Covid-19 scuppers plans to celebrate the big day across the country.
For the first time on record, people across Britain will be spending Flying Ant Day at home instead of with friends and loved ones owing to the social distancing restrictions caused by the coronavirus.
The annual event which sees the tiny insects grow wings and take to the skies in vast swarms is enjoyed by millions in the UK but many have reluctantly decided to give it a miss this summer and put twice as much thought and effort into next year’s festivities instead.
“It’s such a terrible shame” said 69 year old Carol Boswolox from Cirencester, “My family were going to travel over from Australia to celebrate Flying Ant Day with me this year but they’ve been forced to cancel their tickets”. “I don’t know if I’ll even bother putting a tree up…and you can bet your bottom dollar they won’t put any good ant films on the telly”.
And it’s not only consumers who are missing out on the merriment, businesses are going to feel the pinch as their usual surge in revenue is cruelly snatched away by the fickle finger of fate.
Sussex Landlord, Donovan Pentecost, said he’s worried that he may have to permanently shut his doors if Flying Ant Day is as much of a washout as experts have predicted. “Our beer garden would usually be full of revellers frantically swatting at the air as billions of males and new queens leave the nest to mate and get in everyone’s drinks and hair and make their skin crawl, but this year we’ve barely had any bookings whatsoever”. “I’ve got 200 turkeys in the freezer that look like they’ll be going to waste” he continued. “We’re deeply concerned”.
The Reverend Richard Cole was slightly more philosophical and tried to remind everyone about the true meaning of Flying Ant Day. “Although it is lovely spending this special time with those closest to us, Flying Ant Day has become rather commercial over the years”.
“Perhaps this year will be a good opportunity to enjoy some quiet reflection and remember that Flying Ant Day should be about the ants”.
We asked six of our favourite celebs how they celebrate the big day
JAMIE OLIVER - CHEF
Me and Jules love waking up early to the pitter patter of tiny feet as they scuttle around on the bedroom window trying to get in. I like a more traditional Flying Ant Day so I’ll usually cook a goose on the BBQ and we’ll eat it in the garden, swearing and cursing as the stupid wankers flutter and bundle their way into all the food and everybody's faces until we get so angry that we just lob all the food in the bin and go inside and order a fucking Chinese. Perfection.
RICHARD OSMAN - PRODUCER AND PRESENTER
I find Flying Ant Day the most magical time of the year and would love to make more flying-ant-based TV shows. Next year we’re thinking of making it into a live television extravaganza like Comic Relief or Red Nose Day and we’re planning on getting Ant and Dec to present the entire thing from inside a termite mound in the Masa Mara Game reserve. I can’t wait.
LUCY WORSLEY - HISTORIAN
I’m fascinated by the history of Flying Ant Day which actually started about 92 million years ago between the Cretaceous and Miocene periods. Back then people wouldn’t celebrate with sparklers and cakes like they do now because humans didn’t exist. I’d love the opportunity to go back and experience a traditional Victorian Flying Ant Day. We’ve all seen the beautiful old watercolour greetings cards depicting children riding ants through the streets of London and to me that really encapsulates the entire spirit of this special time of year.
ROY WOOD - WIZARD
Well Flying Ant Day has totally transformed my life thanks to my smash hit song ‘I Wish It Could Be Flying Ant Day, Every Day’ in the 1970’s. Back then everyone would write a song about Flying Ants but these days it seems to have gone out of vogue thanks to the bloody X Factor. I don’t have a very rock and roll Flying Ant Day anymore and am more than happy picking up my royalty cheque from the doormat and spending the day in the garden with the family.
CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS - ACTOR
It’s a frightfully busy time for me and I’ll usually be snowed under with ‘Antomime Season’. I’d love to be able to get out a bit more and enjoy the revolting swarms but I’ll more than likely be camping it up on stage in a matinee performance of one of the many ant-based fairytales. “They’re behind you!”
KIRSTIE ALLSOPP - CRAFTER
I love making decorations on Flying Ant Day’s Eve and have wonderful memories of curling up in front of the fireplace with my Grandmother and cutting out ant-shaped paper chains and lanterns. We’d go absolutely ant crazy and deck the house from top to bottom before leaving a biscuit out for Father Termite and going to bed terrified at the thought of him crawling down our chimney and converting to his new and horrifying winged form.