DEEP WITHIIN THE MOUNTAINS, where the snow is ever white and the forest ever green, where the winds sing through icicle chimes, there’s a town that has never known a holiday. There’s no Hanukkah, no Diwali, no festival of lights of any sort, no Day of Enlightenment, no Yule, no Pancha Ganapati. Though they’re aware of the solstice, it’s not observed in any way. There’s no Kwanzaa, no Boxing Day, and no Watch Night. Families don’t gather for the D?ngzhì Festival. Malanka is completely unknown.
The town has no holidays at all, winter or summer, regardless of the snow, and no contact with the world beyond its mountains. After witnessing airplanes overhead, and noticing fresh satellites in the night sky, they realized they’ve been excluded from the world. They sent scouts to discover what the rest of the world might have to offer.
A year passed, and the scouts began to return – from every point on the compass, with impossible maps and impossible magical technology, and in addition to all this, the holidays. They brought candles and wreaths, garlands and sweets, fruits and incense. They brought partridges and turtle doves and golden rings. They brought teas and cakes, and stories and songs to explain all the different festivals, their purposes and intentions, who or what or how they celebrated. “The arrival of winter.” “The liberation of the Temple.” “The birth of their savior.” “They give gifts.” “They gather to feast with distant relatives.” “They honor their ancestors.” They wish for peace and prosperity.” “They share their fortunes.” “And their love.”
The elders sequestered themselves for many long nights deliberating. When they emerged, they proclaimed that all the holidays should be celebrated, every one, as they all honored family and neighbors and love, and what could be better than that?
This season, after a whole year’s planning and preparation, the town introduced itself to the world. No one had ever seen such a colorful, joyful place, nor one so reverent, nor one so thankful. There had never been so great a feast, and they invited the rest of the world to join this forgotten town in its enthusiastic celebrations.