Secular Holidays

Secular holidays are very often designed by the state or have been co-opted by the state. These holidays often revolve around the founding of country or the adoption of its national symbols (such as a constitution or flag) or on its military. Others focus on remembering those who fell or suffered in major wars or revolutions. And still others will celebrate causes that the people and state believe have come to represent a major part of what defines that people and state. All of this helps build a sense of civic identity and cohesion within a society. Also included in this category is discussion of birthday traditions in Eurasia, which are a relatively new (within the last 200 years or so) addition to the calendar.

International Women’s Day: Local Culture and Celebrations

International Women’s Day was first celebrated in St. Petersburg in 1913, declared by activists there and celebrated with rallies that demanded more rights. It did not become an official state holiday and day off, however, until 1965. In that year, March 8th was chosen as it marked the day when, in 1917, women again marched […]

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