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2.02.2008

Observances


I know the reason that we celebrate Groundhog's Day is that they faithfully predict the persistence of winter or the coming-on of spring. What I don't understand is why this sort of thing is a celebration. Or, rather, why it gets a spot on our calendars, a fixture in our stores, and lovely plush toys like the one featured here (left).

But then, I suppose I don't understand most holidays that aren't actually Holy Days. Mother's and Father's days I get, but it hardly bears mentioning that those should be far more frequent than once a year. I have a soft spot for Thanksgiving, but it is all too easy for that day to mean little more than socially-approved gluttony. So, while I do love it, I am hesitant to give it whole-hearted approval. Presidents Day, Memorial Day, etc.: these are good reasons to get out of school or work, but I don't think I have ever actually observed them according to their original purposes. Though, when I think about it, the only holiday I really love with abandon is Christmas. I can move past all the commercialism during that holy season (I am more and more learning to consider Advent, rather than the solitary 25th) and get right down to the awe and honour of the Incarnation.

Here comes my confession: I am not a fan of Easter. I appreciate its significance, of course. What can be more glorious than the resurrection of God in flesh? But here the commercialism utterly distracts. I don't mind decorating eggs, but the tradition completely diverts my attention. Eggs and bunnies, pink and lavender, the whole scene is so unrelated to the celebration at hand that I just can't process it.

The only way I can properly understand Easter is as the culmination of Lent. In which case, I would see the colours of Easter as being any colour at all - light, in fact, breaking into the darker internal tones of the month or so prior. If I were to assign a colour to Easter, it would be emerald green. Royal life. Verdancy. None of these baby pastels - nothing so tame and confined.

It is good to think of these things now, particularly as Ash Wednesday is soon upon us. What observances will I make this Lenten season? One of the least, perhaps, will be a closer attention to colour... and to the honour I give each day. But most, I think, will go unspoken. Only a few more days to figure it out. A few more days of meditation on this season of meditation.

2 comments:

  1. Oh MAN!! I forgot Groundhogs day!!!

    I'm going to have to watch that movie today instead. Bill Murray...lol.

    Hey, you want to celebrate St. Paddy's day with me? Just kidding. Would you wear green or orange? I think I'd support the green...

    I've been thinking about religious holidays too. I think it would be interesting to observe the calander thing, but also to observe the older Jewish traditions. Especially Passover, since it is at the same time and pretty much symbolizes the same thing as Easter. But without all the bunnies.

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  2. Pastel craziness freaks me out, too.
    So I was in Barnes and Noble and there were screaming obnoxious children in the children's section. I guess i was good they were in the appropriate section but sheesh, loud and annoying! I hope you don't have to deal with that while dusting floorboards.

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