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Davis, California

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Humor: The festival of no lights: Celebrating the holidays in maybe the world’s darkest city

Davis’ very own holiday traditions

Because the majority of the Davis student population took their finals and immediately escaped as quickly as possible in hopes of forgetting all their negative associations with a quarter of terror, the holidays in Davis exist as kind of a mystical and untouched topic that nobody knows anything about.

As a result, a question that many people might be curious about is: What do the holidays look like in Davis? And as someone who also wasn’t in Davis for any of the holidays, I’m writing this article based simply on the pattern of oddities and peculiarities that Davis seems to add to everything normal.

When Davis decided that it wanted to be a “Dark City” with minimal light pollution while also being the world’s biggest Bike City (excellent combination — what a quirky and cute town!), its relationship with lights took a weird turn. In regards to this, I strongly believe that the communal aspect of Davis comes solely from the bond that students hold in knowing what it’s like to bike in the pitch dark with a malfunctioning bike light that was given to them by a kind and lovable police officer following the $100 fine they received for not knowing that bike lights were required during sunset hour. It’s a bond that everyone shares. “How does this relate to the holidays?” you ask. It doesn’t, but I think it’s something that had to be addressed.

Anyways, the holidays in Davis are probably strictly monitored, and the citizens are only allowed to use recycled light energy (I don’t think that exists, but it might) and bike lights to decorate their houses. For those who celebrate other holidays that feature candlelight, Davis probably requires permits and permission from the neighborhood association, just to make sure that you’re not taking away from the natural “darkness” of the city that everyone loves. While these things may seem excessive, Davis will put a cute spin on it that shows how its efforts in stifling the holiday season are progressive and necessary to fostering an environment that welcomes all expressions of minimal light.

There are ways to go around these strict rules of course, but they require a mix of contraband and commercial holiday products. Since you probably live next to a professor who is already living in their own zero-waste, zero-light-pollution ecosystem, you probably don’t want to risk the embarrassment and judgment of celebrating the holidays in a conventional way.

My advice is that, while Davis probably offers its own charming and unique version of typical holiday traditions, it’s probably better that it’s left as an unknown conjecture rather than another one of those scarring Davis experiences we’ve all come to know and love.


Written by: Rosie Schwarz — rschwarz@ucdavis.edu

(This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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