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Good Friday Etiquette Question


Tohru
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If I was in a heavily Catholic area or Episcopalian area,  I probably wouldn't do it.  If a lot of the people I was going to invite observed Good Friday, I probably wouldn't.

 

My only other caution would be that DD's bday is two days before 4th of July.  We've learned not to host her bday parties then because too many people travel for 4th of July.  I"m assuming it's similar for Easter/Spring Break. 

 

Episcopalians are all about flexibility.  Most Episcopalians I know would not have an issue with a party that day.  They might find a stations of the cross service at a different time, or go to Maundy Thursday services instead. 

 

I really agree that it depends on your area.  Last year, my son really wanted his birthday party at the Brazillian Steakhouse.  I told him I could only afford a weekday lunch, because weekends and evenings cost even more.   The only choices were Good Friday and Passover.  In his friend group there were no kids who had issues going out at lunch or eating meat on Good Friday, but several kids who wouldn't have been able to eat at a non-kosher restaurant during Passover.  

 

I will also say that this Good Friday, I'll be in NYC with a group of kids from the Catholic school where we teach.  We'll be attending shows, and seeing the sights.  Most of the girls are from practicing Catholic families, and most of the girls will be eating fish.  We'll have a prayer service in the hotel, but it's not a Holy Day of Obligation, so there will be no mass.  

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In Australia Easter has is also a secular holiday (for the non religious, the religious I assume still observe religiously) much like Christmas, so it would be a little odd to have a non Easter related party.

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Can I ask a s/o question ?

 

If you are Christian and you don't observe Good Friday, what is the reason behind that ? 

 

I can't quite get my mind around being a follower of Jesus and not observing the day he was crucified as a day of meditation on suffering and sorrow.

 

Just curious, not arguing :) It's a public holiday here in secular Australia and I grew up considering Good Friday a key holy day, going to Mass for the Stations of the Cross etc.

 

As another noted, some groups don't have special church events for Christmas or Easter. Most who do that break bread (i.e. have communion) every Sunday as a "remembrance" of the death and resurrection of Christ. So effectively they are reviewing those events weekly.

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Can I ask a s/o question ?

 

If you are Christian and you don't observe Good Friday, what is the reason behind that ? 

 

I can't quite get my mind around being a follower of Jesus and not observing the day he was crucified as a day of meditation on suffering and sorrow.

 

Just curious, not arguing :) It's a public holiday here in secular Australia and I grew up considering Good Friday a key holy day, going to Mass for the Stations of the Cross etc.

 

Mormons generally don't do anything for Holy Week (and sometimes we don't even manage to do much for Easter, much to my chagrin).  Like others have said, the idea is that we remember Jesus' crucifixion and atonement every Sunday when we take the sacrament (communion) so Holy Week isn't necessary.  I disagree so I started observing it on my own 20 years ago.

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I grew up in the Bible Belt. We didn't have school off then.  

 

Really, really curious where they don't have off public school on Good Friday.  I grew up in a very secular state and went to a majority Jewish private school for one year of my life and both of those gave Good Friday off.  Where I work now Good Friday is the only guaranteed day off around Easter - the rest can be snow make up days, but not that day.

 

All other schools I'm aware of in quite a few states give Good Friday off.

 

I'm wondering where it's not traditional...

 

 

Can I ask a s/o question ?

 

If you are Christian and you don't observe Good Friday, what is the reason behind that ? 

 

I can't quite get my mind around being a follower of Jesus and not observing the day he was crucified as a day of meditation on suffering and sorrow.

 

Just curious, not arguing :) It's a public holiday here in secular Australia and I grew up considering Good Friday a key holy day, going to Mass for the Stations of the Cross etc.

 

The church I attend observes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.  We, ourselves, even though we're "very" Christian, do not observe Good Friday.  Why?  We believe Jesus was crucified on Thursday.  ;)

 

Here's a short google searched summary of why that seems to match what my family believes is most likely accurate in spite of church tradition.

