A Chunk of SciFi – 1.02 – Landfall Day [Holiday]
“350 years ago, our ancestors found Geller, 30 light years away from Old Earth. 50 years they landed here, their FTL drive burnt out and resources almost gone. They barely survived the first few weeks, but soon they had established a colony. Despite this place being almost like Old Earth, there were dangers – we beat them back. There were challenges that we rose to and we excelled. Each day we grow stronger, but we must not forget where we came from, who helped us in our times of need and now need our help in return. And that is why we celebrate Landfall day. To say to the universe we are still here, we know our past, revel in our present and look forward to the future. Now, let the official celebrations…begin!”
Event type – Celebration
Regularity – Every year, based on local time.
Events – Feasting, games, drinking and skill contests
Landfall Day on Geller is a type of holiday celebrated on almost every colony world. Although the day changes and the name may be different, the reason is the same – To celebrate the day that the first colonists landed and began living and working on this particular planet.
Although it’s celebrated every year, a year on one planet is not always the same as others, Geller, for example, its year is very similar to Earth at 380 days per “year”, whilst the next nearest colonised system, Janx IV, has a year that is more like 500 days as measured by Earth standards.
Landfall Day is a day of celebration and remembrance to honour the first ones, many who had to sacrifice much to not only get to the planet but deal with unknown weather, terrain, wildlife and much more. On Geller, there are many events, each themed around or named after one of the original founders or family, or events of the few years. One such event is to get the starship on the planet, or in simpler terms, a small hoop around a sphere, representing the ship landing on Geller. Another is working through a maze blindfolded to remind people of the time there was a major power cut during an extended eclipse. Typically, the events are semi-rigged, but the operators make it easier for children or those with disabilities to win a prize. There is a growing tradition of “bribing” the game operator with food, drink or other small gifts to help you win a prize.
The event starts with a speech from the planet leader, broadcast to the various population areas on Geller, traditionally at dawn, starting with the original landing site. Once finished, fireworks are set off and the events begin. As night falls, and on Geller, a day lasts just under 14 hours, then the feast begins. Once you have eaten your fill and drunk as much as you can, then the last lot of fireworks signals the end of Landfall Day. Many employers make allowances for lateness or calling in sick the next day and pay a great deal of overtime and bonuses to those who work on LD and the next.