When we create worlds and people to man them, we're creating ENTIRE worlds. Every little aspect is new to our specific world view--even if it's something we see everyday. Now granted, people who are working with our world, or variations of it, do have a nice base to work from, but they still have to build in what aspects to accent and show.
But for us building new worlds completely from scratch, we have a lot to deal with.
World building can be fun, painful, or somewhere in-between. Some writers spend YEARS (I kid you not- they scare me) building their worlds before they write one word of the story. I do wonder if, at that point, the world building has become the story. Other folks are more like me at the pantser end of the gene pool--even world building is more of a "as you go" project. We have ideas, more of a feel for a world than hard and fast definitions of everything. As the book progresses more rules fall into place. (I know that is making all you plotters squirm ;)).
New worlds will have new holidays and celebrations too. What do the people in this world you've created celebrate? Harvest? Spring? The coming of the cool season? Birthdays? How do they celebrate them?
Today is my birthday and that's what got me thinking about all of my worlds and my characters. I haven't built in a single birthing day reference, celebration, ceremony, or hootenanny to celebrate any of their birthdays. If they celebrate them. Some cultures may not count the birthday, but another day years down the line. Maybe it's bad luck to celebrate a birthday. The options are pretty open. But somehow my characters ended up without anything.
It wasn't conscious, just something that I didn't do. But it's wasting a great chance to show insight into my characters and their worlds. What events are celebrated, and how, says a lot about a culture and individuals. While it shouldn't take over a major plot point, or even a secondary one, it could add some depth.
So, I'm going to be looking for celebrations in my books from here on out- maybe even give some characters some suitably dramatic birthdays ;).
Thanks for coming by!