I couldn’t believe my nieces and nephews in Guimaras have another holiday coming up. But I instantly guessed the reason for it. Another “Snow Day” in the Philippines.
ANOTHER DAY OFF FOR SCHOOL KIDS
I figured that the kids were getting out of school for a Muslim holiday. Now since there’s not much chance that we will be getting a foot of snow to cancel classes, I opted for the Muslim explanation. I knew there was no national holiday already scheduled, at least none my calendar showed me.
So a quick Google search on the World Wide Web invented by Al Gore (so he says), revealed I had made the correct assumption.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday declared Sept. 12, 2016, a Monday, a regular national holiday in observance of the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha.
Citing Republic Act 9849. the Palace said the country recognizes Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice as one of the two greatest feasts of Islam. (Source: philstar.com) The other holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours.)
Eid al-Adha, “Festival of the Sacrifice” commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, in obedience to the order of Allah. It’s considered the greater of the two Muslim observances.
Affluent Muslims who can afford it sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son.
This tradition accounts for the slaughter of more than 100 million animals in only two days of Eid. In Pakistan alone nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid days costing over US$3 billion.
The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.
(Source: Wikipedia )
DAY OFF FOR PRINCIPAL’S BIRTHDAY
Our nieces and nephews in the Philippines recently had a day off for National Heroes Day which is observed the fourth Monday of August.
Our niece and nephew also did not have school a few weeks ago at the college they attend: Guimaras State College – Mosqueda. I asked why.
All of the teachers at the college had taken off to attend the school’s principal’s birthday party. I scratched my head in amazement. Not only do school kids in the Philippines get to skip class for Muslim holidays but our kids don’t have to attend classes when teachers go to birthday parties. Sweet crackers!
ANOTHER SNOW DAY IN THE PHILIPPINES?
While our nieces and nephews will probably never have a “snow day” holiday like I did back in Central Illinois, don’t feel too sorry for them. They’ll be plenty of more excuses to give the kids a day off.
While 5.6% of the population of the Philippines is Muslim, More than 86% of the population is Roman Catholic.
In a country that does not discriminate against Christians, such as the United States, it’s not unreasonable to celebrate such Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter in the Philippines. School children in the Philippines get a couple of weeks off for Christmas and a week for Easter vacation.
President Duterte is negotiating with Muslim and Communist groups to reach peace settlements in the Philippines. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to think that the kids will have more Muslim holidays to enjoy.
In a country that does not discriminate against Christians, such as the United States, it’s not unreasonable to celebrate such Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter in the Philippines.
But the Philippines is not alone in giving their children an extra day off from school for Muslim observances. Al Jazeera boasts that New York City’s public schools will also close in honor of two Muslim holidays – Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr per liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The mayor also eats pizza with a knife and fork.
MAYBE I’M JEALOUS
Maybe I’m just jealous of all the days my nieces and nephews don’t have to attend class. We didn’t even have any Muslims back in our classrooms in Central Illinois.
It wasn’t until I reached high school that I even had a Jewish kid in my class. I was amazed that he didn’t celebrate Christmas. Little did I know at the time that Jewish people don’t recognize Jesus as The Messiah.
So, I have no doubt that I would have welcomed a day off from school no matter the reason. OK, I probably would have drawn the line for any holiday that celebrated the Chicago Cubs, but that’s about it.
Don’t get mad, Cubbie fans, this might be your year to win the World Series. But don’t hold your breath. And don’t expect a national holiday, either, if the Cubs do win.