3.28.2005

opiate

Karl Marx is supposed to have stated, "Religion is the opiate of the masses." While I wholeheartedly agree, I am constantly amazed that so many people around the globe have managed to all find their own flavors of opium, so to speak.

This weekend was a veritable smorgasboard of religious holidays. Between Purim, Easter, and Holi, not many folks were spared. It seems rather coincidental that the three lined up so perfectly, especially given that none of them are affixed to a particular date. I can't help but wonder, what is so special about this time of year that so many people feel the need to celebrate?

6 comments:

Belle said...

Honestly, I forgot it was a holiday until we got out early from work on Friday (those Christian holidays are good for something!) and then I forgot again until everything was CLOSED on Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Oh, you didn't know? There's a whole consortium of folks trying to make religion appeal to the masses! Just like marketing! This whole not-fixed-to-a-certain-date thing went over REALLY well and had undeniably high ratings.

Yeah, the religo-marketing strategists at the consortium are really getting clever. Thank goodness we have them to make decisions for us. Myyyyy goodness, I know I wouldn't want to figure all that out on my own. Phew!

Joey

jadam said...

I can really only speak for Easter, but here's the lowdown on that. Easter is a 'movable feast' in Christianity, meaning it takes place in a certain season but not on a certain day. In fact, 'Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox.' (Thanks Wikipedia!)

Does this sound Christian-esque to you? Following the full moon and equinox? It's because of two reasons. The first is that the date is meant to coincide with older pagan (read: rural, country) religions which celebrated the change to spring along with the new life in nature. Ever wonder why there are Easter eggs and an Easter bunny? I think it was Constantine that played with the calendar to make Christian holidays coincide with ancient festivals to make the transition to Christianity easier (but I could be wrong about who did it). The other reason is that it's thought the Last Supper was part of the Jewish passover celebration so the two holidays should be in the same timeframe.

Hey, it looks like I did learn something in college!

Niki said...

Well, I think Jadam covered most everything; I was going to say that most holidays have some basis around the seasons, especially spring with its rebirth of life and all. Christmas is placed close to the winter solstice for a reason, you know.

Belle said...

Niki, you are going to hell. We do NOT talk about how Christianity co-opted existing pagan holidays and placed a big Jesus sticker on them. No! Do not look at the man behind the curtain..!

George said...

Hey, Greek Orthodox Easter isn't until May 1st this year. So all you guys are just celebrating early, see? :)