 

https://redeeminggod.com/case-for-thursday-crucifixion/

 

We don't take Thursday off either.  We remember our God daily and don't really need special days.  I'm not even one who believes Christmas is the real date (or even close) of Jesus' birth.

 

That said, we do special things on both Easter and Christmas - dinners, church Christmas Eve, etc.  The rest of Holy Week is more meditation than "celebration" though.

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I grew up in South Florida and didn't get Good Friday off. 

 

Doing a quick google search, Palm Beach County has it off this year.  It's part of their Spring Break.

 

https://news.palmbeachschools.org/districtnews/2015/01/08/school-district-board-approves-2015-2016-school-year-calendars/

 

Dade County has it off too:

 

http://www.dadeschools.net/calendars/15-16/15-16_el-sec.pdf

 

Were you in southwest FL?

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Really, really curious where they don't have off public school on Good Friday.  I grew up in a very secular state and went to a majority Jewish private school for one year of my life and both of those gave Good Friday off.  Where I work now Good Friday is the only guaranteed day off around Easter - the rest can be snow make up days, but not that day.

 

All other schools I'm aware of in quite a few states give Good Friday off.

 

I'm wondering where it's not traditional...

 

 

 

The school districts we have lived in in Utah, Idaho, western Washington, or central Virginia didn't have Good Friday off when we lived there. Our current school district in the DC area has spring break during Holy Week but some neighboring counties don't. Do you count a week-long spring break the week before Easter as getting Good Friday off?

 

I'm poking around random school district websites.  Phoenix- yes. Wichita- no.  Pierre- yes (and Easter Monday). Anchorage- no. Portland- spring break all week. San Diego- no.  Orlando- spring break all week. Cincinnati- yes. Spokane- no. Atlanta- no.  Houston- yes ("spring holiday").  Denver- no. Boston- yes. Seattle- no. NYC- yes. Madison- no.

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Doing a quick google search, Palm Beach County has it off this year.  It's part of their Spring Break.

 

https://news.palmbeachschools.org/districtnews/2015/01/08/school-district-board-approves-2015-2016-school-year-calendars/

 

Dade County has it off too:

 

http://www.dadeschools.net/calendars/15-16/15-16_el-sec.pdf

 

Were you in southwest FL?

 

No, I ws in Palm Beach County, but it was a long long time ago :)

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The school districts we have lived in in Utah, Idaho, western Washington, or central Virginia didn't have Good Friday off when we lived there. Our current school district in the DC area has spring break during Holy Week but some neighboring counties don't. Do you count a week-long spring break the week before Easter as getting Good Friday off?

 

I'm poking around random school district websites.  Phoenix- yes. Wichita- no.  Pierre- yes (and Easter Monday). Anchorage- no. Portland- spring break all week. San Diego- no.  Orlando- spring break all week. Cincinnati- yes. Spokane- no. Atlanta- no.  Houston- yes ("spring holiday").  Denver- no. Boston- yes. Seattle- no. NYC- yes. Madison- no.

 

Yes, because many school districts purposely put their spring breaks around Easter to "kill two birds with one stone."

 

It's interesting that so many districts do not give it off.  Given my background, this definitely counts in my "learn something new every day" category!

 

Thanks for the info.

 

FWIW, I just looked up my high school Alma mater in NY (state) and they have the whole week before and the Monday after off.

 

http://www.ogdensburgk12.org/modules/calendar/showCalendarMonth.phtml?oc_id%5B%5D=14778

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I was wondering about schools getting good friday off as well.  NY state doesn't have it off. Their public school spring break isn't until the end of April. My older kid attends public high school, so you think I would know these things, lol

 

NY state does not have a single schedule for the whole state.  My Alma mater in NY (state) has it off this year - see link in previous post.

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Can I ask a s/o question ?

 

If you are Christian and you don't observe Good Friday, what is the reason behind that ? 

 

I can't quite get my mind around being a follower of Jesus and not observing the day he was crucified as a day of meditation on suffering and sorrow.

