A new holiday created for the Whatever Contest December 2020
A Brief History of Mars Colony Celebration Week
By decree of the New United Nations, in the year 2055, December 12th is known as Mars Day - to celebrate the efforts and sacrifices made by all those who worked toward the advancement of space travel and exploration. The date was chosen in acknowledgement of the date the United Nations established the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), in 1959, as well as the date the first human set her foot on the red planet, in 2039.
Since its inception, the day is celebrated as the Martian New Year in the Colony, complete with red champagne toasts and fireworks at midnight, UTC, Earth time. On Earth, it's a day to mark the significance of the collective human effort necessary to reach each milestone along the way, culminating, for now, in the colonization of Mars.
Initially recognized as a one-day international holiday, it was a day off of school and work - except for essential workers and first responders - with programming geared toward Space Travel education and propaganda promoting the Mars Colonial Population Initiative available to stream. The next year, the holiday extended to a three-day event, with parades, fireworks and space jet fly-overs in Houston, Cape Canaveral, Washington DC, Tokyo, Shanghai, Moscow, Sydney, Los Angeles, London, Paris and Berlin. Buenos Aires, Cairo, Mogadishu, Cape Town, Rome, Athens, Panama City and Gibraltar joined in the next year, and each year after, more cities hosting celebrations are added to the list.
Over the last two decades, the celebratory events expanded to include a full week of commemorative launches, special appearances by former astronauts, engineers and scientists, streaming re-broadcasts of significant launch and landing events. Many people choose to celebrate by going to watch a launch live, participating in a mini rocket launch competition or booking a ticket for their first space-cation. Each year, the celebration is bigger and better than the last.
With the agricultural boom in the colony, and bounty sent home to Earth, meals are prepared throughout the week with a red planet theme in mind. Red martian potatoes, cabbage and carrots along with orange martian chicken and pork, are among the most popular items to prepare. All served with red Martian wine, of course. The kids especially look forward to Dippin' Dots for dessert.
A mere century or two ago, we thought keeping in touch with family overseas was tough. But, if 2020 taught us anything, aside from the obvious fact wearing masks and staying home during a pandemic are both very good ideas, it was the value of video calls. In honor of the sacrifices made by so many families to put humans on Mars, Interstellar-Zoom makes their video call service to Mars available to everyone for free for the whole week. Many grandparents meet their grandchildren via video chat for the first time during the holiday.
As we continue to expand our footprint in the solar system, and eventually beyond, the Martian Colony Celebration Week will certainly take on new events and traditions as it evolves with us. Who knows? Maybe in twenty years, it will be known as Milky Way Domination Celebration week. Or, maybe the party will be over by then, and we'll be enslaved by aliens to strip Earth and other worlds of their resources. Either way, one thing you can count on, it won't be anything like the year before.