THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR
No one can deny that Flying Ant Day is the Nation's favourite holiday. The festivities, the pitter patter of tiny feet, the food, the gifts, the itching and the stories of myth and legend make it the cherished National Holiday that supersedes all others and brings people together in a way that Christmas, Eid, Hanukkah and Diwali don't even come close to.
HOW DID IT START?
'Flying Ant Day' is the informal term for the day on which queen ants emerge from the nest to begin their nuptial flight. The holiday is thought to have started around 92 million years ago, somewhere between the Cretaceous and Miocene periods. Back then people wouldn't celebrate with cakes and sparklers like they do now because mammals, as we know them, wouldn't exist for another 40 million years. However fossilised remains of flying ants trapped in amber are often exchanged between friends and family on Flying Ant Day as a reminder that getting trapped in amber would be really annoying.
HOW THE VICTORIANS DID IT?
We've all seen the greetings cards. Beautiful watercolour images of children riding ants through the snow, receiving gifts from Father Termite Face and families sitting around the fire in the front room absolutely fucking covered in ants. It is of course the Victorians who gave us many of the 'Ant Carols' that we still sing to this day, some of the most popular include...
- 'Father Termite Face is Coming to Town'
- 'Flying in my Face'
- 'Rudolph the Red Ant'
- 'I Wish it Could be Flying Ant Day Every Day'
- 'Thick Black Swarm of Bastards'
- 'Wings on the Pavement'
- 'I Believe in Anty Claws'
- 'Itching Around the Flying Ant Day Tree'
- 'Antennas Got Me Itchin'
- 'O Come, O Come You Itchy Swines'
- 'Thorax Holocaust'
FATHER TERMITE FACE
The Legend of Father Termite Face is thought to have started around 400 years ago in the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. When the ants come out, children have to cover themselves in honey and run through the revolting swarms. If any ants stick to them then they won't be given any presents and are told that Father Termite Face - a cross between a decomposing horse and a flying ant - will come to their room at night and kill them with his flick-knife Flying Ant Day is a brutal and terrifying time for children.
In modern times flying ant day is a time for friends and family to gather and think about flying ants. People will often congregate in the garden and have a BBQ, swearing and cursing as the tedious fucking wankers flutter and bundle their way into all the food and everybody's faces until everyone's so angry that they just luzz all the food into the bin and go inside and order a fucking Chinese.
People will often get a 'Flying Ant Tree' which they decorate with all the wings of the dead flying ants and the wings which I think they must just nibble off their own backs or something which is mental.
MEMORABLE FLYING ANT DAYS THROUGH TIME
- In 1967 the Queen stopped doing a speech on flying Ant Day after a man called Kevin Purpose broke into Buckingham Palace dressed as an ant and gave her a Chinese burn
- Flying Ant Day was slightly overshadowed by the Blitz in 1941 with many of the ants feasting on the bodies of those trapped in the rubble which gave a dark edge to an otherwise joyous occasion.
- The great summer of 1921 saw Flying Ant Day last for an entire week thanks to an anomaly in the weather conditions which interfered with the ants breeding process. The government declared the entire week a national holiday with people partying in the street, enjoying music and flapping ants out of their faces and getting very frustrated with the six-legged arseholes. No one went to work and the economy crumbled like an old biscuit, causing many businesses to go under. Around 43'000 people are thought to have committed suicide as a result.
- In 1981 Flying Ant Day went the way of Comic Relief with a 24 hour live television experience. People bought ant hats and wings from petrol stations with all the money going towards some of the many Flying Ant charities. The bizarre TV extravaganza was hosted by Lenny Henry and Angela Rippon who presented the entire thing from inside a termite mound in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, cutting back to a studio in London every few minutes to watch celebrities including Bruce Forsyth, Toyah, Keith Chegwin, Rusty Lee, Bananarama and Shep from Blue Peter dressed as ants dangling from ropes and squirting each other with water pistols. The show was a flop and allegedly only attracted 14 viewers.