Mangaluru: Believe it or not- The United States of America (USA) which has the most Christian population in the world, with about 78% of Americans are Christians don’t get a Federal Holiday on Good Friday nor Easter Sunday, while in India where the majority are Hindus and the Christian population is around 2.8% has holiday on Good Friday. I cannot believe Good Friday is not a federal holiday in US. It is among the most important holiday for Christians, in some ways more important than Christmas Day. It is the day Jesus Christ was crucified. In all Christian majority nation, and even some non-Christians-Good Friday is a public/federal holiday, while in the U.S. it isn’t. This is ridiculous !
When I was employed in US for nearly 23 years, and if my schedule was to work on Good Friday or Easter, and as a firm believer in my faith since younger days in India, I always took two personal days off to attend the church services, and also to celebrate Easter with my family folks in Chicago suburbs. While comparing the large number of holidays that we have in India, just look at the list of 2016 Federal Holidays in USA -there are only 11 Fed holidays in US this year, namely January 1-New Year’s Day; January 18-Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; February 15-George Washington’s Birthday; May 30-Memorial Day; July 4-Independence Day; September 5- Labor Day; October 10-Columbus Day-November 11-Veterans Day; November 24-Thanksgiving Day; and December 26- Christmas Day (since Christmas falls on Sunday, so the holiday is on Monday 26 Dec)
It’s hard to believe American Christians who are the majority in the country have to work on Good Friday, banks, postal offices and other places remaining open. It is very very sad! People won’t work on Christmas and Thanksgiving, but do work on Good Friday. The Stock Market is closed, and some schools, but the majority businesses and things remain open like any other Friday. But Good Friday is a state holiday in eleven U.S. states including Connecticut, Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota. State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as some banks and postal offices in these states…Over 135 countries commemorate Good Friday as a National Holiday. For many of these countries trading is ceased, as a result the financial institutions are closed for the day in observance of this special day. However, in the United States, Good Friday is not a Government holiday at the Federal level, although individual states and municipalities may observe the holiday. Private businesses and certain other institutions may close or not for Good Friday, according to their preferences.
The U.S. observe non-sense holidays such as Martin Luther King and Presidents Day, but not Good Friday and Easter. Yes, I understand Easter falls on a Sunday, but is should be on the list of federal holidays too. I understand that not everybody observe the day, or are Christians, but 78% of Americans are, and it should be a holiday as for Christmas. To be honest – I am very surprised that even Christmas is a holiday. Very sad !
Good Friday is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. This is an important event in Christianity, as it represents the sacrifices and suffering in Jesus’ life. The crucifixion was the culmination of a number of events in Holy Week, including: the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus; and the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. Some churches organize a prayer vigil on Good Friday for various causes, such as for cancer patients or for the American troops who have been sent to the middle-east.
Easter is on a Sunday while Thanksgiving is a Thursday & Christmas can be any day of the week. Nobody gets off work for Easter since most people don’t work on Sundays anyway. Easter is a more religious holiday than even Christmas so many people do not observe. But Christmas has a national feel of family, dinner, gifts, basketball or football. Christmas is also during winter and generally much colder than Easter. Thanksgiving day is a secular holiday with religious overtones. Easter is the most religious of the 3 holidays and therefore leaves out Jews/ Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, etc.
We should know that in some European countries, Easter is a big deal and they get off for Easter Monday. Even though there had been many representations by Christian organization in US to make Good Friday and Easter Sunday a Federal Holiday, but until now there has been no changes. Good Friday and Easter Sunday – NO HOLIDAYS in AMERICA!