 

Just curious, not arguing :) It's a public holiday here in secular Australia and I grew up considering Good Friday a key holy day, going to Mass for the Stations of the Cross etc.

 

[as I was raised...]

Partly as a reaction against Catholicism, I suspect.

 

But mostly because everyone dies. Nothing particularly special about that. But exactly one person rose, literally, out of death. There's nothing to mourn and everything to celebrate.

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Really, really curious where they don't have off public school on Good Friday. I grew up in a very secular state and went to a majority Jewish private school for one year of my life and both of those gave Good Friday off. Where I work now Good Friday is the only guaranteed day off around Easter - the rest can be snow make up days, but not that day.

 

All other schools I'm aware of in quite a few states give Good Friday off.

 

I'm wondering where it's not traditional...

 

 

 

The church I attend observes Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. We, ourselves, even though we're "very" Christian, do not observe Good Friday. Why? We believe Jesus was crucified on Thursday. ;)

 

Here's a short google searched summary of why that seems to match what my family believes is most likely accurate in spite of church tradition.

 

https://redeeminggod.com/case-for-thursday-crucifixion/

 

We don't take Thursday off either. We remember our God daily and don't really need special days. I'm not even one who believes Christmas is the real date (or even close) of Jesus' birth.

 

That said, we do special things on both Easter and Christmas - dinners, church Christmas Eve, etc. The rest of Holy Week is more meditation than "celebration" though.

Metro Atlanta area does not have Good Friday as a holiday this year. I never remember having it off growing up (1980s-early 1990s) unless it happened to coincide with Spring Break. That ranges by county from the last week of March-second week in April, so sometimes they're off coincidentally.

Edited by zoobie
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PS has Good Friday, March 25th,  off here. Spring Break is March 7th-18th.

I grew up in Southern Baptist Churches in the West.  They tended to have a combined focus on both the crucifixion and the resurrection on Easter Sunday, but more of them are having Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services in the last 25 years or so. I prefer the sharp contrast between the M. Thurs/G. Fri services with their somber, contemplative tone and the Easter/Resurrection Sunday services with their joyous, celebratory tone to combining them in the same service.  At one of those churches there were signs posted at the doors asking people to not speak inside the building for Good Friday services.  Chatting was encouraged as long as it was done outside that day.  I particularly liked it because it's so rare in our culture to have a truly quiet, contemplative environment for a large group of people. 

I've attended Bible Churches mostly since then and they're more prone to the two services if they're large enough.  My absolute favorite was one that held Good Friday services in a huge working garden that supplies an adjoining restaurant.  The weather is usually perfect and the pastor and music department did a great job in their selections and presentations for that service.  Unfortunately, that location is no longer available for that annual service.  Sniff.  

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[as I was raised...]

Partly as a reaction against Catholicism, I suspect.

 

But mostly because everyone dies. Nothing particularly special about that. But exactly one person rose, literally, out of death. There's nothing to mourn and everything to celebrate.

 

But if you believed he died FOR you, and for our sins, that's something to observe, I would think. It's not like everyone else's death, it's the death that saves you. 

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But if you believed he died FOR you, and for our sins, that's something to observe, I would think. It's not like everyone else's death, it's the death that saves you. 

 

K

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Can I ask a s/o question ?

 

If you are Christian and you don't observe Good Friday, what is the reason behind that ? 

 

I can't quite get my mind around being a follower of Jesus and not observing the day he was crucified as a day of meditation on suffering and sorrow.

 

Just curious, not arguing :) It's a public holiday here in secular Australia and I grew up considering Good Friday a key holy day, going to Mass for the Stations of the Cross etc.

 

The argument against goes something like this:  Observance of special holy days is not prescribed in the Bible.  So don't do it.  If you do set it up, you are establishing a "tradition of man" which is abhorrent.  And it's superstitious.  Something in that set of top-line statements.  

 

I am stating these as one who honors the day, but since I brought it up upthread, I though I would answer.  

