There has been a little theme running through the Fussbook postings about it being just so many days until Easter – and promising hot cross buns and chocolate eggs in the shops. Amusing, no doubt, but perhaps more to the writers than the readers.
Leaving religion and piety aside for those who wish to make use of it, there is real value for all the rest of us in the society in spacing out the holidays and festivals. We need ’em, and we need ’em at regular intervals – not melded together.
Here in Australia we have a tradition of Public Holidays. They are gazetted in the government rules, just above the section on the dog act. In Western Australia we get to climb out of t’ pit and skive in 2016 about on:
New Year’s Day January 1
Australia Day January 26
Labour Day March 7
Good Friday March 25
Easter Monday March 28
ANZAC Day April 25
Foundation Day June 6
Queen’s Birthday September 26
Christmas Day December 27
Boxing Day December 28
The Christmas ones are sort of dodgy because the actual traditional days fall on a weekend and the parliament wanted to give more of a long weekend.
As you can see we have provided for state, federal, and military patriotism, two bits of Christianity, a tip of the lid to the socialists, and a day to go to the state fair – the Royal Show.
People who insist upon being Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Chinese, or Muslims are left to make up their own celebrations and suffer the pangs of want or surfeit just as they please. The government is not brave enough to gazette any of their stuff in case they get it wrong. And in case they have to officially attend any really odd banquets…they’ve seen that Indiana Jones movie…
I have added Poor Richard’s Day on July 23rd to allow Guild to counteract the effects of religion and bad government and to promote the eating of a splendid dinner.
Please note that there will be occasions throughout the year designated as ” Elections ” for local, state, or federal representatives that have some of the flavour of a holiday, but tend to leave a bitter after taste. I try mitigate this by purchasing home-baked goods at stalls set up around the polling booths. I note that they rarely sell cream pies – possibly for fear that they will be used upon the party campaigners who surround the venues…
What I am trying to say is that the regular dose of relaxation and maudlin hysteria occasioned by a good public holiday – plus the chance for some drunkenness and/or a change of government – is good for the population. But there must be enough of them and they must be spaced well. Leave the masses pressed under the rock for too long and they are flat when you take them out – flat and hard to squeeze money out of.
Note that the business of sales and commercial pea and thimble games is sometimes made to turn on these holidays. It is not thought out as well as it might be – the melding of Christmas sales and Boxing Day sales means one or the other will suffer. Australia Day does not really have a commercial aspect that can be traded on and even ANZAC day is only going to sell plastic flags, elaborately-tinned biscuits, and beer.
Perhaps what is needed is a special government-gazetted Sales Day that becomes the focus of all the commercial hype that tries to muscle into the other holidays. Be blatant – be open – be crass. Make it the Day of Greed if you wish – it will be taken up with enthusiasm by large numbers and may be the stimulus to trade that we all want.