Having Easter Monday off is a great Australian tradition. This may be the only holiday in the world apparently designed to give the nation a day of rest after having had a three-day weekend. Somehow that seems so right here.
Actually, according to Wikipedia, there are more than 100 countries that treat Easter Monday as a holiday. Easily my favorites are Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, which call this Wet Monday (Dyngus Day in Polish). But I will leave it to the Wikipedia entry to explain to you what may be the most remarkable holiday observance I have ever heard of:
In Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic traditionally, early in the morning boys awake girls by pouring a bucket of water on their head and striking them about the legs with long thin twigs or switches made from willow, birch willow or decorated tree branches
OK, guys. I want all of you to take just a moment. Close your eyes and think of the woman in your life. Now imaging starting this holiday out this morning by pouring a bucket of water on her head while she's sleeping and then hitting her legs with willow switches.
OK, gals. I want you to imagine how you can still collect the life insurance without being found guilty of manslaughter. Given the extenuating circumstances, I suspect even a fairly mediocre attorney should be able to help you with this.
So it's probably just as well that we tend to celebrate Easter Monday here in Oz primarily by going to the bottle shop to replenish all the grog we drank over the weekend when there was nothing else to do. Oh yeah - and a bag of corn chips with that because there's no food in the house, either.
Anyhow, Happy Dyngus Day to all of you.