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Religious Holidays

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Brian
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« on: May 03, 2010, 16:04:24 PM »

SA has too many public holidays (PS I love doing nothing)...and Christian holidays dominate...Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Moslem etc have to do their own thing...Isn't it time to ban ALL religious holidays and leave it to the woo woos to arrange their own work plans around their religion (you declare which holidays you will respect when you enter into an employment contract; tough luck atheists no public holiday for you YET  Evil)? We have a mothers day, a fathers day, a day for hugging each other; a day for hugging our ancestors etc...enough is enough....our economy cannot afford this. Then don't get me started on the closure of the country over Xmas for 3 f..king weeks! We're the only country in the world as far as I know that does this.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 17:31:00 PM »

We could take a day off on Steak & BJ day, no? NO?!

There's also Talk like a pirate day to celebrate our venerated FSM (sauce be upon him).
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 18:47:47 PM »

Atheists can claim Freedom Day for ourselves ...  Grin
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cyghost
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2010, 07:36:28 AM »

Brian, I am assuming you don't live in Cape Town. Down here we need more holidays as we simply have too much time doing nothing at work.  Cheesy

ETA: I thought April Fools Day is already ours? The Holey Babble gave it to us and stuff.
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Watookal
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2010, 08:21:48 AM »

I was coincidentally discussing this with a colleague yesterday, who looked up which country has most public holidays. If you want more slacking off, like me, then Estonia is the place to live. Not just because of religious holidays but all the war-, peace-, freedom-, struggle-, victory-, etc.... holidays.

On a different note, our family spent last Christmas with some Hindi friends of ours in Jhb. No religion, just gifts for the kids, beers for the daddys, ciders for the mommys, a "spot fine" for one Metro worker, and a very nice crab curry. I like Christmas, I don't care what it stands for. I'll keep on doing it even when everyone knows the truth.
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Lilli
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2010, 08:30:21 AM »

Personally, I am all for more public holidays. I like not working and I think we all do WAY too much of it. I say lets skip the religious bits, though. Lets just all vote 'lilli for president' and I can implement a 4 day work week. That sounds good... Cheesy
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StevoMuso
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2010, 10:20:28 AM »

I like Christmas, I don't care what it stands for. I'll keep on doing it even when everyone knows the truth.

Yes, brilliant (bold part). And I agree. Well ... I used to.

Our family have their annual clan gathering at Christmas - it's the only regular time we all get together. And my family are ALL heavy Fundamental Christians. I LOVE the pressies and seeing my boet and sis and folks and all the kids - for me, that's what it's about. But they all treat me with suspicion and revulsion. And my Mom STILL asks me why I celebrate Christmas as an atheist and EVERY year I reply by asking her why she does as a Christian. Gotta love em - there're my folks - but sometimes .... aaargh!
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GCG
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 11:49:55 AM »

i have abandoned xmas a few years ago, as i felt its just hypocrytical to play along when i actually think the whole concept is a joke.  i dont have kids, and my cats get treated like queens every day, so they dont need gifts on a specific day.  and quite honestly, having to fork out cash for every soul i know on xmas, is to me, just a waste.  i would rather put new tyres on my car.
so on xmas, i do what i would do anyways, work in the garden, play games, whatever.  i dont do decorations, i do buy a nice pork gammon, hmmmmmmmmmmmm
most religious holidays, i just equate with pagan holidays, as they usually do lots more boozing and interresting games and traditions.  and a lot less praying and being pious.
and isnt resurrestion day, allso zombie jesus day?
i will remember fsm day, that one is really worth making an effort for.
as for the economic impact of public holidays.... i doubt that an off day now and then, would make a significant enough difference into the general mismanagement of our country. 
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Brian
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2010, 11:55:33 AM »

Here's a long post... sorry but a good read:
Commercialism Only Adds to Joy of the Holidays
It's the season for earthly pleasures, and embracing the spectacle is no sin
By Onkar Ghate
Posted December 18, 2009
Onkar Ghate is a senior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, Calif.
 
