Friday, April 27, 2012

Holy Days and Holidays

With Beltane fast approaching I was thinking once again about how nice it would be if I could take off my Holy Days without having to forfeit my vacation time.  You see I have this crazy theory that I wish we could institute within businesses regarding the holidays that we are given each year – what if we could choose them!

(Okay, first a clarification here – I’m talking American holidays here.  I make this classification because back home is Australia a holiday is the time you take off to go away, or between school terms etc whereas in the USA that is called vacation time.  By holidays I am referring to what we would call Bank Holidays or those government approved days off that occur randomly throughout the year.)

Now I know it varies from workplace to workplace around here in the USA but I’m going to speak in general terms and from my own experience in this situation.  So where I work I have 8 holidays a year.  These holidays are dictated by my employer from a pool of government approved holidays (New Years Day, MLK Jr Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day) and as a pagan and a non-American they each pretty much mean absolutely nothing to me other than a day I don’t have to go into work.  In fact I challenge anyone to find me a handful of people who actually find significance in each and every one of these holidays.  How much nicer would it be if we actually took Holy Days instead.  Days that held some meaning for us, that were given over to a celebration of whatever we held dear instead of just having time off.  Now I’m sure an economist could probably come up with some grand argument about why my theory wouldn’t work but I’m not an economist so *shrugs*

We have so many varied and different faiths in this world, we each hold sacred different beliefs and events.  Why can we not have equal ability to honor these things.  I am by no means suggesting that we each be allowed to take whatever days we hold Holy and call them a holiday – after all a pagan could find something for just about every day of the year (just take a look at how much of the ancient Roman calendar was given over to celebrations of one kind or another) but that if a company declares you can have 8 holidays are year you should be able to pick what those days would be.  So instead of the list above I could choose to take off my 8 sabbats throughout the year.

I would be able to take time out to honor and celebrate my personal beliefs and traditions without having to give up a large percentage of my vacation time.  I often wish I could devote an entire day to honoring each sabbat and preparing feasts etc.

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