Christmas in July is now firmly enough entrenched in culture that the Hallmark Channel has an annual programming block and movie release based around it. The holiday’s sprawl is massive, claiming an entire summer month to go along with its traditional footprint of December and decades-long encroachment into November.
That makes lots of people happy, so, great. It’s not hurting anyone. But for those of us without a lot of Christmas cheer, July is tough. In December, there are solstice celebrations and lots of religious observances deriving from that time of year, as humans celebrate making it through the darkest time of Earth’s orbit around the sun.
Chanukah is about the Maccabees, sure, but it’s ultimately a festival of lights set around the winter solstice, that same category. If it’s a light show you’re after, for that summer holiday fix, America’s birthday gets celebrated with fireworks in the night sky after the sun has taken its dear sweet time setting (and everyone has gotten good and drunk, as Ben Franklin intended).
But the Fourth of July is uniquely American, and it’s on July 4 every year. It’s missing the other allure of Chanukah, the mystery of when it will occur each year on our solar calendar, as the Jewish calendar is lunar.
Good news: just as America declared our independence from the British, we can enjoy a new holiday perfect for celebrating… uh…
It’s Flying Ant Day!
There’s natural wonder, as the swarms of flying ants fly so densely, they interfere with England’s weather radar. Also, darkening the skies at the brightest time of year, well, that’s just a perfect inverse of Chanukah, isn’t it?
There’s a spirit of self-determination, as the flying ants are led by young queens to start new colonies, whereupon they stop flying until the next Flying Ant Day.
There’s sexual liberation, as the queens mate with male ants mid-flight, preparing to populate those new colonies.
There’s misandry, as the males, having served their solitary life purpose, simply die.
There’s a jarring warning about climate change, as Flying Ant Day is tied to heat and humidity, and what once was a holiday commonly found on the calendar in early August now is happening in early July.
There’s a literal pestilence, just like Passover!
And there’s a major sporting event. At least this year, because England and Italy are playing for the Euro title on Sunday (3 p.m. ET, ESPN/TUDN; England +160, Italy +200, Draw +200) at Wembley Stadium.
Unfortunately, there’s already a flying insect-related celebration tied to soccer, as a certain species of cicada in Ri-Bhoi, India, about halfway between Bhutan and Bangladesh, appears every four years, right around the time of the World Cup.
Of course, next year’s World Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar in November and December, so the insects of northeastern India won’t have their chance to appear concurrently with the tournament.
It means that we need Flying Ant Day now more than ever. Thanks ants. Thants.