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I’ve been lucky enough to have spent bits of my life outside “American” culture, which had numerous benefits mixed with healthy doses of awkward WTFkery. “Official” holidays were a goldmine for wins and whines.
WIN: Dodging three years of dressing up like a vegetable for school Thanksgiving plays.
WHINE: No fireworks or days off on July 4th.
WIN: Reveling on Weiberfastnacht (Ladies, if you haven’t been to Germany for Fasching – GO. Weiberfastnacht is a time when women prowl the streets getting hammered, kissing strangers, and snipping off men’s ties. Yes, you should absolutely consider the symbolism of that and run with it.)
WHINE: Christmas = Missing Shoes (you know how I feel about my shoes)
What did I learn from ringing in the New Year in February or putting a different spin on spring cleaning with Tomb Sweeping Day? Every day is a holiday. How, when, and if I celebrate is wholly up to me. (Woohoo for being an adult!) Not the date. Not someone else’s strictures of observance. Not a government or PR company’s CYA move. Not a pile of gifts from people I don’t like or a button-bursting buffet with food I don’t want to eat. My holidays are totally up to me.
Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.
Oh, and those with whom I choose to share my joy.
While there are numerous "official" holidays of which any of us can take advantage, I profess a love for made-up holidays. Usually there are stories behind them that give me an excuse to hang out with people I like, doing strange things we like. Yes, it usually involves drinking and dining. Laughter is always served in abundance. The tale that began the holiday? It writes another chapter each time we celebrate.
In the universe according to me, the only thing that separates a holiday from a casual party is that it reoccurs annually. Dates are fungible.
More info on Fasching: http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/04__W__t__G/01/02__Carnival/__Carnival.html