Easter, Ascension and Pentecost are still official holidays, while fewer and fewer people celebrate them. Not even knowing the story behind it. Wouldn’t it be better to abolish some Christian holidays? That is the opinion of DVHN Youth Panel.
Is not it time to replace these official holidays with holidays that many more find important: May 5 or the Sugar Feast? Are not all the Christian holidays actually discriminatory against anyone who does not believe or believe differently? So why should you be free? Wouldn’t it be better to abolish some Christian holidays?
Sophie de Vries (15)
“Of course I like to take time off every now and then, but I do not even know the exact meaning of a number of holidays. I also feel it in people around me.
I’m not religious and do not value days like Ascension. I go to a Christian school, and even though there is attention to, say, the Christmas celebration, other Christian holidays are not told exactly what they mean.
I think the holidays become more important if people know what they mean and why they are free. Because Christianity is the largest religion in the Netherlands, we only have time off on Christian holidays, but we live in a multicultural society. I think it is important that people from other faiths also have space to reflect on their holidays, such as the Sugar Festival. It would contribute to mutual understanding if we learn more about the other religions in the school so that one understands them better.
Of course, it is difficult to have time off for every holiday in any faith, because then we almost never have to go to school. Maybe we should swap some Christian holidays that we value less and know less about (such as the Ascension or Pentecost) with important holidays for other faiths. ”
Fienne Gozens (15)
“In the Netherlands we have 11 holidays. 8 of these belong to the Christian faith. I go to a Christian school, but in my area I know almost no one who fills the Christian holidays (except Christmas) in a Christian way.
I also see street interviews on social media where people are asked if they know what is celebrated with Pentecost, for example. Many give the wrong answer or have no idea.
I think it is important that other theme days with worldwide fame are stamped as a Dutch holiday, as a replacement for a number of Christian holidays. Days such as International Women’s Day, Liberation Day and Press Freedom Day. These are all contemporary topics that require attention. In addition, these themes refer back to a worldwide problem and better fit the future of new generations.
What makes a holiday strong is the common thought behind it. Religion is a personal choice, so I do not think it is the right basis for a holiday.
A holiday must fit into Dutch values and identity. They are no longer based on religion. I think it is better to base a holiday on equality, freedom and responsibility. However, Christian holidays have traditionally been part of our society, and it does not seem to me right to replace everything, because they are also part of Dutch culture. ”
Amber Wolbers (16)
“I was not brought up as a believer, even though my mother taught me about the Bible and the sacrament at home, my parents decided not to pass this on to my brother, sister and me. I have therefore never asked any questions about being ‘normal’ on days like Christ’s Ascension.
In recent years, however, a discussion has arisen; Shouldn’t these Christian holidays be changed? Shall we make Sugar Party for a day off? Or the day of liberation? I do not think this change is necessary.
The Netherlands has traditionally been a Christian country. Many of our grandfathers and grandmothers were still deeply involved in their faith, regularly going to church and praying before dinner. These official holidays therefore logically originate from this time. Some see it as a solution to set other holidays, but it will still make certain groups feel disadvantaged. How do you decide who is entitled to their ‘own’ day?
As for other faiths that feel disadvantaged, it is, in my opinion, quite simple; Practicing a faith is a free choice. Those who want to be released because of their religion must agree this with their employer. Unbelief can not be free every year on New Year’s Eve, very unfortunate, but reality.
Christians have simply been very lucky. But it is a shrinking group, slowly but surely the days off become ‘just’ days off for everyone. ”