Fancy Fungus Festival™

Life on planet Earth relies on fungi. Without fungi, masses of deceased animal and plant matter would quickly pile up on the earth's surface to rot at their own pace, thus taking up valuable space, smothering underlying vegetation, providing a vast haven for insects and other vermin, all the while slowing the return of nutrients to the soil and releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere. Without fungi, there would also be no mushrooms for food, no beer or wine, no bread or cake, no cheese, and a significant reduction in effective medicines.

To celebrate the contribution of fungi to our lives, it is proposed to hold a Fancy Fungus Festival™ over the three days spanning the winter solstice. Three days are chosen because of the historical difficulty of visually determining the shortest day of the year. In the northern hemisphere, winter solstice falls on December 21, while in the southern hemisphere it occurs on June 21, hence the festival spans the 20-22 days of the respective month. However, participants in one hemisphere may celebrate the Fancy Fungus Festival™ on the same days as the opposite hemisphere. The middle day of the festival, coinciding with the actual winter solstice, is declared Fungus Face Day™, where particpants are encouraged to get fungus faced. The winter solstice is considered an appropriate time to hold the Fancy Fungus Festival™ as it marks a widespread decline in natural mushroom production, by which time most fungi, having gorged themselves upon the fruits of spring, summer and autumn, have fruited and dispersed their spores to the wind.

There are numerous ways to celebrate Fancy Fungus Festival™, by dressing or grooming oneself to appear as one or other species of fungus, or fungi generally, or by taking part in a wide range of activities. Participants can:

  • selectively trim head hair, eg a fringe
  • selectively style head hair, eg bunching, frizzing/straightening, dyeing
  • grow facial hair (a beard can insulate against winter's chill)
  • selectively trim facial hair, eg moustache and goatee combination
  • selectively style facial hair, eg twirling, platting, dyeing
  • completely shave facial and/or head hair (psilocybin = bald-head)
  • paint your face eg white, vermilion or other earthy colour
  • paint finger and/or toe nails
  • undergo male circumcision (phallic fungus)
  • wear certain clothing, eg a white linen tunic under a scarlet woollen cloak (Spartan or Roman Amanitas)
  • wear certain imprinted clothing, eg a T-shirt imprinted with a fungus pattern, image or logo
  • wear a certain hat,eg a domed skull cap (iamukes™), beanie, broad-rim, helmet
  • wear a certain wig; (shaggy ink caps = lawyers wigs)
  • wear a wreath, especially one composed of fungi
  • wear certain jewellery,eg a finger ring, stud, brooch, pendant or necklace
  • carry certain accessories, eg an umbrella, thyrsos, fan
  • light a candle, torch, or cone of incense
  • fill a stemmed bowl with fruit, flowers, sweets, or other delicacies
  • eat foods made from or containing fungi, eg a cheese and fungimite sandwich, cheesecake or other cake
  • drink some wine or beer
  • have a completely wild party
  • curse or swear a fungin lot
  • contemplate or decorate a dome, arch or column

However, it should not be assumed that all persons so dressed or groomed or engaging in similar activities are celebrating Fancy Fungus Festival™, as some people or cultures may already associate otherwise.

Further suggestions are most welcome.

Details of the next Fancy Fungus Festival™ will be announced in due course.

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