Thursday, 10 May 2012

Happy Schuman Day

Fuck, I forgot to wish you all a Happy Schuman Day yesterday (the EU celebrates Schuman Day rather than the 8th May VE day, so as not to ruffle any German feathers). Obviously, I could not, because I was shut up in my attic in silent contemplation of the joyous events of March 1957. Happy Belated Schuman day, then, readers. May all your mergers be passed without commitments under the simplified procedure, may all your regulations have direct effect, may all your legislation be adopted under the co-decision procedure and approved at first reading. May .. no, sorry. I've bored myself catatonic. How I managed to do this stuff for so many years is a perpetual mystery to me.

I am not sure how Schuman Day is really celebrated in the European Institutions since, as only a semi-Eurodrone initiate I was never allowed to witness its arcane mysteries. This means that I now nourish elaborate fantasies about 'Dress as your favourite Commissioner' competitions and party games based on spotting the difference between the various language versions of texts of Treaty articles. Maybe themed blue/star snacks. Actually, of course, nothing probably happens because it is a holiday. Ah, well.

Today I:

- only started crying at 11:45 when I had predicted 11:00, so a minor triumph, right there.

- went to review the wrong restaurant at lunchtime, which is excellent, because obviously I can afford to eat €30 of my own idiocy (bad, bad noodles).

- Got my jeans turned up in TWO HOURS. This is a revelation. I thought garment adjustments had to take ten days, by some sort law of the natural universe, or union imposed working conditions. I will be getting everything I own adjusted to test whether this was a one off.

- Ordered a plush Doraemon toy (no, me neither) for one of my children on the internet thanks to the beauty of European Union sanctioned free movement of goods even though neither of my children have got to grips with the concept of additional charges for postage and packing yet, and I am perpetually out of pocket acting as their agent.

Oh yes. It has been all go in Uccle this evening. I am sure Robert Schuman, resistance hero and founder of the European Union had exactly this kind of amazing development in commerce and consumer welfare in mind when he forged the essential architecture of the Treaty of Rome and post-war stability and so on. I am going to try and learn to play Ode to Joy on the youngest's 'Ukelele de Mer' now and dress as Siim Kallas, who I have now trained myself not to refer to as 'Slim Kallas' even though it is a way better name.



Do you have any obscure public holidays where you live that other unluckier nations do not get to celebrate? Please share with the rest of the group.

21 comments:

Patience_Crabstick said...

Martin Luther King jr day is celebrated in the United States in January. Here in Virginia, in a fit of madness, someone made Martin Luther King jr day also be Robert E Lee Day. So the state of Virginia officially honors a hero of the civil rights movement on the same day it honors a confederate general. (He didn't own slaves himself though.) Still, a bit strange to see when you move here from New York.

J. said...

Lee didn't own slaves but he "managed" (exploited) them for his father-in-law's estate.

Chicago celebrates Casimir Pulaski Day in honor of some Polish dude who was BFFs with George Washington during the American Revolution. Chicago has a huge Polish population (supposedly, more Poles live in Chicago than in Warsaw). CP Day is the first Monday in March.

john b said...

In 'Straya, we get the Queen's Birthday. Which isn't on the Queen's birthday, obviously.

There's also ANZAC Day, which is like Remembrance Sunday, except that you're expected to start drinking at 8AM, and gambling in pubs is legalised for the day.

schnitzelbank said...

In Los Angeles, most people clear out of town for the holidays. It's wonderfully quiet around here, nary a gunshot to be heard.

karen said...

The state of Victoria in Australia gets a public holiday for a horse race - Melbourne Cup Day. We here in Canberra used to get it too, but then it was changed to Family & Community Day (so people didn't complain about all the Canberra public servants getting a horse race holiday from another state), and now it's not even on the same day.

cruella said...

Well, we do have Swedens National Day on the 6th of June and I doubt that very many Swedes know exactly why. Never been to war in modern times so no Indepence or Armistice och Peace Day. Oh no, olden king elected (YES, elected, let's go back to this rare occurence of "democracy" in the middle ages!) in 1523. Gustav Vasa, rings a bell? Ok.

