Relevance aside, day a good chance to relax

There are two days a year that The Examiner does not produce a printed product.

Those days are Good Friday, and Christmas Day. It is the same for many other news outlets around the country.

It’s a hangover from more stoutly religious times, when just about everything shut its doors for those solemn occasions – even McDonalds.

While Australia has always been a secular nation, the census states that Christianity is the most-ticked box in the religion section. But year after year, that percentage is decreasing.

Each year, more shops, restaurants, and services choose to stay open on those once-sacred days.

The AFL even pushed the boundaries, and introduced a Good Friday football game.

At Easter, there is still the day-before panic of Thursday afternoon, making sure the fridge is packed before the supermarkets close that night, not to reopen again until Saturday morning.

(The major chains, Coles and Woolworths, still close on Good Friday and Christmas Day. Independent stores tend to open.)

Curiously, driving the otherwise deserted streets on Good Friday, many bottle shops were open for trade. In Tasmania, bottle shops and pubs are able to open on Good Friday – but only until 8pm.

With the majority of supermarkets and food outlets closed, but bottle shops open, is it time for a re-think on how we approach Good Friday?

It is time to accept that religion does play such an important part in greater society as it used to.

Many people may identify themselves as Christian in the census, but how many are practising?

There are those who embrace the Good Friday public holiday and Easter long weekend as a chance to spend time with their family.

Those who do hold Good Friday as a religious holiday have the day to use as they see fit for their beliefs.

And for others, the day passes without note – just another day where you have to plan ahead for your meals and movements.

As the day moves further away from its beginnings, should it still be declared a public holiday? It’s an impost for some, a blessing for others.

Either way, sometimes it is nice for society to sit back, stop shopping, and just enjoy a good day.

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