It makes me wonder how long we will associate public holidays with religion. Christmas, Easter, Ascension day – Christians understand what these words mean, but many enjoy the days off without necessarily understanding what it is about. When we look at Islamic nations, or Israel, we can see that their religious celebrations and days are much more relevant to a much larger part of their populations. They honour these days, cleaning their houses, preparing special food, observing the day in their places of worship and with their families.
I think it is important that even if many People struggle to believe in God, or the Christian God, these days and turn away from the Church, they should still know what the festivals are for from a cultural viewpoint. It is part of our heritage and people should, in my view, know about it and acknowledge it.
In the UK it seems that commerce has taken over Christmas and Easter totally. It is all about the gifts, and starting the Sales already on Boxing day is to me the biggest indication of all of how commercial it has all become. Every Sunday, the day of rest, has become just like any other day with all the shops open as usual.
At least here in Germany and the continent we are not quite as commercial. The shops do not open on Sundays more than 4 times in the year, and the 26th December as well as Easter Monday are days when nothing is open either. Ascension day is a day off on the actual day and not the nearest Monday, and everything is closed. I am not saying however that people are any more religious in these countries, but maybe they have a bit more idea why we are getting the day off than many in the Uk it seems.
I think we will see within the next 50 years or so, the un-linking of religious significance to public holidays in the Uk, and probably in some other countries too. They will just be Public holidays, to enjoy how you will, with no other meaning except in some old peoples minds. What do you think?
Have a peaceful Easter Sunday.
the link to the BBC article is here