Anyway, happy fourth of July today, and happy fifth of July tomorrow. Because tomorrow is a Crossworlds holiday--the Celebration of June (I'll tell you all about it tomorrow).
If you're writing in a fantasy world, an important part of world building is the cultural differences. One easy place to start is holidays. I find that determining holidays in your fantasy world is a fun way to discover more about that world's history and culture.
How do you determine what holiday traditions to implement into your story? Think about traditions unique to your family. Ask your friends what their special traditions are. Already, you'll find a lot of differences. Research the most traditional ceremonies. How many do you participate in? Then, expand your research to holiday traditions in other countries. You can pull inspiration from anywhere. Put your own twist on holiday traditions, and adapt them to your fantasy world. Remember, there should be reasons why they do what they do, based on history, superstition, etc.
You can also take holiday traditions you don't like, and flip them into how you think they should be. For example, one December I found myself particularly fed up with the materialistic craze surrounding Christmas. I wrote the Winter Celebration in Crossworlds to be one of the smaller holidays, more family-focused and less anticipated. Also, the Summer Celebration is the biggest because duh, summer is the best season.
You don't always have to include the actual holiday in your story. I wrote the Celebration of Fall in the beginning of The Mansion's Family not only to let readers experience more of the culture, but to reintroduce all the characters and get my readers centered in Crossworldsland once again. But it does take a lot of pages, so ask yourself if it's really necessary to include the entire thing. Brief mentions of certain traditions are often all that's necessary. Mainly, you want to learn as much as you can about your world's culture so you can accurately describe the people who live there.
Now, these tips may not be relevant if your writing a book in this world, but it's still something to think about in reference to your main character. What days are most significant to him/her? Later on in the Crossworlds books, there's a sort of holiday called "Talia's Day." I say "sort of holiday" because it's only significant to one family. What days are holidays in your main characters world?
It's often hard to know where to start in worldbuilding. Holidays are an easy in, and lots of fun. Plus, once you've determined days in your world that are special, you can celebrate them in this world! It's not crazy, you're an author!
Happy fourth, everyone!