Presidents Day and other holidays

I have been here three months now and have been able to see how the USA celebrates Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year as well as lesser observed holidays like Martin Luther King day and today’s holiday, Presidents Day.

Thanksgiving is definitely the biggest family occasion with Christmas coming in a close second. The traditions of Thanksgiving seem to get passed from generation to generation while Christmas, even though will still hold family traditions, new ones are made as families grow up and spread their wings throughout the USA. This is just a simple observation from myself, a newcomer to the whole Thanksgiving holiday as we don’t celebrate it in Ireland.

Anyway, back to today’s holiday, one that is observed by Federal government and their employees. So schools are closed, federal offices are closed but private companies are all at work. This isn’t a new phenomenon to me, back when I was the Defence Forces in Ireland we had a 3 holidays that no knew else in the country received.

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Presidents Day

So what is Presidents Day?  Originally it was supposed to be a celebration for George Washington’s birthday which falls on February 22nd. In what seems a smart move by a government, in 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moved nearly all holidays to a Monday to allow more 3 day weekends for workers. Off course as most employees don’t get Presidents Day off work, it’s a kinda pointless thing. But it does help for other holidays throughout the year.

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US Presidents Seal

Nowadays Presidents Day is to celebrate all Presidents, not just Washington. There are four living Ex US Presidents, George HW Bush, Jimmy Carter, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, with the present President, Barack Obama, making it five. Here in Atlanta, the city has the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum so maybe Presidents Day is a good day to visit, or definitely soon after. It is on my to do list in the summer when my son comes to visit.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

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USA Holidays

I am looking forward to celebrating some more US holidays like July 4th but for me March 17th and St Patrick’s Day will be my big holiday. I am also interested to see how US citizens celebrate Easter, is it all about Easter Eggs, or is there a religious aspect to the whole time around Easter.

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Wasn’t going to write a post today

I really wasn’t going to write a post today or over the weekend and just let blog settle. But it’s Valentine’s weekend and also Presidents’ day weekend here in the States.

Leaving Presidents’ Day out of the equation for now, I will come back to it on Monday, what are people’s thoughts on Valentine’s Day. I myself being a hopeless romantic and recently married have my own plans and I won’t be divulging them here, at least not yet.

I was single for a long time, but always sent good wishes and thoughts to my female friends on Valentine’s Day. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be nice to someone. If sending a little Valentine’s wish to a friend gives them a smile, well that’s a good thing.

As I am now married my wife will be receiving all my Valentine’s love and wishes. But to anyone single, don’t wait for the good wishes to arrive at your door, take a leap and send some out to the world, you never know, love may send a message back.

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St Valentine's Statue in Dublin Church

A little history though now, In 1835 an Irish Carmelite by the name of John Spratt was visiting Rome. He was well known in Ireland for his skills as a preacher and also for his work among the poor and destitute in Dublin’s Liberties area. He was also responsible for the building of the new church to Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Whitefriar Street. Apparently his fame as a preacher had gone before him, no doubt brought by some Jesuits who had been in Dublin. The elite of Rome flocked to hear him and he received many tokens of esteem from the doyens of the Church. One such token came from Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) and were the remains of Saint Valentine.

So maybe us Irish have a bit of romantic blood in us all.