Elusive meaning of the holiday

Natal Day, celebrated on the first Monday of August locally, seems to have somewhat elusive origins, as well as labour commitment.  English language calendars invariably note that the first Monday of August marks some need on the parts of many former and current Crown colonies to have a three-day weekend this time of year, varying in title from the generic “Bank Holiday” to this peculiarly specific one.

As Nova Scotia’s provincial borders at one time took in considerably more than they do now, I suppose I see the sense of Prince Edward Island hitching a same-name holiday ride.  But I am less compelled by the fact that my statutory holiday is not really a statutory holiday.  Is it or isn’t it?  Stores are open half-day, as they are (some of them) on Sunday; the post office isn’t delivering or processing; there are parades at scattered locations, but the fireworks were Saturday night.

This isn’t the holiday’s problem, of course, nor the locals’ issue.  It’s of my own making, my desire to see exactly how the square peg fits into the oval hole.

Last year, I spent the weekend in Berkeley.  Maybe that was a wiser plan.

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