The 4th of July is almost upon us, and I found myself thinking about the holiday and just what this particular holiday is all about.
This one is a commemoration of a very important event to us, culturally—the day we have earmarked as our "Independence Day”, a date in history that marked our official separation from England, and the formation of a new country. It’s a marker of our identity as a country, as well as an excuse to get a day or two off from work.
Thinking about this holiday leads to a question about Azelle, the planet I am exploring through my series The Azellian Affairs. It stirred my curiosity, so I tapped in and asked. Does Azelle have holidays?
The answer I got was: it’s complicated. The economic system is different than ours, and the cultural attitudes are as well, so what they have doesn’t really resemble what we know as holidays from work, but Azellians do celebrate important moments in Azellian history.
One of these is the Arrival: Azelle’s native population is non-corporeal. These beings came to Earth a long time ago and collected a group of humans who wanted to leave Earth. These humans were brought to Azelle and settled there under the guidance of Azelle’s native species. This date is celebrated by those Azellians who have a corporeal existence at the beginning of Azelle’s “new year”, which happens roughly in the planet’s early summer months.
Each corporeal subculture that lives on Azelle has its own set of solstice, natural event and historical celebrations. Azelle has seasons, although they are not as developed as many places on Earth. The poles are a bit greener, more temperate and carefully irrigated and cultivated. They celebrate the planting season, the harvest and the demarcation between spring, summer, fall and winter.
The only world-wide Azellian holiday for both corporeal and non-corporeal sentient beings is Festival: Azelle’s “winter” is in the form of planet-wide sandstorms, forcing the population to live mostly underground, and cutting it off from communication with the rest of the universe for approximately two-three Azellian months. When the storms die down, the entire population of Azelle comes out to celebrate the arrival of spring and warmer weather. It is a time of awareness and expansion, a time to explore the potentials that might be without judgment or restriction. It is a time of joy and celebration, of oneness, and a foreshadowing of what is to come.
So as we spend time with our families this fourth of July, watching the fireworks that commemorate the efforts our ancestors went to to bring about what we know now, we can spend time to be grateful for ourselves, our world and our place in the universe…