Festoonists

(Warning: brief reference to sexual body parts in a caption.)

As I observed yesterday, in the posting “22-festoon!”, today (December 22nd) is the holiday of Festoonus, celebrating “the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”, with “elaborate light shows, decorating your bodies, sharing exotic food, dancing, and making public and communal art and music”. Inevitably, there are people who are intensely devoted to, identified with, the holiday. These are the Festoonists.

Some Festoonists embrace the association with the calendrically nearby Christmas, exalting the trappings of that holiday as part of their own celebrations. Many of these are quite specialized, focused on specific festooning practices of the Christmas season: Arboroonists, devoted to Christmas trees and their decoration, for example. And Tinseltoonists like Mel Fortune here:


(#1) A celebrated Tinseltoonist of the 1950s

Then there are Lightoonists, given to festooning things or places with strings of lights, especially in late December. Many Lightoonists specialize in lighting for weddings, and are consequently inclined to marry on or near the day of Festoonus itself. Some are particularly attracted to small lights on strings, which are known in commerce as fairy lights:


(#2)

[Brief digression on fairy light. An instance of the snowclonelet composite fairy X. See my 11/24/14 posting “fairy X”. The composite belongs in this subdivision —

Resembling fairies. Resembling in various ways. For instance, by being small or delicate

— but it’s not listed in that posting. (Of course, the noun fairy slips easily into a slur on queers.)]

Another set of Festoonists fix on the holiday emphases on pleasure, especially physical pleasures, with the result that for many, Festoonus is a decidedly licentious holiday — if you’re also into light bulbs, with their phallic potential, a specifically gay one. As in my 9/13/10 posting an AZBlogX, “Phallicity: innocent? (2)”, noting

images that, while not X-rated in themselves, are likely to invite a phallic reading of some of their contents…

Enlightenment. Here’s one where I’ve lost the context, though my recollection is that it was intended to be sexy. With caption:

(#3)
ENLIGHTENMENT
Winston thought of them
As dicks with tits, and he
Adored them.

Christmas-oriented Lightoonists are very common. Occasionally combined with the sexual theme, as here:


(#4) Naked fairy lights for Festoonus and Christmas

Bonus: what can be festooned. The holiday provides great decorative latitude, as evidence in the collocations of festooned with with object NPs. A small sample of those objects from a quick look at the first 10 pages of results from a Google search on festooned with:

banners, flowers, snow, Spanish moss, Christmas lights and holly, flags, sausages, hearts and flowers, multi-colored roses, mistletoe, snakes, streamers and balloons, greenery, lights, 4,000 knitted poppies, banners and flags, electric lights, garlands, pennants, cobwebs, grape vines, Rebel flags, masses of evergreen, campaign signs, twinkly decorations, women’s bras, brightly lit baubles, bouquets of white roses, feathers from birds of paradise, works of art, ribbons, pistols (said of a pirate), thousands of dahlias, a climber (a climbing plant, said of a tree), wreaths

I’m especially taken with a pirate festooned with pistols and a Darjeeling oak tree festooned with Thunbergia coccinea vines.

(There are also of course figurative uses, as in:  “Pale Fire is festooned with atomic references and a mockery of peaceniks.”)

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