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The most touching and moving service I've ever been to was a Good Friday service, in an Episcopal church. The entire time everyone there was silent, other than the priest. And he stayed on our side of the altar rail the whole time. The lighting was dim, and there were many silent moments. At the end, there was no recessional music, no Priest shaking hands at the back of the Church as you filed out. He just left in silence, and after a few moments we did too. It was incredibly somber, and left you with a sense of it being unfinished, which was exactly the purpose. 

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Metro Atlanta area does not have Good Friday as a holiday this year. I never remember having it off growing up (1980s-early 1990s) unless it happened to coincide with Spring Break. That ranges by county from the last week of March-second week in April, so sometimes they're off coincidentally.

 

The interesting historical note here is that Spring Break used to be determined by the date of Holy Week.  

 

Things do change.  :0)

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Ortthodox Christians believe it is the Resurrection that saves you.  

 

Just a quick chime-in.  :0)

 

Same, though it's not Orthodox I'm talking about.

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Ortthodox Christians believe it is the Resurrection that saves you.  

 

Just a quick chime-in.  :0)

 

As do I, but you can't have the resurrection without the death, you know? They go together. We die with him to be raised with him. 

 

(I do get your point...the emphasis on conquering death via the ressurection rather than an atonement/paying of debt. But either way, for a Christian to  say that God crucified is the same as any other death is a bit hard for me to understand.)

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As do I, but you can't have the resurrection without the death, you know? They go together. We die with him to be raised with him. 

 

(I do get your point...the emphasis on conquering death via the ressurection rather than an atonement/paying of debt. But either way, for a Christian to  say that God crucified is the same as any other death is a bit hard for me to understand.)

 

I suspect we are in violent agreement.  :0)

At least as to the main point.  

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Really, really curious where they don't have off public school on Good Friday. I grew up in a very secular state and went to a majority Jewish private school for one year of my life and both of those gave Good Friday off. Where I work now Good Friday is the only guaranteed day off around Easter - the rest can be snow make up days, but not that day.

 

All other schools I'm aware of in quite a few states give Good Friday off.

 

I'm wondering where it's not traditional...

I grew up in Oregon in the 70s and 80s. Spring break was the third week in March, always. We did not get Good Friday off unless it happened to fall in that week. (I was not even aware of Good Friday as a thing, and I would have been if we got it off.)

 

I lived in Utah as a college student and newlywed. Schools did not get it off.

 

My kids did get Good Friday off in Rhode Island, even when it didn't line up with spring break.

 

Here in Vermont, kids get breaks the last week of February and the third week of April. They don't get Good Friday unless it happens to fall during that April week.

 

This year, my kids get the Friday before Good Friday off for grading, and they also get Easter Monday off for inservice. So there is definitely not any effort made to give them Good Friday off.

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The company my dh worked for always gave the employees Good Friday off.  At some point, there must have been some complaints.  They changed the name from Good Friday to Spring Holiday.  They still got Good Friday off, just under a different name.

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Shouldn't all school holidays be secular, though?

 

Public schools really need to work with the audience they have.

 

Around here, all schools get the first day of rifle hunting (deer) season off because if we didn't, enough teachers and students wouldn't show up anyway.  Since it's always the Monday after Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Break just includes that Monday every year.  It's what we do.  Why make life harder on our deer hunting population when we don't have to?

 

The same goes for other special days that are observed or celebrated by a huge percentage of students.

 

Sure, we no longer have Christmas or Easter breaks, we have Winter and Spring breaks instead, but it sure makes sense to include Dec 25th, Dec 31, Jan 1, and Good Friday in those breaks every year.  There's really no sense trying to offend a significant portion.

 

At the private school I went to in FL, since it was predominantly a Jewish population, we had all those holidays off too.  As a student, I loved it!  Where I live now there isn't a large enough population to adjust schedules for that.  Anyone wanting those days off for religious purposes gets it as an excused absence.

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Public schools really need to work with the audience they have.

 

Around here, all schools get the first day of rifle hunting (deer) season off because if we didn't, enough teachers and students wouldn't show up anyway. Since it's always the Monday after Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Break just includes that Monday every year. It's what we do. Why make life harder on our deer hunting population when we don't have to?

