Tuesday, December 8

Festive Lights to be Banned

London, 8th December 2034 - - The Euro-Minister for Environment and Culture has defended parliament’s decision to ban the sale and use of festive lights in public areas and in the home.

Speaking outside his Oslo home, Minister Bjørn Nielsson, reminded journalists of olden times, when coloured lights would only be displayed once or twice a year.

In today’s multi-cultural world, a plethora of festivals now compete for attention in the High Street, and the lights stay on all year round: a succession of New Year celebrations (Western, Mahayana Buddhist, Chinese, Baha’i) is followed by Passover and Easter, Buddha Day, Krishna Janmashtami (Hindu), Eid al Fitr (Islam), Yom Kippur (Jewish), Dasera / Deshain (Hindu), Diwali (Hindu, Jain, Sikh), Eid al Adha (Islam), and Christmas (Western/Christian). There are also the non-religious festivals, including the globally popular solstice, equinox, and annual peace celebrations.

The landmark 2030 Interdenominational Symposium on the Rationalisation of Festivals and Holidays has been blamed for the problem. Known better for being behind the reduction of the working week to four days (Monday to Thursday), the meeting also secured the agreement that religious festivals are to be spread out evenly through the year, with no festival ever to occur within 5 days of another, except where they are both from the same religion (e.g. the Christians’ Good Friday and Easter holidays). This has resulted in each month having two or more festivals. Hardly surprising then that shopkeepers and councils gave up putting up and pulling down the lights every time, and just chose to keep festive lights switched on all year round.

Many will welcome the return to less commercialised festivals. As the Minister quipped, “Festivals are for life, not just for Christmas”.

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