Christian-themed bank holidays
With Christmas departing as quickly as the novelty of a brand new puppy, all we in the UK have to look forward to in the way of forthcoming public holidays is New Year.
That’s the lot until Easter but in other countries it’s a different stor
For example, in Spain they have 6th January off as well. It’s called Epiphany and it’s about the Three Wise Men – Athos, Porthos, and Aramis – visiting baby Jesus, who was unfortunate enough to be born on Christmas Day and therefore only received only one set of presents each year (combined birthday/Xmas).
Now it seems unfair to me that these three chaps – known collectively as the Magi (the plural of ‘magician’) – don’t get the acknowledgment they deserve in our holiday calandar.
For one thing, their visit was brilliant PR for the future messiah. The ‘los Reyes Magos de Oriente’ (to give them their Spanish title) hit upon the gimmick of kneeling down before the child – sending out the message that all the people on Earth, be they rich and poor, should likewise bow down before their saviour – the one true king.
In short, they gave Jesus two thumbs up.
Secondly, they are very well-known themselve. Perhap for bringing some very odd gifts with them: Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold’s fine – you can do things with gold – but perfume and annointing oil? For a baby?
Deist Thomas Wolston summed up this innappropriateness wonderfully. ‘If they had brought sugar, soap, and candles they would have acted like wise men’ he said.
These days, a lollypop lady or cleaner can get an OBE for service to the community, but the powers-that-be won’t even reward the Magi, and us, with a measely 24 hours’ annual commemmoration.
I think it’s time to redress the situation. The scriptures have lots of important characters in them, and they should all get a shot at having a religious public holiday named after them.
Just imagine. We could have Jonah day, where we all go to aquairums and feed whales; Thomas day, where we doubt each other and even Judas day, when we email the boss with everything our colleagues have said about him and the company.