As a New Englander, Patriots’ Day is a day I can’t help but notice. The Sox play at 11:05 in the morning. The Boston Marathon happens. But as a Non-Mass and Non-Maine New Englander, it is not a day I celebrate. I am fascinated by holidays like Patriots’ Day, though. They add a lot of character. As we become more and more homogenous, it’s nice to see real regional differences.
Mardi Gras has to be the most famous of these regional holidays. I’d guess that Patriots’ Day is second because of the two major sporting events that are involved*. But there are lots of these regional holidays. For instance, there’s Casimir Pulaski Day in Illinois. He was a revolutionary war hero. I have no idea why Illinois lays claim to him. Midsummer is celebrated in Minnesota. That just goes to show that a lot of Scandinavians settled there. Meck-Dec Day is celebrated in North Carolina. This one’s kind of funny because they are celebrating the first declaration of independence, but historians can’t decide if it was really a declaration of independence or when it was written. And there is Seward’s Day in Alaska, which is just wonderfully on the nose.
So, to all of my Massachusetts and Maine friends, enjoy your Patriots’ Day. I hope the rain doesn’t ruin things for you. And to everyone else, enjoy whatever special days you have that the rest of us don’t notice whenever they may happen.
*I haven’t forgotten about the bombing. Patriots’ Day was a big deal before that, and I’m choosing to stay positive.