I know . . . why do we put ourselves through this?

I won’t get into the whole War on Christmas thing or what that day does or doesn’t mean to me. Who cares, right? If you’re a Christian, well, then Merry Christmas! If you aren’t, then Happy Holidays. If you aren’t interested in holidays at all then I wish you a safe and happy day . . . today!

We should probably wish each other a Merry Every Day, shouldn’t we?

But how about this, in terms of worldbuilding for fantasy and science fiction: Holidays both religious and secular can give us a sense of community, and sometimes, as with Thanksgiving or Independence Day, allow us to extend that community to all fellow citizens, regardless of religion. All I can ask is: What holidays do the people of your world celebrate and how do they celebrate them, but most of all, why?

The “why” behind Christmas might have gotten fuzzy for some of us, but that says something about the world we’ve built for ourselves here, doesn’t it? So then why would the people of your fantasy world celebrate the Feast of Zornak? The Ascension of the Black Goat? Imperial Bathtub Day?

Bathtub Day, you may ask?

Though Christmas does have a tendency to eclipse all else, how about a quick list, which I pulled from the web site Holidays Calendar, of thirty-five holidays, Christmas included, that we might encounter this month:

  1. Thursday, December 1: Eat a Red Apple Day
  2. Friday, December 2: National Fritters Day
  3. Sunday, December 4: National Cookie Day
  4. Monday, December 5: St. Nicholas Eve (Belgium)
  5. Monday, December 5: Bathtub Day
  6. Monday, December 5: Day of the Ninja
  7. Tuesday, December 6: St. Nicholas Day
  8. Tuesday, December 6: Feast of St. Nicholas (Italy)
  9. Tuesday, December 6: National Gazpacho Day
  10. Wednesday, December 7: Feast of St. Ambrose (Milan, Italy)
  11. Wednesday, December 7: National Cotton Candy Day
  12. Thursday, December 8: Immaculate Conception (Austria)
  13. Thursday, December 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  14. Sunday, December 11:  Anniversary of the Statute of Westminster (Canada)
  15. Monday, December 12: Day of the Virgin Guadalupe (Mexico)
  16. Monday, December 12: Poinsettia Day
  17. Friday, December 16: Day of Reconciliation (South Africa)
  18. Friday, December 16: National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
  19. Saturday, December 17: National Maple Syrup Day
  20. Wednesday, December 21: Winter Solstice (China)
  21. Friday, December 23: Emperor’s Birthday (Japan)
  22. Friday, December 23: Festivus
  23. Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve
  24. Sunday, December 25: Christmas
  25. Sunday, December 25: Hanukkah
  26. Monday, December 26: St. Stephan’s Day (Austria)
  27. Monday, December 26: Boxing Day (Canada)
  28. Monday, December 26: Second Christmas (Germany)
  29. Monday, December 26: Synaxis of the Mother of God (Greece)
  30. Monday, December 26: Public Holiday (South Africa)
  31. Wednesday, December 28: Day of the Innocents (Mexico)
  32. Friday, December 30: Rizal Day (Philippines)
  33. Saturday, December 31: New Year’s Eve
  34. Saturday, December 31: St. Sylvester’s Day (Austria)
  35. Saturday, December 31: Make Up Your Mind Day

At least according to this list, today is no holiday at all. In an attempt to rectify that I want to officially declare December 20 as This Blog Post Day. Today, we shall come together as a community to honor this particular blog post.

All joking aside, imagine my horror at finding out I totally missed Day of the Ninja!

Okay, kinda hard to put that on the same footing as Christmas or the Synaxis of the Mother of God, but I guess Ninjas need love too.

What am I even talking about?


—Philip Athans


About Philip Athans

Philip Athans is the New York Times best-selling author of Annihilation and a dozen other books including The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Writing Monsters. His blog, Fantasy Author’s Handbook, ( is updated every Tuesday, and you can follow him on Twitter @PhilAthans.
This entry was posted in Books, characters, how to write fantasy, how to write fiction, how to write horror, how to write science fiction, Publishing Business, SF and Fantasy Authors, transmedia, Writing, writing advice, writing fantasy, writing horror, writing science fiction, Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Amanda says:

    I believe the traditional method of celebrating This Blog Post Day involves merlot, chocolate cake, and an hour of silence in a warm bath. I know a certain holiday THIS overworked mother plans to celebrate today!

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