I'm an atheist, and I love Christmas. If you think that's a contradiction, think again.
Do you remember as a child composing wish lists of things you genuinely valued, thought you deserved, and knew would bring you pleasure? Do you remember eagerly awaiting the arrival of Christmas morning and the new bike, book, or chemistry set you were hoping for? That childhood feeling captures the spirit of Christmas and explains why so many of us look forward to the season each year.
 You may no longer anticipate Christmas morning with that same childhood excitement. After all, even if you still make a wish list, couldn't you just go out and buy the items yourself? Yet the pleasure of exchanging gifts as a token of friendship and love remains. Particularly when you receive (or purchase) a gift that could come only from someone who knows you well—say, a shirt that broadens your style or a new wine that becomes one of your favorites—it serves as a material reminder of a spiritual bond.
More widely, through cards, telephone calls, parties, long-distance travel, and vacation, Christmas serves as a time to reconnect with cherished family and friends, to share important events of the past year, and to look forward to the next. It's a time to enjoy delectable chocolates, spiced eggnog, four-course meals, festive music, and party games.
Christmas is a spiritual holiday whose leitmotif is personal, selfish pleasure and joy. The season's commercialism, far from detracting from this celebration, as we're often told, is integral to it.
"The best aspect of Christmas," Ayn Rand once observed, is "that Christmas has been commercialized." The gift buying "stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by departments stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only 'commercial greed' could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle."
Before Christians co-opted the holiday in the fourth century (there is no reason to believe Jesus was born in December), it was a pagan celebration of the winter solstice, of the days beginning to grow longer. The Northern European tradition of bringing evergreens indoors, for instance, was a reminder that life and production were soon to return to the now frozen earth.
This focus on earthly joy is the actual source of the emotion most commonly identified with Christmas: goodwill. When you genuinely feel good about your own life and when you're allowed to acknowledge and celebrate that joy, you come to wish the same happiness for others. It is those who despise their own lives who lash out at and make life miserable for the rest of us.
The commercialism of Christmas reinforces our goodwill. When you scour the malls in search of the perfect gift for a loved one and witness the cornucopia of goods and lights and decorations, you can't help but feel that your fellow human beings are not enemies to be feared or fools to be avoided but fellow travelers and potential allies in the quest for joy. It's no accident that America, the world's most productive country, is also its most benevolent.
Christmas's relation to goodwill leads many to believe the holiday is inseparable from Christianity, allegedly the religion of goodwill. But the connection is tenuous. A doctrine that tells you that you're a sinner—that you must seek redemption but cannot earn it yourself and that Jesus, sinless, has endured an excruciating death to redeem you, who doesn't deserve his sacrifice but who should accept it anyway—can hardly be characterized as expressing a benevolent view of man.
Christianity from the outset has been suspicious of human, earthly pleasure and joy. At best, these are seen as unbecoming a sinner, who should be busy repenting and fretting over his fate in an imagined next life. There once existed a war against Christmas—when religionists held sway in America. The Puritans canceled Christmas; in Boston from 1659 to 1681, the fine for exhibiting Christmas merriment was 5 shillings.
Christmas as we know it, with its twinkling lights, flying reindeer, and dancing snowmen, is largely a creation of 19th-century America. One of the most un-Christian periods in Western history, it was a time of worldly invention, industrialization, and profit. Only such an era would think of a holiday dominated by commercialism and joy and sense the connection between the two.
Christmas in America is not a Christian holiday. And besides, in a country that separates church from state, no national holiday can be regarded as the purview of a religion.
But any celebration can be corrupted. It's not uncommon today to hear people say Christmas is their most stressful period. Pressed for time (and this year probably for money, too), they feel there are just too many lights to put up, meals to cook, and gifts to buy. Seeking something to blame, they blame the commercialism of the season. But there is no commandment, "Thou shall buy a present for everyone you know." This is the religious mentality of duty rearing its ugly head again. Do and buy only that which you can truly afford and enjoy; there are myriad ways to celebrate with loved ones without spending a cent.
But whatever you do end up doing, don't let the state of the economy rob you of the gaiety of the season. Perhaps now more than ever, we all need to remind ourselves that reaching joy on this Earth is the meaning of life.
Merry Christmas!
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Rigil Kent
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2010, 12:02:18 PM »

'lilli for president' and I can implement a 4 day work week.
Amen to that! You've got my vote. Cool

I LOVE the pressies and seeing my boet and sis and folks and all the kids - for me, that's what it's about.
Christmas is the king of holidays! I still go to bed looking forward to it. Love the cheesiness of the whole thing: the pine-gum stains on the carpet, the glittery decorative balls, the chipped Madonna and child stuck twixt the metronome and Beethoven's bust for the day, the limp crackers, the colourful plastic toys or parts thereof, uncle Gert passed out in the duck pond. Can't beat it.

