Monday, June 30, 2008

Happy Progeny Day?

A few years ago, I wrote a column lamenting the fact that there are no holidays in the middle of summer, except for the Fourth of July. By summer, I am referring to those months that most people think of as being summer months: June, July, and August. And the middle of summer would include the period between July 4 and August 31.

Look on your calendar; there is nothing of any significance between those two dates. Yes, I know, it is summertime. We don’t necessarily need a holiday to celebrate fun in the sun. But, still, it would be nice to have something. That is nearly two whole months in which there isn’t even a minor holiday, like Groundhog Day. No other time of year is so void of formal calendar observations.

I looked it up just to be sure I didn’t miss something. I didn’t.

There’s Hoya Hoye Night, which is a children’s festival celebrated in mid-August, in Ethiopia. There is Ivan Kupala Day on July 7, which is a celebration of John the Baptist by the Orthodox Church in Russia. And let’s not forget Lughnasadh. It is a Gaelic holiday celebrated on the first of August, marking mid-summer.

There are several holidays celebrating the solstice, mostly in Europe. But these all occur on or around June 24, not within the two-month stretch I’m talking about. So that’s about it for summer celebrations anywhere in the world. I guess it’s just not we who have nothing official to celebrate during the middle of summer.

Our next official holiday is Labor Day. It is celebrated on the first Monday in September. So this year, it is as early as it can be, September 1. By then, school will have already been in session about two weeks in most places.

I think I probably mourn the dearth of summer holidays more than most people because I run a Web site devoted to holidays. I make money through the advertising that appears on those pages. So no holidays means less money. Sigh.

But at least it is summer. And, really, who needs an excuse to celebrate when you can go outside without a coat? That’s one of my least favorite parts about winter, having to wear a coat.

At any rate, I think there should be some kind of celebration in August. We don’t necessarily have to declare it a federal legal holiday. No, I want my mail delivered. It should be equivalent to St. Patrick’s Day or Valentine’s Day. After all, the card, candy, and flower shops desperately need another holiday when they get to sell stuff.

Maybe the Ethiopians have it right. We have a day in celebration of mothers, fathers, and grandparents. Perhaps we should have a day to celebrate kids (besides Christmas). We could call it Progeny Day. We could give them a festival of their own just before we send them back to school.

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