Next year let's ban the Easter Sunday bank holiday for good

Despite the big shops being shut, you can spend all day gambling or buying stuff online if you want. Mammon’s gone digital, even if God's still analogue

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The Independent Online

Easter as we all know has its charming rituals. The Easter eggs. The confected rage about supermarkets selling Easter eggs that aren't labelled Easter. Rubbish films on the BBC (they should just schedule The Great Escape, Mary Poppins, Wallace and Gromit and The Wizard of Oz successively over the four afternoons, declare it tradition and save themselves the bother of trying to justify the lame offerings we keep seeing). Lamb shanks for lunch. Church, too for many Christians, plus non-Christian parents wishing to insinuate their offspring into a church school. Low level family disturbances as a sort of practice/revenge for the main event at Christmas. 

There is of course another less lovely ritual which is the family turning up at the out of town mall, hypermarket or garden centre in search of retail therapy who find the car park eerily empty before they realise once more that the big shops shut on Easter Sunday, by law. So it is that Easter is ruined, or at least badly compromised. Making it impossible to purchase a peony tree doesn't make anyone more inclined to believe in Jesus or the miracle of the resurrection than otherwise, and Christian worship carries on joyously regardless of what's going on at the nursery up the road.

Equally, and illogically, we are allowed to distract ourselves from the story of the cross by going down the pub to drink and watch Liverpool play the Baggies, Man United v Chelsea or Celtic have a barney with Ross County on Sky Sports. Nothing commercial about that obviously. And while, in true Alan Partridge style, I couldn't go to my Sainsbury's superstore to buy a discounted Terry's Chocolate Orange I'm pleased to say that the Sainsbury's Local had a decent quantity in stock ready for use as "late" Easter presents. By the way that also demonstrates that not all shop workers get the day off or, alternatively, the chance to earn some overtime. In any case you spend all day gambling or buying stuff online if you want. Mammon's gone digital, even if God's still analogue. 

So there is my Easter plea. Christmas I can see is special, because none of us actually want to do anything else but pig out on Christmas Day. Easter Sunday isn't that special, even now, just specially annoying. So please let us have as much fun as we can muster shopping for ornamental bushes?