Summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21, but here in the USA, this is the very unofficial start of the Summer season as it is the Memorial Day weekend, the first three-day holiday weekend of our Summer. The vast majority of the people in this country always look forward to this long weekend as positive proof that the days of “fun-in-the-sun” are at last here. The travel and tourist industries, especially those located in coastal areas, welcome the return of their busiest season of the year.
Today is one of the few years that both the Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity celebrate the Easter holiday on the same date. The Eastern traditions (Orthodox, Armenian, Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptic) generally adhered to the old-style calendars and the Western traditions (Roman Catholic and Protestant) followed the new-style calendars. Usually, the Western Easter is earlier than the Eastern holiday. The icon (holy image) shown above depicts the Resurrection of the Christ, the reason for the holiday.
Although I’m not Irish, it is very difficult to live in today’s world and not be aware that this is the day when all Irishmen consider the rest of the world as Irish, also! Today is St. Patrick’s Day, the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland. St. Patrick is the man attributed with driving the snakes out of Ireland and converting many of the indigenous people there to the Roman Catholic faith. It’s also a day where Irishmen everywhere celebrate their heritage and its many legends and heroes.
Here in the USA, today, Monday, February 20, is the day that we honor all of the presidents of the country, the ones living and those deceased. I guess this month was selected because two of the earliest presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, were born in February. As today is a national holiday, it is also the final three-day weekend of the winter season. For the past eight years, a fellow gay naturist/nudist friend of ours always invites between six to eight same gender loving bare couples to his home (near the Blue Ridge Mountains in rural Virginia) to spend the entire weekend, clothes-free, of course.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. Today is the holiday celebrating his legacy and his life. He was slain on April 4, 1968. He is best known as a civil rights leader and peace advocate. In the style of Gandhi, he is also noted for his belief in non-violent protest, even when confronted with physical force. U.S. Federal law mandates the celebration of most public holidays on the Monday closest to the original date.
Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace by King Gustav of Sweden in 1964. In 1977, he was posthumously awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom by the (then) President, Jimmy Carter.