Sunday, April 24, 2011


Next week is going to be very hard for me. It's the last week of the semester, so there will be a lot of stuff to do to wrap up the academic year. Since I'm the person responsible for cooking in our house, my plan was to dedicate today to preparing food in advance for the week to come. I was going to make these delicious Russian meatballs that I love and post the recipe on my blog.

So we got up this morning and headed to the grocery store only to discover that all the grocery stores in town are closed today. The reason why we were frustrated in our search of food is that today is Easter Sunday.

I find this completely appalling, people. I thought that, in spite of everything, this was still a secular country. I thought that the very purpose of its creation was to make sure that people could do whatever they wanted to in terms of religion. That everybody should sit hungry because some people think that something that matters to them took place two thousand years ago, makes absolutely no sense. Closing everything down for religious holidays of just one denomination is simply barbaric.

And please don't tell me that everything is closed down because all customers are in church and nobody would come anyways. We are now at Denny's, which is one of the very few places that's open, and I've never seen it so full. Walmart also looks open (you can say what you want about Walmart but it's very inspiring to see a company that puts business above somebody's fanaticism), and the parking lot in front of it is filled with cars. We are a university town, and the number of people for whom the word "Easter" means nothing is high.

If anybody is aware of any other religious occasions of the ruling religious group (besides Christmas) where everything is likely to close down, please tell me. I want to be prepared for those days when the religious folks celebrate by inconveniencing everybody else.

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Leah Jane said...

If you go to certain counties in the U.S, nearly everything will be closed on Sunday, like Missoula *cough*. Also, there's a peculiar thing where the stores will be open, but you won't be allowed to buy alcohol on a Sunday. I don't know about anything else though, I think Easter and Christmas are the only ones that are like this in America.
It's this peculiar way of doing things which led me to a weekly tradition of eating lunch at the Pita Pit, since it was the only place that was open.

Clarissa said...

When I discovered that liqor stores were closed on Sundays in Connecticut, I was equally appalled. It's supposed to be a progressive state, and still such barbarity exists. This is beyond my understanding.

Politicalguineapig said...

The liquor stores are closed on Sunday too. It's kind of a funny story though: the owners of liquor stores actaully want their stores closed, so they can get a day off. Sunday closings may have started due to religious reasons, but the reason shifted over time.

Clarissa said...

Not necessarily. The owner of a liquor store in CT that I frequented kept telling me that he would have much preferred to keep Monday as the day when his store was closed because he hated losing the potential Sunday clientele. People are a lot more likely to want to buy alcohol on their day off than on a Monday.

Melissa said...

Apparently the government offices (yes, I'll reiterate...GOVERNMENT offices) in my state were closed for Good Friday. I even commented to someone that Good Friday couldn't possibly have been the reason, but she assured me it was. I was pretty shocked.

Clarissa said...

Yes, why don't we just throw that pesky Constitution out of the window altogether.

Now I understand why the classrooms were so deserted on Thursday and Friday.

Pagan Topologist said...

Here in Delaware, about half of the stores are closed today, as I discovered. Most restaurants do seem to be open.

Thanksgiving Day, New Year's Day, and sometimes Independence Day (July 4) will find significant numbers of shops closed. I think it varies greatly by region.

Clarissa said...

National holidays I get, but imposing dates that are only significant to one group of people on everybody is barbaric.

Anonymous said...

The more conservative the county, the more likely you'll have these de facto closings.

Doesn't Canada shut down on Easter and Good Friday as well?

In many parts of the country, they have blue laws which mean you can't sell liquor on Sundays. I used to live in a dorm across from a convenience store in college, and there would always be students/people streaming in after midnight who'd walk right back out because they couldn't buy beer/wine.

Everything shuts down on Thanksgiving (it's quasi religious) as well. Anecdotally, the best day for bars and liquor is the day before Thanksgiving.

Your line of thinking isn't terribly popular. Suggest anything like you did in the post, and you will get loud complaining about how Christians are oppressed. Every year somebody complains about the War on Christmas -- which apparently is someone saying "Happy Holidays." I once worked with two Catholics who were extremely upset they didn't have an automatic holiday on Good Friday, but Martin Luther King Day was a holiday and he was a troublemaker, and that they had to ask for Good Friday as a day off, and 99% be sure that they would get the day off. I told them that Christmas is a federal holiday, and that if Easter ever fell on non weekday they'd get that off too, and if I wanted to have a religious holiday I had to ask for it off as well out of my paid time off, so I didn't understand their whining. I further suggested that they should direct their complaints to the actual company instead of me because I have no power to change anything. That went over like a lead balloon.
Penelope Trunk's rant about Christmas at Work got a lot of hatecomments

Clarissa said...

All I can say in response to your story is: appalling. But I guess I already said that.

The most annoying thing is that these same Christmas and Easter defenders are the most loud pseudo-patriots out there. They never stop to think how contrary what they are doing is to the ideals of the US Constitution.

liese4 said...

I don't know what happened to my previous post on this...

You are overlooking a simple blue law on Sunday and owners rights to close their own store. If you own a store and 90% of your workers will not be there, how can you open? If you were a store owner where most of your employees were Jewish, could you be open on Saturday? If they wanted to attend Temple, probably not. If most of your workers attend church on Sunday, that leaves you with a lack of employees for probably the morning shift.

Blue laws say that you can't sell a car on Sunday or alcohol on Sunday (in some states.) Most small towns will adhere to blue laws and close on Sunday, but pretty much anywhere Walmart and Walgreens will be open for shoppers.

It's not just Easter and Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Years are times when stores close early too. In Israel Jews close shops on Saturday, Muslims close up for Ramadan, I guess if you aren't Jewish or Muslim that is a bit of a bummer.

But, not all closures are religious in nature. They aren't closing the store to inconvenience the customer, they are closing because they don't have the employees to serve the customers.

Shedding Khawatir said...

What I find even stranger is that all the cashiers in the coffee shops and grocery stores that have been wishing me Happy Easter in the days leading up to today. I mean, how do they know whether I celebrate Easter or not? I understand that the majority of people in this area do, but there are certainly plenty that don't. Then again, they're probably stuck offending people that do celebrate if they don't say Happy Easter, so who knows.

profacero said...

Why Easter is important in US: it's the spring holiday. It's cute -- there are bunnies and egg dying and chocolates at school, and it's when spring clothes are bought. There is hope that the last snowstorm of winter is behind one. It's also a low stress holiday -- you can make a dinner and so on, but it can often be a picnic or a hike or something with friends or at least only the non toxic parts of your family.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if you know but SAQ (liquor stores in quebec) were open on Easter. :) Go Canada!