Monday, November 01, 2004

All Saints Day

Today is Toussaint, or All Saints' Day. It's a catch-all day for all the saints who don't have their own feast day. Traditionally in France, it's a day to remember and honor those that have gone before by placing flowers, usually chrysanthemums, on the graves of their loved ones. It also happens to be a public holiday (which doesn't affect us in the slightest as Stéph is on holiday until Thursday).

I have to admit, I find it a bit odd that France, who prides itself on being a totally secular nation, is taking a day off on what is obviously a Catholic holiday. So I looked here to find the other public holidays for this year. They include:

Easter Monday
Ascension Day

Now I know that France is predominately a nation of Catholics (though that is slowly starting to change, with the increasing numbers of immigrants from traditionally Muslim countries), but I'm very curious to know how they're able to pull this one off. None of the above mentioned holidays are public holidays in the states, which is predominantly Christian (though admittedly not necessarily Catholic).

Disclaimer: it's not my intention to start an argument with this piece. I bring this up only out of curiosity and the hope of better understanding the idea behind the action. Thank you for understanding.

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