Let’s nail down the Easter Bunny once and for all…and sort out some other holidays too

Posted: 22 April 2011 in life
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Straight off the bat I’d like to point out that this isn’t an advocation of genocide against Peter Rabbit and his kin…rather an attempt to sort out the bloody funny ways that national and other holidays are done, especially the free-for-all that comes into play for Easter…

Since the First Council of Nicea in 325AD the date of Easter has been fixed as the first Sunday after the full moon (Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere’s vernal equinox. Basically this oh-so-clear method of calculation means that Easter can fall on any Sunday between 22 March and 25 April inclusively.

It’s what the church refers to as a “moveable feast’, which not only sounds like a posh name for a takeaway (“what moveable feast shall we have tonight darling? Indian, Chinese, McDonalds?”) but to many of us is an utter pain in the arse that screws around with the calendar each year, especially with reference to school holidays and the start of the new series of “Doctor Who”.

After more than 2 millennia it’d be nice if the date of Easter could finally be fixed. Even councils fixing potholes don’t take this long to make decisions. Though Guildford Council does come close at times…

How about this…let’s make Easter Sunday the final Sunday in March. Not only does it make it all neat and tidy on the calendar each year it ties in neatly with the clocks going forward an hour. All nice and easy to remember and it gives a guaranteed Bank Holiday in March in the shape of Good Friday. Nearly 1700 years of fannying around with the calendar sorted out in a few minutes (and a few corrected examples of spelling and grammar before hitting “publish”). You may declare me Emperor of the UK immediately if you so wish…

Let’s sort out the rest of the national holiday calendar for the UK. As much as I enjoy not having to go into work thanks to a complimentary day off I’ve always found it bizarre having 2 Bank Holidays in May. So let’s try this for a revised national holiday diary:

  • 1 January: New Year’s Day* (aka National Hangover Day)
  • 12 February: Darwin Day* (anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 1809 and an excellent way to annoy creationists)
  • 1 March: St David’s Day* (Wales only)
  • 17 March: St Patrick’s Day (Northern Ireland only)
  • Last Friday in March: Good Friday
  • Easter Monday (could fall on 1 April if Easter Sunday is the last day of March)
  • 23 April: St George’s Day* (England only) – also the day that William Shakespeare was born and died, though not in the same year, so could have Shakespeare Day
  • 15 June: National Day/Britain Day* (date of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 – also close enough to the anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815 to annoy the French)
  • 24 August: Wiberforce Day* (to commemorate the ending of slavery)
  • 14 October: Battle of Hastings* (the last time anyone successfully invaded Britain and the birth of the modern nation)
  • 11 November: Armistice Day* (everyone should be made to shut up for 2 minutes and honour the dead of all the wars…especially the unnecessary ones being fought even now)
  • 30 November: St Andrew’s Day* (Scotland only)
  • 25 December: Christmas Day* (or Winter Festival)
Except for the Easter holidays if the actual date of the holiday falls on a weekend then the nearest Monday would become the holiday, as is the practice now. Of course as an atheist I’d be happy to lose Easter and Christmas from the calendar, but I’m also a bit of a hypocrite and admit to enjoying the time off (and most of the aspects of those events have little to do with Christianity anyway).
I’d thought about making 23 November “Doctor Who Day” but suspected that would be taking my newly bestowed powers as Emperor of the UK  a little too far. In the first couple of years anyway…maybe in 2013 when the series hits 50…
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