Why Easter Isn’t a Federal Holiday

Easter isn’t just a holiDAY, it’s a series of days leading up to Easter Sunday. Growing up Lutheran, Palm Sunday started a week of holidays, with Maundy Thursday being the kick off to the “big” event of Easter Sunday.

Most federal holidays are not based in religion, aside from Christmas. Since Easter is always on a Sunday, there’s no reason for the Feds to make it one since federal offices are closed. Yet when Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on a weekend, it is observed on the following Monday or previous Friday.

Does Any State Treat Good Friday as a Holiday?

Twelve states do make Good Friday a holiday.

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

While I’m speaking from a Lutheran point of view, if we can offer a holiday for the day Jesus was born, shouldn’t him rising from the dead get some kind of accolade in the form of a day off? When Easter Sunday starts for many Christians with a sunrise church service, easter egg hunting, brunch followed by a family feast for dinner – Easter is exhausting.

For those who take part in giving up something for Lent, they also have gluttoned themselves on whatever they gave up, meaning a good nap is in order the next day to process the overabundance of soda (as it is for me this year).

Good Friday is also the start of Passover for our Jewish friends, making the mass exodus of Jews leaving Egypt and slavery behind.

Considering the bulk of Americans are in a holiday, be it a somber or celebratory one, it seems to make sense a holiday is in order.

It’s a Good Time of Year for a Holiday

It’s also a good time of year to GET a federal holiday. We haven’t had one since late February and we have to wait another six weeks or so to get to Memorial Day.

In places like New Zealand and our friends across the pond, they get a mix of Good Friday and/or Easter Monday off for holiday. Using the “Americans have never been big on Easter Monday” is a “chicken or the easter egg” fable as you can’t help but wonder – are we not big on the day because we never could be? If given the chance, would we celebrate the Angel who delivered the blessed news to Mary?

What the Heck Do Eggs Have to do with Easter?

Me decorating eggs in 1979.

There are several angles on this one.

  1. Eggs represent new life.
  2. Eggs (along with meat) were banned in the 13th century during Lent. So, much like we do today, when you FINALLY get to eat something you’ve been kept from for 40 days, you do it BIG TIME. Why not decorate the eggs?
  3. Eggs represent the stone put in from of the tomb where Jesus was laid.
  4. A hallowed out egg could be a replica of sorts for the inside of the tomb.

Martin Luther is said to have started the first easter egg hunts.

The joy of finding an egg in 1981.

What about the Easter Bunny?

It’s spring, and a bunnies are plentiful because rabbits reproduce like, well, rabbits. It’s a sign of bringing new life and new hope. Bunnies have nothing to do with the Easter story or the bible in general, but add in all these symbols and you get a clever bunny hiding eggs in random places.

The Easter Bunny is primarily and English and American thing as some other countries get creative with who hides the eggs. France has flying bells that took a trip to the Vatican and back.

Aussies use the Easter Bilby, a creature that looks like a mix of a rabbit and rat.

Courtesy: Stephen Mitchell

Another Reason for Easter Monday Being a Holiday

What’s really annoying about the day after Easter, much like the day after Halloween, is all those “healthy” people bringing in extra candy they “don’t want around the house.” So here we are six weeks away from bikini season and this MFer is bringing CANDY to a PUBLIC AREA.

What say you?

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