Mintaka
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2010, 12:05:42 PM »

Quote from: Mintaka
Christmas is the king of holidays! I still go to bed looking forward to it. Love the cheesiness of the whole thing: the pine-gum stains on the carpet, the glittery decorative balls, the chipped Madonna and child stuck twixt the metronome and Beethoven's bust for the day, the limp crackers, the colourful plastic toys or parts thereof, uncle Gert passed out in the duck pond. Can't beat it.

I do however get a bit peeved at christmas carols blaring in every damn shopping centre and supermarket in existance. I can only do so much BoneyM before I start getting mental. Not a big fan of the whole christmas thing. But I do like the time off and being with family so, I'm not for banning it outright.
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GCG
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2010, 12:18:54 PM »

every year, when i turn a year older.  you know what i hear on the radio?
xmas this. xmas that.
the shops are full of santas, glitter and kak.
last year, in rebellion, i had a midsummers braai, and ate and drank and behaved disorderly.
and the joke is, my bday is on the 3rd of november.    and all the cheesy shitty music is blaring.
and yes, i hate boneym.  and cliff richard.  and wham!  and every boy-band that dares write an xmas ditty.
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Mandarb
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2010, 12:44:18 PM »

I enjoy the holidays. Yes, the commercialisation is tiring, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to find a suitable gift for family. I don't always get it right though.

About the music, for me it's:
Quote
and yes, i hate boneym.  and cliff richard.  and wham!  and every boy-band

Very little christmas songs I actually like.
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2010, 13:01:28 PM »

South Park Merry Fucking Christmas by MR garrison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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st0nes
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« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 13:08:25 PM »

How many religious holidays are there? I think 4 (Christmas, boxing day, Good Friday, Easter Monday)?  So give everyone four holidays that they can take whenever they like or their religion dictates.

I would take the astronomical days: two solstices and two equinoxes. One of the solstices corresponds closely to Christmas and the vernal equinox is around Easter. (Gosh, what a coincidence, wonder how TSOG managed to get born and butchered on already existing holidays?  Clever of him.)

Also, all holidays, secular or religious, should be moved to the nearest Friday or Monday so we don't have these ridiculous midweek holidays that screw up productivity so badly.
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Hermes
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« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2010, 16:27:26 PM »

Where does the name "boxing day" come from?   Is it because you throw away all the boxes in which the presents came?   I believe they have now renamed it day of Goodwill, since Dingaan's day has got another name.
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« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2010, 16:34:04 PM »

Quote from: Hermes
Where does the name "boxing day" come from?

This is the day when all the relatives with hangovers start arguing about the day before - hence boxing day.  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2010, 16:34:15 PM »

i used to know, hang on...lemme google....

 
Quote
We have to go back to the early seventeenth century to find the basis for the name. The term Christmas box appeared about then for an earthenware box, something like a piggy bank, which apprentices took around at Christmas to collect money. When it was full, or the round complete, the box was broken and the money distributed among the company.
 
By the eighteenth century, Christmas box had become a figurative term for any seasonal gift or charity.
 
Some time after the beginning of the nineteenth century, the word box of Christmas box shifted to refer to the day after Christmas day. The first recorded use of Boxing Day for the 26th December is in 1833.
http://www.shape-it.org/Community/WhatsOn/SeasonalEvents/BoxingDay/


Quote
The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.[4] In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.[5] However, the exact etymology of the term "Boxing" is unclear, with several competing theories, none of which is definitively true.[6] Another possibility is that the name derives from an old English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners' Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). In addition, around the 1800s, churches opened their alms boxes (boxes where people place monetary donations) and distributed the contents to the poor.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day

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Hermes
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« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2010, 18:43:51 PM »

Thank Goth,
I suspected it had something to do with Xmas boxes, though mdg's explanation better clarifies why the name had to be changed to day of Goodwill.
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