 

The same goes for other special days that are observed or celebrated by a huge percentage of students.

 

Sure, we no longer have Christmas or Easter breaks, we have Winter and Spring breaks instead, but it sure makes sense to include Dec 25th, Dec 31, Jan 1, and Good Friday in those breaks every year. There's really no sense trying to offend a significant portion.

 

At the private school I went to in FL, since it was predominantly a Jewish population, we had all those holidays off too. As a student, I loved it! Where I live now there isn't a large enough population to adjust schedules for that. Anyone wanting those days off for religious purposes gets it as an excused absence.

Yeah, I get that. In the northern part of our state kids get time off during the potato harvest. And February Vacation Week exists because by then everyone has cabin fever and needs to get out skiing. I guess I don't equate religious days the same way though, unless they honor all of them (not just Christian). Or just make it optional, like a vacation day for families who want it off. Makes more sense to me, but then I'm from and live in a secular state.

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[as I was raised...]

Partly as a reaction against Catholicism, I suspect.

 

But mostly because everyone dies. Nothing particularly special about that. But exactly one person rose, literally, out of death. There's nothing to mourn and everything to celebrate.

 

It's a journey for the individual though.  To really understand what the REssurection means, we need to understand why we need it, and how we got there.  So in a typical set of Holy Week celebrations, the individual puts themselves in the place of those who are without hope, and even in the place of those who sent Christ to his death.  In the Thursday service at the end, the altar, which represents Christ's body, and the whole sanctuary area around it, are stripped bare, and the candle that normally burns always is put out.  That night in many churches there is an all night vigil at a small side altar, often that has been decorated as a garden.  Then on the Friday, the service is very somber and in many cases left unfinished - people are left to contemplate what a world without Christ would look like.

 

That interior journey makes the celebrations of the Easter, with its music and light and colour, all that much more meaningful. 

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It's a journey for the individual though.  To really understand what the REssurection means, we need to understand why we need it, and how we got there.  So in a typical set of Holy Week celebrations, the individual puts themselves in the place of those who are without hope, and even in the place of those who sent Christ to his death.  In the Thursday service at the end, the altar, which represents Christ's body, and the whole sanctuary area around it, are stripped bare, and the candle that normally burns always is put out.  That night in many churches there is an all night vigil at a small side altar, often that has been decorated as a garden.  Then on the Friday, the service is very somber and in many cases left unfinished - people are left to contemplate what a world without Christ would look like.

 

That interior journey makes the celebrations of the Easter, with its music and light and colour, all that much more meaningful. 

 

I was not personally responsible for what services were held in my churches growing up. Your traditions sound lovely.

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Yeah, I get that. In the northern part of our state kids get time off during the potato harvest. And February Vacation Week exists because by then everyone has cabin fever and needs to get out skiing. I guess I don't equate religious days the same way though, unless they honor all of them (not just Christian). Or just make it optional, like a vacation day for families who want it off. Makes more sense to me, but then I'm from and live in a secular state.

 

Growing up I know Jewish kids could take Jewish holidays off as an excused absence. That kind of makes sense and I imagine those who observe Good Friday could too. 

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I was not personally responsible for what services were held in my churches growing up. Your traditions sound lovely.

 

Well no, I didn't think you were?

 

 

I was explaining the logic of taking time to think about the two sides of the story separately.  There is a tendency I think among some Christians to want to keep everything in mind at once, but it forgets that we have limits to our focus.

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Yeah, I get that. In the northern part of our state kids get time off during the potato harvest. And February Vacation Week exists because by then everyone has cabin fever and needs to get out skiing. I guess I don't equate religious days the same way though, unless they honor all of them (not just Christian). Or just make it optional, like a vacation day for families who want it off. Makes more sense to me, but then I'm from and live in a secular state.

