One of the many things that surprised me about the United States was its Jekyll and Hyde persona about religion. Specifically Christmas and Easter. These are the two most holy days on the Christian liturgical calendar, and yet only Christmas is actually looked at as a secular holiday, meaning that it is a “Holiday” as described by the Department of Labour regulations.
And yet, as a new resident, I found that Easter Sunday gets more respect and acknowledgment than even Independence Day, because on Easter Sunday, everything, and I do mean everything, was closed. Malls that would not close for a snow storm are closed on Easter Sunday. Restaurants that are open until all hours of the day and night, were closed on Easter Sunday. Which I found strange in a nation that has a formal separation of Church and State, and further has no official religion. What could be more official than the closing of retail to indicate that the United States has an official, if not documented, religion.
Over the last 20 years, I have kvetched about this, especailly as survey after survey shows that few people follow any particular religion and of those that do, the Christians are rapidly becoming the minority. In fact, if it was not for the influx of so many illegal aliens, Christians would be in the minority. Yet Easter, Good Friday and Sunday are still holidays even though neither day is officially a recognized holiday.
I am happy to report that things are changing. Whether it is because people recognize that being closed on what are one of only two real shopping days in the week, or if it is because it is just silly to be closed on a non-holiday, I find that more and more stores are open for business today, and only one regional mall is closed at all. In fact, it is pretty much a normal Sunday as usual. Even the amount of Easter finery is absent, so perhaps Easter is finally being relegated to its proper place. A holy day on the liturgical calendar for those that feel they need religion in their lives.
The last step is to get rid of the holiday lexicon that is wrapped around things like your holiday weather forecast next. It is a weekend people, that’s all. OK, so it is a weekend when I get a little extra sugar. Now were did I put that chocolate bunny.