Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Day of the birth of the Unconquered Sun) – 25 December – late Roman Empire.
- Judaism Event: Ḥănukkāh – usually spelled חנוכה, pronounced [χanuˈka] in Modern Hebrew; a transliteration also romanized as Chanukah or Chanukkah), also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the re-dedication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC.
- Paganism Event(s): Yule – Pagan winter festival that was celebrated by the historical Germanic people from late December to early January; Yalda – 21 December – the turning point, Winter Solstice. As the longest night of the year and the beginning of the lengthening of days, Shabe Yaldā or Shabe Chelle is an Iranian festival celebrating the victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. Shabe yalda means ‘birthday eve.’ According to Persian mythology, Mithra was born at dawn on 22 December to a virgin mother. He symbolizes light, truth, goodness, strength, and friendship. Herodotus reports that this was the most important holiday of the year for contemporary Persians. In modern times Persians celebrate Yalda by staying up late or all night, a practice known as Shab Chera meaning ‘night gazing’. Fruits and nuts are eaten, especially pomegranates and watermelons, whose red color invokes the crimson hues of dawn and symbolize Mithra.
- Secular Event(s): National Fritters Day – 2 December; National Cookie Day – 5 December; Human Rights Day – 10 December; Poinsettia Day – 12 December; Zamenhof Day – 15 December – birthday of Ludwig Zamenhof, inventor of Esperanto the Holiday Reunion for Esperantists; Soyal – 21 December – Zuni and Hopi; HumanLight – 23 December – humanist holiday originated by the New Jersey Humanist Network in celebration of “a Humanist’s vision of a good future.”; Newtonmas – 25 December – as an alternative to celebrating the religious holiday Christmas, some atheists and skeptics have chosen to celebrate December 25 as Newtonmas, due to it being Isaac Newton’s birthday on the old style date; Quaid-e-Azam’s Day – 25 December; Boxing Day – 26 December – Day after Christmas; Kwanzaa – 26 December–1 January – Pan-African festival celebrated in the US; Watch Night – 31 December; New Year’s Eve – 31 December – last day of the Gregorian year; Hogmanay – night of 31 December–before dawn of 1 January – Scottish New Year’s Eve celebration; Dongzhi Festival – a celebration of Winter; Unitarian Universalism; Chalica – first week of December – a holiday created in 2005, celebrated by some Unitarian Universalists.
This is “the short list” of varied “event(s)” and the seasonal calendar. Each principality, nation, country, religion, group, historical annal has even more dates, events, holidays, noted occasions and “each” are a blessing to the writer because these daily gems (for the most part) provide a multitude of stories to create or recreate. Who participates in National Cookie Day? How many Shab Chera practitioners are there? Is the Day of the Dead an excellent theme for a horror novel or what? What about the United Nations . . . why a day for them? And, what about the Longest Night or Immaculate Conception or combining the two into a Sci Fi Thriller?
Writing prompts and holidays are like a waterfall near a forceful spring – they are everywhere. Use them to your advantage and get the keystrokes humming!
- List of multinational festivals and holidays. Wikipedia. 2015.
- Holidays Calendar(s).
- Morning Glory Art
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Ms. D. L. Quesinberry appreciates input and feedback. Leave comments and/or submit story ideas. If you are an author and would like to be interviewed or to have your book(s) reviewed – write to NWE@donnaink.com