…riority that particular day is). I think we get into this headspace where we think that the official day is the only day we can make observances on, and that it’s super bad to celebrate things on alternate days. But it makes me wonder why we have so little flexibility in this idea, especially in a world that requires us to be completely inflexible in other ways (like on what days we have to work). I’ve never been big on timing, even for personal stuff. I don’t care if we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or holidays ‘on the right day.’ For me, it’s more about the essence of the holiday. Sure, it’s great to have special things done on your actual birthday, and having people wish you well is part of what makes that day special. But if we want to go out for dinner or get together with friends, often it’s better to do it on the weekend (or even a few weeks away). And that is perfectly fine with me! I love that it means we get to relax and enjoy the time, instead of trying to squeeze in a celebration when people have worked all day or have to get up early the next day. I was reading about something re…
This is something I’ve also been thinking a lot about!
I don’t think the historical stuff here is quite accurate. Festival days off were incredibly important to medieval people, at least – and the Jewish Shabbat is far, far older.
But there’s a balance, right?
Across many cultures, there’s a kind of discipline in timing your observance in the right way, prayers that must be said in the correct direction – the energy that must be put into such considerations. The inconvenience is part of the sacrifice. Our peaks and valleys of the solar year are time to observe that all the concerns of your life cannot bend the arc of the sun, that all you are is small next to the turning of the world.
But… But anything where you want to coordinate across multiple people becomes a different thing entirely, doesn’t it? To have to exclude someone because they can’t get off work on a Tuesday night?
My own job and syncretic mishmash (combined with some dietary weekly patterns of restriction) mean that I try to move everything to the nearest Sunday, but I’m not perfectly happy with that. I take solace only in that it’s not like the premoderns had this all perfectly accurately down.
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