Our Newest Holiday
|I can't believe that it's been a quarter of a century already! This month we will celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of "Hate Day". It has now become an international holiday, celebrated around the world. There is no question of the beginning of this strange sounding tradition.
It all began back in 2020 in a small high school in the modest town of Liberty, Michigan. Celia Lambert taught the senior English class. Classes were being done via remote on-line attendance because of the Covid pandemic. She, like everyone she knew, had complaints about how terrible the year had been. Just before the Christmas break, she had given the class an unusual assignment:
"We will be back in January" she told her students, "I would like you to complete a writing assignment. I want you to write about what you hate the most about this year. Not just the general things which we are all dealing with, but specific things which have effected you personally. Then I want you to consider that as this year ends, take that thing which you hate, and finish it on December 31st. Let it be over with the end of the year, and find the good, the happiness that can come from finishing that hate. Make December 31st "Hate Day", and let hate stand for 'Happier At The End'."
The story of her assignment went viral on the social networks people were using back then. Her students had begun posting their responses on-line. One girl "hated" not having a senior prom that year, then someone suggested they could be "Happier At The End" by planning a prom gala for a five-year reunion. Another student wrote that he "hated" that his mother had lost her job as the town librarian after the library had been forced to close, but he admitted that it turned out to be "Happier At The End" because she was now able to spend more time at home with him and his siblings, and, he admitted, she was away from the public and the virus. Another student told how his grandfather had died in September from the virus. He explained that while he hated the loss, he was able to find a positive in all of it because his grandfather had explained to him in the summer "I guess I'm in the high risk group, but I don't worry. I've lived a good life, done many things, and known a great many people. Man wasn't meant to live forever, and to be honest I wouldn't want to. Our bodies wear out and our abilities decline. I am thankful for the time that I've had".
Not only did her students complete their assignments, hundreds of other people from around the cyberverse added stories of their own. The concept took off and became an unofficial holiday, celebrated on the last day of the year. The holiday spawned a few traditions. The most common one is building a bonfire and throwing in small boxes symbolizing the thing we hate, and then spreading the ashes on ice to represent how a positive can come from overcoming the hatred. Over the years the "official" colors of the holiday were black and white, and the yin-yang became its symbol.