Italy: Land of Saints and Pagans

In Italy they have two types of National Holidays, didn’t y’know?

Religious Festivals and Pagan Festivals.

Yep, either you’re destined for Sainthood, or you’re one of those ancient polytheistic heathens that hasn’t seen the light yet.

Good thing the Italian constitution a few years back tried to make it clear that the Holy See isn’t the seat of the Italian government.

Let’s take a quick look at the definition of Pagan, to lend a helping hand to our Italy.it editorial staff, shall we?

1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks.
pagan. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pagan (accessed: March 28, 2007).

This one is too good to pass up: I think we can ignore the Greeks for now (they’re so famous for tourism they probably don’t even need a website), and concentrate on the ancient Romans that are worshipped: at least we could probably consider the government heads Roman by adoption, and anything but young.

2. a person who is not a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
pagan. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pagan (accessed: March 28, 2007).

Well, technically Mayday and the Liberation Celebrations are neither Christian, nor Muslim, nor Jewish, and they aren’t technically even persons yet (but who knows in this time of PACS and DICO), but all that is not contained in one of the “traditional religions” doesn’t necessarily mean “pagan”, usually.

And the Festivals ? I’ve never heard of Labor Day (ops, it’s actually May Bank Holiday, didn’t y’know? – I’ll bet that the millions of “lavoratori” that don’t work for banks didn’t realize that) or commemorative celebrations like Liberation Day being considered Festivals, but I guess I just don’t party enough. One would think, that since the Italian constitution starts out: “L’Italia è una Repubblica democratica, fondata sul lavoro.”, that the “Festa del Lavoro” (May 1st, Labor Day, Mayday, whatever you wish to call it) wouldn’t be reduced to a simple Bank Holiday. Oh well.

P.S. Under Opening Hours: Since when is “1 pm in the morning” (I thought that any time after 12:00 Noon qualified as “afternoon”, at least until the evening starts)? And has anyone ever seen an Italian bank open to the public after 4:30 PM, much less until 7:00PM as described?

PP.SS. And did they really need to run all the holidays onto one line in English without any punctuation to separate them? In Italian they managed to at least use a new line after each holiday so that it didn’t read as one giant run-on sentance.

1 comment so far

  1. consulente sicurezza on

    Blog interessante , grazie per l’ articolo! Continua a tenerci informati.Giulio


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