Patriots Day; Local Celebrations that Don’t Rely on Chocolate

18 04 2011

The British are coming!

Today is Patriots Day.

A day for Americans to remember the first battles of the Revolutionary War against the British in 1775. A celebration of the determination shown by patriots such as Paul Revere and the sacrifices made at Lexington and Concord to ensure that the “shot heard around the world” was not an isolated incident.

We all know what happened after that. The British lost the war, slunk home, made themselves a nice cup of tea, invented cricket, started the Industrial Revolution and built an Empire on the other side of the world.

But this relatively important day is only observed in Massachusetts and Maine as a civic holiday, with schools getting the day off in Wisconsin. Reenactments will be taking place, there will be several Revere-related events and thousands of lunatics will be running 26 miles in Boston for no apparent reason.

I can only assume that, as we are now entering into a plethora of observant days, today is just another Monday in the rest of the country.

Take, for example, Saturday April 16th. That was Record Store Day across the country – a time for small, independent record stores to remind the public that there was a time before iTunes and that the physical act of browsing through music without using a mouse can be quite fun. Limited edition vinyl was released by artists such as the Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga and Gorillaz with general musical activities taking place on a nationwide basis (I purchased a live vinyl LP by Mastodon in honor of the occasion).

Away from the shallow nature of the music industry, religion plays a large part in the weeks festivities.

The Jewish festival of Passover begins tonight, seven days of story-telling and food  based around the Jews successful escape from Egypt including a watery adventure that didn’t end well for their pursuers. Throw in some helpful laws handed down through the centuries and this marks a very special time for a significant percentage of the population.

And the religious fun doesn’t stop there.

April 22nd is Good Friday and Christians throughout the globe will use the time to remember the sacrifice that Jesus made in allowing himself to crucified on a wooden cross (an ironic death for the son of a carpenter) with the giving of Easter Eggs and the consumption of hot, cross buns (insert your own joke about how uncomfortable it must be to be put unjustly to death in the blazing heat) an integral part of the weekend.

This in turn leads us into Easter Sunday (24th April) which celebrates the resurrection of JC who showed us that death was only a mere flesh wound.

If that wasn’t enough to take in, April 22nd is also Earth Day when we gather together “in an attempt to bring about a better understanding of the affect we have on our planet, and calling us to take action to make positive environmental changes in our community” – not really a time for giving, more the chance to recycle.

And did those feet....

April 23rd is a special day for the English when St.Georges Day will be on the minds of those of us that are bored with the attention given to the annual day of drinking Guinness that seems to be just an excuse to get drunk and pretend that you are Irish.

St George is the patron saint of England and gained his place in the stout hearts of Englishmen by slaying a dragon – which as we all know is not a mythical creature and really exists. Once an ignored part of English history, there has been a growing desire to celebrate St G, and the day shall be marked with the sensible drinking of beer and pretending to be English.

Finally we come to Administrative Assistants/Professionals Day on April 27th. The day when the people who actually make sure the CEO of a company has enough coffee to keep him going and who probably know more about the business then anyone else get to be recognized for their hard work and efforts through the year. Real people being thanked for doing a real job – probably with the gift of chocolate.

No wonder Patriots Day is only observed in the states where it actually happened, with all of these other days to participate in there just isn’t enough time to remember the moment where the Land of the Free was no longer a dream and became a reality.

After all, why bother with facts when you can celebrate the myth.

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2 responses

18 04 2011
Matty Mac

Most importantly (depending on who you are, most likely just me), Saturday is my birthday. So really, all of the events for this week are just leading up to that day. I never told anyone that they had to run that far though. I get tired just driving 26.2 miles.

18 04 2011
davidjbolton

So we should really celebrate on saturday then!

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