As we come from a country where seasons forcibly affect our beings, where we suffer from winter, rejoice in spring, relax in summer and get to work in the fall, why do we not have appropriate holidays to mark the seasons?
Yes I acknowledge that Christmas (25th December) is laid over the winter solstice (December 21st) in the northern hemisphere, by religious and social fiat. That is one out of four.
Easter varies by 28 days (a lunar month) + 7 days. It is celebrated on first Sunday after the first new moon after the spring equinox. As a movable feast, it is useless as an equinoctial celebration. As the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, Easter is too explicitly Christian. It has never taken off the way Christmas has, largely because the pagan origins of Yule coincide with the solstice, whereas Easter was made a movable feast by a decision of the Church in the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. The summer solstice is overlaid with St Jean Baptiste Day in Quebec and a week later English Canadians get July 1st, but neither is explicitly about the summer solstice.
We are too busy working on September 21st to pay much attention to the autumnal equinox, but we ought to mark the passing of the year more formally.
My plea is for a set of holidays that acknowledge we are on a planet that revolves around a sun, and which tilts and wobbles. We do not mark sufficiently our place in the universe. Having holidays like this would allow parents and educators to instruct the ignorant. If you think I exaggerate, I can relate my experience of a nice 50-year old taxi driver I had in Washington, D.C. last year, for whom the relationship among the solstices, the tilt of the earth, and the relationship of the seasons to these facts, was a revelation. I am not kidding, and he was not kidding me.
So yes, folks, for this and many other reasons, I favour statutory holidays on the summer solstice, and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Christmas is well covered, thank you.