 

It's pretty much a numbers game more than a religious issue.  If not enough teachers/students would show up anyway, there's no sense trying to have school then.  It'd be the same for any religion with a high enough percentage of the local population - even deer hunters.  ;)

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It's pretty much a numbers game more than a religious issue.  If not enough teachers/students would show up anyway, there's no sense trying to have school then.  It'd be the same for any religion with a high enough percentage of the local population - even deer hunters.   ;)

 

Which is why NYC takes off for the week of Passover instead of the week before Easter (excepting Good Friday). More people need the entire Passover week off than need the entire Easter week off, and they could only do one.

 

We also take off for Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, for Christmas, for Lunar New Year, and for Eid. And for Brooklyn Day, which commemorates the opening of the first Sunday school in Brooklyn, and I bet you didn't know that!

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Public schools really need to work with the audience they have.

 

Around here, all schools get the first day of rifle hunting (deer) season off because if we didn't, enough teachers and students wouldn't show up anyway.  Since it's always the Monday after Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Break just includes that Monday every year.  It's what we do.  Why make life harder on our deer hunting population when we don't have to?

 

The same goes for other special days that are observed or celebrated by a huge percentage of students.

 

Sure, we no longer have Christmas or Easter breaks, we have Winter and Spring breaks instead, but it sure makes sense to include Dec 25th, Dec 31, Jan 1, and Good Friday in those breaks every year.  There's really no sense trying to offend a significant portion.

 

At the private school I went to in FL, since it was predominantly a Jewish population, we had all those holidays off too.  As a student, I loved it!  Where I live now there isn't a large enough population to adjust schedules for that.  Anyone wanting those days off for religious purposes gets it as an excused absence.

 

 

Yes!  In my hometown (Augusta, GA) and the surrounding area, "Spring Break" is ALWAYS the first full week of April.  It doesn't matter where Easter falls.  Masters week is the first full week of April.  The area is taken over by golf enthusiasts.  There are pop up vendors all along Washington Rd.  About a month before that ticket brokers are trying to buy and then resell tickets.  Kids are selling bottled waters for whatever fundraising need they have.  Restaurants are swamped.  Traffic is terrible.  Hotel rooms are impossible to find.  People rent out their house for several mortgage payments worth for that one week.  High schoolers and college kids that stay in town ALL pick up extra jobs.  Same for teachers, etc.  Professionals aren't in their office (doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, etc etc.)  

 

Even if they tried to hold school, the traffic would be SO awful that we'd never get to school and home from school at a reasonable time.  

 

I lived there so long that the first week of April IS spring break in my heart.  When we moved to Virginia and Spring Break was in MARCH, it felt WRONG.  However, Virginia had a LAW that school couldn't start before Labor Day.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Minnesota had a break for their teacher's union convention days.  It was odd to me.  

 

As homeschoolers in Florida, we don't pay too much attention.  We do avoid Disney World during high peak times though but that is just a preference.  I'm not interested in going during "Jersey Week"  (when the teachers have convention and the kids are all off), or Christmas to New Years etc.  

Edited by GAPeachie
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It's pretty much a numbers game more than a religious issue.  If not enough teachers/students would show up anyway, there's no sense trying to have school then.  It'd be the same for any religion with a high enough percentage of the local population - even deer hunters.   ;)

 

You laugh.

 

I taught in a school district where they took an Autumn Break for a 5-day weekend.  It was tied to the opening day of hunting season.  

 

The rationale was "Why bother having school?  No kids are coming anyway, and even if they did, we can't find enough substitutes for the missing teachers."  

 

Truth.

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It's pretty much a numbers game more than a religious issue.  If not enough teachers/students would show up anyway, there's no sense trying to have school then.  It'd be the same for any religion with a high enough percentage of the local population - even deer hunters.   ;)

 

This is true here.

 

My area has high Roman Catholic and Jewish populations.  Good Friday is a day off school, and so are Rosh Hashanah (more than one day? not sure) and

Yom Kippur.   Because, yeah, enough people want the day off, and are going to take it anyway, authorized or not, so why not just shut down for the day?  

