Friday, June 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Betty

Although can't say I don't like public holidays, I can't say I see the point in them either. When I look at the Australian National Public Holiday Calendar I begin to ask why.

Let me see, first off the ranks is New Year's Day - 1 January.

This one makes sense - a lot of people have a too bad a hangover to do much. This one is administratively useful as it allows a lot of companies to avoid sick day claims.

Next off the ranks is Australia Day. 26 January. This one is rather political. To some people it is the day that celebrates the landing of the First Fleet into Botany Bay. To others it commemorates the white invasion and the catastropic events of that landing. Most countries have a national day - we have to wear it.

Now comes some of the more interesting ones. Labour Day in Victoria is the second Monday in March. This could also be seen as a "Welcome to Autumn" holiday. Also, as we have a festival called Moomba here, where people waterski on the Yarra and hope to not get sick, we could name it "Stupid Fools on Waterskis Day." Labour Day is different in every state. I mean, we all have to work, you'd think they'd make it on the same day. The red shirt part of me likes that this is a union sponsored day off and that must drive the conservative factions spare... he he.

Easter is next. A movable feast of a few days off, great for taking extended breaks as you can normally manage sixteen full days off on eight days of annual leave. I could play devil's advocate and say that in an increasing multi-cultural and secular society that Easter has lost it's purpose and should be removed from the calendar. But the extended leave is too good. It's not my fault there are a lot of people out there who think Jesus is a Mexican gardener. I won't make much noise about this one - next year with the combination of Anzac Day we get five days off. Cool.

Anzac Day is special to me. I call it the one day of the year where I'm allowed to be patriotic. Commemorating the day Australia first went to war on foreign soil as a country in its own right, I like it - Lest We Forget. We can't forget the sacrifice of generations of men. We can't forget that we mustn't let it happen again.

This weekend is the Queen's Birthday weekend. Hmph. The fact that the Queen's actual birthday is in late April besides, why do we celebrate the birthday of our head of state? She's the head of state in England and they don't get a day off for the Queen's birthday. In this near republic of a nation I think this day is a bit redundant - and should be replaced with Sorry Day. Like Yom Yippur, a day we can say sorry for all the things we did wrong in the past - like not telling Bern that her nemesis was coming to the pictures with us. Seriously, I do think there is some merit in taking a day to reflect on the atrocities served out to the local indigenous people. But that won't happen, especially if the Mad Monk and his cronies get their way at the next election.

Second to last off the ranks is Melbourne Cup day. First Tuesday in November. Are we the only place in the world that gets a day off for a horse race. Another day of frocking up, getting pissed and being found walking bare foot with your high heels in your handbag at five 'o' clock. Might have to review this one too.

Lastly we have Christmas. I can use the same excuse as Easter here. As a functioning spiritualist I can't quite see the point of celebrating the birth of this Jewish reprobate, spending time with family who aren't that enamoured to see you and spending money you don't have on things you don't need at the sales.

Boxing Day tails of from this. Coming from South Australia - the only place in Christendom that doesn't have this as a day off I just see it  as an extension of Christmas. In South Australia I would dutifully turn up to work on the morning of 26 December, glum in the knowledge that I had to wait until 28 December to have a sleep in.

Okay, I have to face it. I'm just in a snot as this Queen's Birthday weekend I'm studying and not doing anything fun. I rarely do fun stuff on public holidays. I can't even run at the moment as my left leg is still giving me a bit of grief.

Ho hum.

Maybe my next resolution is to start enjoying myself on these sanctioned days off.



Kath Lockett said...

'Enjoying myself' can be as simple as sleeping in. I'm finding that we try to cram too much into our long weekends and we're up and at 'em before my face has fully unfolded.

I long for the teenage-style sleep in mornings these days....

tnbk00 said...

Jesus wasn't a Mexican gardener?