Once again, time to dig through the old post bin and find something amusing from back when CSS didn’t have a “2” and HTML hadn’t yet developed and X in front. Here is me, back in 2002, muttering about holidays. It’s really interesting which ones I missed….
originally posted: June 28, 2002
Well, we’re heading for our particular National Holiday. Last year, someone said they found it significant that Americans were the only people he knew of who celebrated their national character by blowing things up. Apparently, he doesn’t know the French, the Mexicans, or the English, come to that, and certainly not the Chinese. (Letting aside the “Irish question,” please.)
But I will admit that there is often a sort of naivete to Americans about this weird holiday. I overheard a guest at a party asking a visitor from Canada “Do you have the Fourth of July up there?” Well, duh! Unless they bounce right from the Third to the Fifth without a pause (a sort of backwards leap-year-day thing) I suspect that the Canadians do have a fourth day of July, too, since most Westerners use the same calendar. I suppose it might be a rather more interesting calendar if only the nations who celebrated something on a particular date “had” that day. Think of the holes!
July looks pretty bad for most people. Non-Canadians will please recline for the First of July. Obviously the Fourth is a loser for anyone not American. Bastille Day (the Fourteenth of July) is out for anyone who isn’t French.
August is a bit punctuated, too. Outside of Jamaica, there will be no Sixth day of August. The Fifteenth of the month is out if you are anywhere but Korea or Congo. August Nineteenth will be a day of rest for anyone outside of Afghanistan (and here’s hoping it will be one for everyone inside it, too).
September, October and November don’t look much better than July and August. Any place which is not Qatar will be very quiet on the Third of September. Non-Mexicans will please siesta for the entirety of the Seventeenth of September (and also May the Fifth, just for fun). And please keep on sleeping through the week of September the Nineteenth, unless you are in St. Kitts or Nevis. The entire month of October will be a blank for everyone who isn’t Communist Russian (except for Hallowe’en, which will be celebrated in shopping malls), ditto November Fifth (Guy Fawkes Day) for those outside of Britain, and the Eleventh for all non-Poles.
Randomly, the Fourth of April will be too busy with parades and canoe races in Senegal to be available anywhere else, June Tenth is a non-starter outside of Portugal, the Sixth of December will only be active in Denmark, everyone who isn’t Norwegian is required to sleep through the Seventeenth of May, and if you were planning on doing anything outside of Greece on the Twenty-fifth of March, you can just forget it.
And on and on. By the time you’re done counting up the days which will happily drop from your calendar into oblivion by reason of being “owned” by another nationality, you’ll hardly have to work at all. “It was a National Holiday… somewhere” will become a viable excuse for non-attendance at almost anything. Personally, I plan on collecting the whole set….