If you could create a national holiday, what would it be and why?

That was one of the questions I posed to a group of dear friends who gathered on zoom during Thanksgiving weekend. The question seemed like a playful and creative break from the heaviness and intensity of our world right now. Welcome in the moment. But maybe it’s more important than that.

The responses were lovely:

A Day of Peace: To soften the division between us. With some sign or token in hand so others would recognize our intent, a day to converse openheartedly with someone (or someones) you don’t know, outside your social circle.

A Day for the Planet/Day of Rest: To reduce consumption, easing stress on ourselves and the earth.  A day when everything is closed (except for hospitals, police, etc), including online stores, leaving room for taking it easy. We all remembered fondly the years when most everything was closed on Sundays.

A Day of Blessing: To stimulate our gratitude and practice reciprocity. A day dedicated to giving and receiving blessings, to each other and to the earth and Her creatures. Maybe to things like cars and houses too.

A Day for Being a Kid Again: To bring back simple play. A day dedicated to doing what you enjoyed—or wanted to enjoy—as a kid under 10.

A Day of Laughter: To lighten up.  On this day, at the same time across the world, people laugh together for ten minutes, sending humor rolling across every time zone all day long.

We decided that our holidays would not be just once a year, but four times a year, to root the practice more deeply, allow creative approaches to develop over time, and perhaps hold a different flavor in each season.

We didn’t talk about it, but I’m sure we are all opposed to any commercialization of these holidays.

There are certainly many details to work out for each of these–how to accommodate essential workers, for one thing—but perhaps logistics are less important now than imagining. When so much in our world must be transformed, why leave anything out of our life-affirming vision of the future? If we want to fashion a world that more closely reflects our values—what we care about—then let’s begin by dreaming up all the ways this could be. Let’s begin by dissolving assumptions about what is important and what is not, and about what can be done and how.

How beautiful a world do we dare imagine?

Had our zoom gathering more time—new celebrations was only one of several topics that day—I think holiday ideas would have continued to flow. Now, even as I write, more occur to me (How about a day dedicated to all kinds of creative activities? Or a day to honor teachers and mentors in our life? Maybe the Day of Laugher could include writing and singing silly songs, watching funny movies, wearing silly clothes?).

What national holiday would you create?  I’d love to hear.


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