Patience_Crabstick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patience_Crabstick said...

How could I forget Dyngus Day? The movie linked below is newscaster Anderson Cooper laughing uncontrollably on the air when he does a story about Dyngus Day in Buffalo, NY..


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo-X4z4TEuo

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes said...

Well, in the Antwerp region we celebrate Mothers day on the 15th of August instead of the second sunday of May like the rest of the world. Meaning I get two gifts: psychedelic toddler art in May and flowers in August.

Nimble said...

I live in Lawrence, a small city in Kansas that loves to have parades. More parades than anywhere else I have ever lived. One of our favorites is coming up at the end of May: the Art Car Parade. People dress up various wheeled vehicles and roll down the main street. Some of our favorites are the ufo (a round silver shell built on top of a rider mower, it has a built in squirt gun to spray the crowd), and the many adapted franken-bicycles. I also liked the car cut in half but it only lasted one year. I noticed last year they just towed the back half in the parade. We're going to open the back flap of our Subaru Outback and put eyes on the roof and teeth around the flap. Our kids will ride in back and throw candy out of the "mouth".

Sewmouse said...

Darn it - "J" beat me to it with Pulaski Day.

But we do dye the Chicago river green on St. Patrick's day (March 17). And it is actually a DIFFERENT shade of green than it is every other 364/(365 in leap year) days of the year.

Misiula said...

I miss the May weekend in Poland. 1st May is obvious but the (somewhat? almost completely?) obscure holiday that makes the first weekend looooong is 3rd May: Constitution Day, in which we commemmorate the Polish Constitution of 1791 by getting shitfaced, preferably somewhere nice in the country. The secret instrument of population control in Poland: only the fittest and luckiest manage not to die in a road accident on their way back to the city. As I said, I miss it. Maybe in part becauseI don't drive and am pretty deaf to the siren call of the countryside...

Misiula said...

Oh, and thanks, everybody, for writing about your obscure holidays! It's funny to see two American Polish-related ones ;-)

J: There are close to 40 million Poles and only 2 million choose to live in Warsaw, so that's no argument. I personally don't particularly like our capital...

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Casimir Pulaski Day is also celebrated in lovely Rockford, IL -- Illinois' second-largest city! -- where I grew up. Or at least, Rockford public schools celebrated it way back when I was there, which was many years ago.

Anonymous said...

Tes! It's still happening!
http://webs.rps205.com/curriculum/ssandvoc/Pulaski.html

Anonymous said...

Well we have got the Queen's jubilee to look forward to! so there, ner ner!

(Load of pomp! as quoted by 94 year old grandpa )

Anonymous said...

Could I just point out that Europe got all confused over Schuman Day this year - the Commission and a bunch of other places were shut but the Parliament and the European schools decided to go off-piste and stay open.. could we have a bit of consistency here people??? If you have a holiday, have a holiday...

Anastasia said...

I think Spain deserves a Special Award in this category. Not only do they have more public holidays than any civilized nation on the planet, they also have a thing called the "Puente", or "Bridge", a useful little gizmo allowing one public holiday to connect seamlessly to another, thus permitting Bank Holiday Weekends that can last up to six days. If there actually ISN'T a "Puente" between two holidays, it is good form to simply pretend that there is, and act accordingly. All Government Departments do this (not satisfied with only opening from 10:30 - 1, of which a good forty minutes is taken up with "breakfast" at elevenish). Oh, and the school Summer Holidays last for THREE MONTHS. Only the country that previously hosted the Inquisition could have thought of THAT one...

Clea said...

In NZ we have Waitangi day on 6th Feb. it's not really obscure though. It's like a national day as it celebrates the signing of the treaty of Waitangi where the chiefs of various Maori tribes ariund the country signed a treaty with the representatives of the crown (British settlers basically). Of course that treaty has been under contention just about ever since as there was trickery and bad translation and non adherence in the part of the crown resulting in the indigenous people losing land, status etc for which we are still paying reparations. Well at least I think that's the gist of it - having been brought up a hemisphere away from the motherland in Wales I didn't get much NZ history at school

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