187  How well does the average American know of these holidays or terms such as Mardi Gras, Lent, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday?  Part II  Wrote: 060219, Posted: 060404

For Part I, see Letter 186

Japanese Zs Q:

Hi Guys,

As usual, I've another Q on American culture.  As you know, late this month, we'll have Mardi Gras, followed by Lent, Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday (or Maundy Thursday), Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.  How well does the average American know these holidays or terms?  I guess everybody knows of Good Friday and Easter.  Please let me know your views when you get a chance.  Thx.    Z  060215


American Os View:
I'll assign a number from 1-10 for each, where 1 is unknown and 10 means everyone knows or should know something about it.  These are my impressions.

Mardi Gras -- 9
I think most have heard of this.  I think many know that it is sometimes wild partying (maybe for the less devout!) before Lent.  Not always, though.  Some just enjoy the parades and festivities.

Lent -- 8
I think most have heard of this one, too. Lent is the period before Easter, and people commonly give up something they enjoy during Lent.  I knew someone who gave up chocolate chip cookies over Lent, and it was a big sacrifice for him, as he usually had one after every lunch meal.  I don't know whether it is common to give up one food item, or to fast in general.

I don't even know how long Lent lasts.  Is it 2 weeks?  One month?  I am not a good source of Lent information, but I am an example of a poorly-informed American!  I think Catholics observe this much more than Protestants.

Ash Wednesday -- 5
Again, I think many people associate this with Lent/Easter and having an ash mark on the forehead, but I think most Protestants don't know the significance (like me).

Palm Sunday -- 6
I think most have heard of this and have some idea what it is about.

Holy Thursday -- 3
I have heard of it but don't remember what it is about.  Maybe Catholics observe this more?  I don't know how well-known this is, but I hadn't heard of it until recently.

Good Friday -- 7
I think most have heard of this and have some idea what it is about, even more than Palm Sunday.

Holy Saturday -- 3
I think Catholics must observe this more.  I don't know if I have ever heard of it, except perhaps you have mentioned it in the past.  It must mark the time between the Crucifixion (Good Friday) and Resurrection (Easter).  That is my guess.

Easter Sunday -- 10
I think the religious and secular aspects of this holiday are well known.  The Easter Bunny and candy traditions probably sprang up for families with different religious beliefs, but that is just a guess.  O   060219


Home | Newsletter List
Explore America Info: American life, and tips on how to improve your English and how to say it in English アメリカンライフと英語マスターのチップ

Contact Us | Last modified Date is shown on our What's new? pages. Explore America Info ( Explore USA Info ): American culture and tips on how to improve your English; Explore America Info ( Explore The U.S. Info ) also includes Explore Minnesota Info, Explore The Twin Cities Info ( Explore Minneapolis Info and Explore St. Paul Info ), and Explore Wisconsin Info. Improve English skills with our materials.

Copyright 2002 - Present  Explore America Info ( ExploreAmerica.info )  All rights reserved.