Archive for March, 2013
Good Friday is a Christian holiday that observes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This day falls on the Friday immediately before Easter Sunday, the day in which Jesus is thought to have risen out of his grave into Heaven. This holiday is observed in many regions of the world, and some people take the day off of work. Celebrations can vary depending on what sect of Christianity one follows.
Good Friday commemorates the day in which Jesus was convicted of blasphemy by the Roman high priest and sentenced to crucifixion. He was not believed to be the son of God, and therefore punished for what the priest viewed as a crime. Christians view this day as so important in the history of their religion because this act is considered as Jesus dying for the sins of all man.
Secret followers of Jesus Christ kept his body and enclosed it in a tomb. That following Sunday, the body was missing, and Christians believe this act was him rising from the grave. That particular Sunday is better known as Easter Sunday. Easter is considered the most important holiday in the Christian religion, and Good Friday is closely followed.
Church Observations and Celebrations
While Easter Sunday has turned into a mainstream holiday in many aspects, Good Friday is not. Christians take Good Friday very seriously, and they celebrate it in numerous ways. Catholics often fast for the entire day, while others in the same sect might fast with the exception of one meal. Others still may exclude one food group from their daily meals, such as meat and fish.
Christians from all branches of the religion may put on plays to reenact the crucifixion of Jesus. These are often church events, although some communities take these reenactments out into the streets for the public to witness. Such acts are considered important in a time where Easter Sunday often takes precedence over Good Friday, and consumers are more concerned over the Easter Bunny than what these Christian holidays really mean.
In the midst of a busy society, many western Christians simply go to church on Good Friday. This is especially the case in the United States where many people do not get the day off work for celebrations. Pictures of Jesus as well as crosses are often displayed on this holiday.
The extent of public celebrations depends on where Good Friday is celebrated. While a large portion of the world’s population observes this holiday, it is not considered a government holiday in most cases. For example, the U.S. does not officially consider Good Friday as a federal holiday, which means that all related offices are open. At the same time, however, individual states have the option of making this a holiday in which offices at the state level close. Sometimes Good Friday occurs during the week of spring break; in this instance, school professionals and students have the day off.
Other countries do regard Good Friday as a public holiday. While this is more common in eastern nations, the United Kingdom is one example of a western nation that still closes its government on Good Friday.
Just as Easter does not fall on the same date every year, Good Friday depends on the March Equinox. It can occur as soon as March, and as late as mid-April. In 2012, Good Friday occurred on April 6th, while it is slated to take place on March 29th in 2013. In 2014, Good Friday is scheduled for April 18th.
Good Friday Gift Ideas
April 22nd may just seem like any old day to many people. To others, this is better known as Earth Day. It is one of the few environmental holidays around that celebrates our planet across all countries. The holiday has activism in its roots, although it is a widely peaceful holiday. Earth Day serves as an important reminder that not doing anything impacts the environment just the same as harming it.
In the late 1960s, people were becoming more aware of their surroundings along with many of the atrocities that were taking place. This was also the start of the early stages of the modern day environmental movement. The public started to question how oil use impacted the environment. Major cities across the United States were already suffering from air pollution, including Los Angeles.
In 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin was inspired to create a day for environmental awareness after seeing a tragic oil spill in southern California. He also gained inspiration from young activists of the day who regularly stood up against officials for wrongdoings, such as war and racism.
Senator Nelson declared the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. During this day, 20 million people took the streets in support of this concept. Earth Day was founded as a way to help increase environmental awareness, as well as promote changes within communities to help make the world a better place for everyone.
The first Earth Day was so successful that it spawned a non-profit group called the Earth Day Network in 1993. Now the holiday is celebrated in almost 200 countries and by over 500 million people globally. It is considered one of the largest secular holidays in the world, and one that everyone has a stake in.
Types of Celebrations
While Earth Day may have been inspired by activism and protests, this holiday is celebrated in numerous ways. Children are encouraged to participate by making pictures of the earth or helping grown-ups plant trees. Mass recycling and trash pickup events are also often organized on Earth Day.
Educational events are numerous on this holiday. Some of the facts may come across as negative, but the overall message of Earth Day is a positive one. People are encouraged to celebrate the holiday in their own way, but the point is that everyone can make a difference in the environment by making small changes in their lifestyles.
To some people, making personal changes isn’t enough. Earth Day is often a day for protests across the globe, particularly against oil manufacturers and other industries that are viewed as negatively contributing to the environment. The majority of these protests are peaceful, but they can be dangerous in nations that do not protect freedom of speech as openly as the United States.
While Earth Day has undoubtedly gained many supporters over the last few decades, it is not considered an official public holiday. If Earth Day falls on a weekday, schools, banks and government offices are still open. In some environmental industries, however, some employers grant their workers the day off or host celebrations at work. Many teachers have taken Earth Day a step further by including lessons about the environment over the course of the entire week.
Earth Day Gift Ideas
Administrative Professionals Day
Administrative professionals are essential in virtually all sectors of businesses and institutions. Their contributions are celebrated annually on Administrative Professionals Day. This holiday was founded in the United States, but other countries celebrate it, too. It is recognized in conjunction with Administrative Professionals Week, formerly known as National Secretaries Week.
Date of Celebration
In the United States, Administrative Professionals Day is celebrated on Wednesday within the last full week of April. This same week is also Administrative Professionals Week. In 2013, Administrative Professionals Day is slated for observance on April 24th.
Many other countries and communities around the world also celebrate this holiday. While some choose to observe Administrative Professionals Day on the same date as the U.S., others celebrate it on a different day of the month. For example, France always celebrates the holiday on every third Thursday in the month of April.
Before 1955, Administrative Professionals Day was observed in June. Known then as Secretaries Day, the holiday was moved up in the year due in part to the fact that many professionals take their summer vacations in the month of June. The date was changed so that everyone has a chance to partake in the celebrations of appreciation for administrative staff.
Administrative Professionals Day originally stems from an idea from the former president of the National Secretaries Association, Mary Barrett. The Association was established during World War II to help support increasing numbers of secretaries and receptionists across the United States. Still, Barrett recognized a general lack of appreciation for these types of professionals in the workplace, so she wanted to increase awareness for all workers, including future administrative professionals.
Barrett worked with Victor Toldoya of Young & Rubicam, as well as C. King Woodbridge of Dictaphone Corporation to formulate her concept. Collectively, the three came up with the idea of a National Secretaries Week. Charles Sawyer, the Secretary of Commerce, declared the first week of June as the first annual National Secretaries Week. That Wednesday, June 4, was the very first National Secretaries Day.
The dates were changed in 1955 to better suit celebrations. Years later, the name of the holiday was changed to emphasize other administrative roles aside from secretaries. Since 2000, the date has been officially known as Administrative Professionals Day, which takes place during the newly-named Administrative Professionals Week. In addition, the former National Secretaries Association is now called the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Administrative Professionals Day is considered a secular holiday and is not recognized by the federal government. While some companies might give their administrative professionals the day off, others might rotate paid days off throughout Administrative Professionals Week. Since these professionals are essential to day-to-day operations, many do not take the day off. However, they are often celebrated at the workplace through office parties and administrative gifts. This is not a government holiday, so no related institutions are closed on Administrative Professionals Day.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals also sells pins to help raise funds for the annual holiday celebrations. These pins carry a logo of the globe with the Association’s name across the equator. Many workers wear the pins on Administrative Professionals Day to help show their support.
Administrative Professionals Day Gift Ideas