I love holidays! If it was up to me (and I had the money) I’d be celebrating something everyday! I’d throw a dinner party with food that was traditional to that holiday. My problem comes from the news…they way they pick and choose what holidays to recognize as important. So, if we make a big deal about this:
Cinco Day Mayo – celebrates the Mexican Army’s defeat of the French Army in 1862
Why not these?
Bastille Day – July 14 a celebration of the Storming of the Bastille, a prison fortress in Paris.
Yom Kippur – Jewish Day of Atonement, 25 hours of prayer and fasting revolving around atonement for sins committed in the prior year.
Greek Independence - Day March 25 – celebrates Greece’s independence from Turkey.
Blessed Rainy Day – the Buddhist celebration of the end of the monsoon season which involves bathing outdoors and washing away bad deeds, obstructions and defilements (which as a side note sounds amazingly similar to a certain End of Hurricane Season celebration but without the bath).
Karthikai Deepam – an Hindu festival of lights that celebrates an astrological alignment between the full moon of November/December and the constellation Karthigai (Pleiades).
Swedish National Day – June 6th – this started as the Day of the Swedish Flag, around 1900, and it also commemorates the election of Gustav Vasa as King of Sweden on this date in 1523.
Ramadan – is an Islamic religious observance that takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; the month in which the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a month of fasting, in which participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from true dawn until sunset. Meant to teach the person patience, sacrifice and humility Ramaḍān is a time to fast for the sake of Allah, and to offer more prayer than usual. Much like Yom Kippur (although more drawn out) Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds.
International Day of Peace – September 21 – Peace, or specifically the absence of war, such as might be occasioned by a temporary ceasefire in a combat zone. If we celebrated this every day, what a world it would be!
Ninja Day – December 5 – Started by the Ninja Burger guys, this correlates to a long standing argument between Ninja fans and Pirate fans and can now be viewed as a counterpoint to…
International Talk Like a Pirate Day – September 19 – Ahoy and climb on board for mayhem, looting and pillaging.
Pi Day – 3/14 celebrates one of the universe’s more amazing numbers and by happenstance is also Albert Einstein’s birthday. And just think of all the pie you could justify eating!
Towel Day – May 25 – a celebration of Douglas Adams – on this day make sure you know where your towel is.
Now for a tangent side note and the “ranty” part of my post…
America is a melting pot. Indeed, The Great American Melting Pot is one of my favorites from School House Rock, and one thing that I think we all need to remember is that everyday is a holiday somewhere and paying more attention (news coverage wise) is both insulting and demeaning to people. America is the sum of its parts, is not Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It is not black, white, European or Asian. It is not one thing that makes us American; it is all things about all our people that make us great. Being able to respect and celebrate with friends who may not share our beliefs is amazing and often times a humbling experience.
While I do not profess a belief in any one particular religion, it is interesting to note that all religions seem to hold dear the same motifs and themes but those entrenched and indoctrinated in their religion don’t seem to notice. Then they get mad when the similarities are pointed out. Ironic? Indeed! We (please note, the “we” implies “me” too) spend far too much time looking for differences; looking to categorize “us” and “them,” we forget that at the core, we are all human and have all of the same needs. Atonement, is after all, the same regardless of when, how and why you atone. So really, does it matter what label you slap on a religion?