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A “Good” Friday

April 22, 2011

I’m enjoying a holiday today; it’s Good Friday after all.

And, well, it’s not because I’m a religiously observant type.  Rather, it’s a state holiday and a company holiday.  In fact, almost every place I’ve worked has observed Good Friday as a holiday. Now granted, I’ve put my HR skilz to work at two Catholic organizations over my long-and-storied career, but I’ve had good Friday holiday time virtually everywhere.

So I got curious.  Obviously Good Friday is not a federal holiday, but when I googled it, I discovered there are a handful of states in the US that categorize Good Friday as a state holiday:  Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky (half day), Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas (optional).   This means that State and local government offices and courts are closed, as well as (some) banks and even post offices.

Since I live in Louisiana we observe the state holiday.  No surprise there; we’ll celebrate a holiday at the drop of a hat.  It’s also crawfish season and the end of Lent so everyone can go back to eating chocolate, drinking (more) booze and indulging in whatever other self-identified bad habit from which they’ve abstained for the last 40 days.  But I spent most of my life in Wisconsin where Good Friday is NOT a state holiday.   Yet as a kid and even a working adult, I found that many businesses closed, if not for the whole day, for the hours of 12 PM – 3 PM.  I mean we LITERALLY had paid holiday time of 3 hours on Good Friday.  And then we all came back to work from 3 PM to 5 PM.  As a child, with my parents, we went to church between those hours.  As a working adult, my co-workers and I went out for a long lunch or out to a movie (not religiously observant, remember?).  In fact, I vividly recall going to see The ‘burbs on one such Good Friday.

Today, since, I’m an avid SHRM-ite and volunteer, I’m actually going to be meeting with a friend/colleague and working on some #LASHRM12 stuff.  Followed by a delightful luncheon with cocktails, and then, more than likely, a mid-afternoon nap.  Is this what the state of Louisiana had in mind when they determined Good Friday should be a state holiday?

What about you?  Holiday?  Not a Holiday?  And what about our non-Christian friends?  Will we ever move past these Christian holidays in our multi-cultural/multi-denominational/multi-religion world?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Pam Valentine permalink
    April 22, 2011 10:21 am

    I found the whole public holiday calendar strange. I lived in the UK for 28 years and we have Good Friday and Easter Monday as public holidays for the whole Country. I am not really religious but I find it disappointing that the US has not adopted these as Federal holidays.

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