 

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When I went to Catholic school, Easter break was always Holy Thursday through the end of Easter week. The public schools where we are now have spring break during Holy Week if possible, or give Good Friday off as a "school improvement day." My DH's small town, which was predominantly Catholic and Lutheran, completely shut down on Good Friday afternoon so everyone could attend services.

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You laugh.

 

I taught in a school district where they took an Autumn Break for a 5-day weekend.  It was tied to the opening day of hunting season.  

 

The rationale was "Why bother having school?  No kids are coming anyway, and even if they did, we can't find enough substitutes for the missing teachers."  

 

Truth.

 

I laugh?  Hardly!  Hubby and the boys head(ed) off hunting... ;)

 

We tend to eat deer more than beef when cooking at home - just as many others in our area do.

 

It makes a ton of sense in all of these cases for schools to modify their schedules to what their local population wants. Predominant religious observations are just one example.  Where hubby grew up in NC, they had school holidays to get tobacco harvested shortly after school began in the fall.

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I did not realize we were so different from the US  in having Good Friday as a public holiday all across the nation! Not just schools but workplaces, shops...the whole deal. The country shuts down. I guess it came from the Brits.

 

I knew most workplaces, etc, did not consider it a holiday and it's certainly not a national holiday, but it's a surprise to me that many public schools don't have it off - mainly because I've only had experiences with school districts that always gave it off to all.

 

Colleges did not.

 

But youngest son's college moved their spring break this year to have it off since Easter is in March, so even that can vary.  I didn't pay attention to whether they gave the day off last year or not.

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Good Friday is a day off school, and so are Rosh Hashanah (more than one day? not sure) and Yom Kippur.

 

Rosh Hashanah is celebrated for two days because the holiday starts on the new moon (being the first of that month) and historically that meant the new moon had to be sighted, rather than simply being calculated, and it might not have been sighted or the news might not have gotten to all the hamlets in time.

 

I looked that one up a few years ago :)

 

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I don't think I've ever attended a church that observed almost any of the liturgical calendar. Maybe the Anglican one I went to in Torquay, but that was years ago. One we visited and considered attending earlier this winter did so much more with it and was a non denominational bible church, so it's not a 'theological' issue for the churches we like but a stylistic/preference thing.

 

I couldn't honestly even tell you when Easter is this year without looking, let alone all the days leading up to it. I'm just doing my normal bible studies and plugging along. I assume we will get some bulletin announcements about an Easter service at some point here in the next few weeks?

 

So no, I wouldn't avoid attending parties or anything else.

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I did not realize we were so different from the US  in having Good Friday as a public holiday all across the nation! Not just schools but workplaces, shops...the whole deal. The country shuts down. I guess it came from the Brits.

 

I think it is the same here in Canada, at least I have never heard of a place that does not have Good Friday as a normal holiday.  But while I think it used to be a federally mandated holiday, in recent years most of those have actually been stopped, so there is now only Rememberance Day as a federally mandated day off for all.  There have always been a few holidays that were particular to provinces and they had their own laws about Sunday's and such, but most seem to have carried on to some extent with all the old federal ones.  When the law first changed some big stores planned to stay open but there was actually a fair amount of outcry from the public.

 

ETA - I just looked it up, apparently the across Canada ones are New Year's Day, Christmas Day, God Friday, Remembrance Day, and Labour Day.  Federal employees also get Easter Monday, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving, and Victoria Day, and lots of other people may have them off as well though often without pay.  Lots of people also get Canada Day off, unpaid.

Edited by Bluegoat
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When I think about it, it's pretty strange in a country like mine, based on immigration, to have official Christian holidays for everyone. Easter is my favourite holiday, however, so I selfishly hope they don't change it. It ends up being a 4 day weekend for lots of people. 

 

I'll bet it's mostly a numbers thing based on immigration patterns.  Certainly here, across the country, the majority have a cultural CHristian background and are most likely to celebrate those holidays, even if tehy are secular.  Other groups tend to be more regional, so it makes sense that if there was a necessity for those to be holidays it would not be nation-wide.  I'd think in Australia though there would be a much more significant Asian population?

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