I'd like to propose a new holiday -- designed for areas
like mine (and maybe yours) where a long winter can
wear on the spirit.
It's called "AIRING-OUT DAY," and here's how it works.
The first day in the springtime (or near the end of
winter) where temps are reliably predicted to stay
say, 65 degrees F or so (depending on your local
temperament, no pun intended) with sunny skies would
THAT MORNING be declared "AIRING-OUT DAY" by local
officials (kinda like, but kinda the opposite of, snow
days). It's important that
date not be selected in advance -- although it's perfectly
fine to guess when it *might* happen, and plan
accordingly. (Nonprofits could even stage contests for
guessing the day correctly!)
It's a day for everyone to raise the storm windows, throw
open their doors, and generally open up their houses to
new, fresh, springtime air. The news of the declaration
would be spread by word of mouth, and by children
(schools of course, would be closed!) running along the
sidewalks playing drums and ringing bells, calling out
"IT'S SPRING, WITHOUT A DOUBT! IT'S TIME TO AIR IT
OUT!" or singing the day's theme song, George Harrison's
"Here Comes the Sun."
Spontaneous parades and celebratory gatherings, like
street fairs and block parties, would be encouraged.
Neighbors, who may not have seen each other since
hunkering down the previous fall, would visit each other
on porches and stoops. Non-essential workers would be
allowed to take all or part of the day off. Stores could
have sudden "Airing-Out
Day" sales on things like plants, fans, potpourris,
gardening tools, cleaning equipment, and outdoor
furniture (though the unnecessary use of cars would be
seen as tacky). Walking would also be encouraged, and
the day would be perfect for calling up friends and
saying, "Hey, it's Airing-Out Day, let's go for a walk!"
Salads would be the preferred celebratory meal (though
some will no doubt take the day as a perfect excuse for
firing up the grill).
Outdoor concerts near dusk - small gatherings and
singalongs on porches, and/or larger gatherings in parks
- would wrap up the day.