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Spring Holiday is a generic North American term sometimes used in place of Easter or Good Friday. Sometimes, "spring" or just "holiday" will replace Easter with combinations such as "The Spring Bunny" and "Spring Eggs."

This term is used primarily in the United States. The use of the term is controversial to some Christians who argue that it is being used to avoid recognition of, or to secularize, what has for many hundreds of years been a Christian religious holiday.[1] Supporters of the term point out that the holiday was originally a pagan celebration of Spring which was adopted by Christians. Indeed, the name "Easter" has nothing to do with Christianity and actually comes from the Celtic goddess of the dawn Eostre; and the rabbit and the eggs originated as pagan fertility symbols. These supporters also argue that the use of the term "Spring Holiday" is an attempt to include all Spring holidays (rather than exclusively recognizing the resurrection of Christ), or to support a separation of Church and state.[2] A number of other religions have festivals at around the time of the vernal equinox, for example Holi (Hindu), Vaisakhi (Sikh) and Pesach (Jewish).



The term "Spring Holiday" has been used by universities,[3] grade schools,[4] government offices,[5][6][7] and public media.[8] In 1999, in Bridenbaugh v. O'Bannon, an Indiana state employee sued the governor over giving state employees Good Friday as a day off. The US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiff, citing, in part, that referring to Good Friday as "Spring Holiday" was evidence of a secular purpose and therefore not unconstitutional.[2][9]

While the term is often used to replace the name of Easter, some institutions use it for a springtime vacation that does not necessarily fall on a religious holiday, and others have attempted to include the Jewish holiday of Passover in their Spring Break.[10]


Some Christians view the use of this term as part of, or as an expansion of, the secularization of Christian holidays[1] and claim that renaming this Christian holiday is an overzealous application of political correctness. After Good Friday and Christmas Day were replaced with "spring holiday" and "winter holiday" on the city calendar for Greencastle, Indiana, approximately 200 people protested against the name change, some by singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" at the council chambers. City councilman Mark Hammer said, during a meeting, “I believe this was political correctness run amok. When we use the terms ’winter holiday’ and ’spring holiday,’ we’re not being inclusive, we’re being exclusive.”[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Is Easter latest holiday hijack?". WorldNetDaily. 2006. Retrieved 2006-06-02.  
  2. ^ a b "Supreme Court Supports lower ruling, Good Friday closings". American Atheists. 2000. Retrieved 2006-04-14.  
  3. ^ "CY 2005 – CY 2006 Holiday and Administrative Closing Schedules" (pdf). Memo to President's Staff from Vice President for Administration and Finance. University of Tennessee. 2004. Retrieved 2006-04-12.  
  4. ^ "Children's University Spring Holiday". Children's University - Arlington, Texas. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-14.  
  5. ^ "Town of Chapel Hill - Spring Holiday Service Schedule". Town of Chapel Hill - Town Council. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-12.  
  6. ^ "Village of Cottage Grove Spring 2006 Newsletter" (pdf). Village of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-12.  
  7. ^ "City offices will close April 14 for spring holiday". News and Public Notices. City of Irving, Texas. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-12.  
  8. ^ "Interpreter Training Club; Calendar of Events, Spring 2006". Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, North Carolina. 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-12.  
  9. ^ Robinson, B.A. (2000). "Religious holidays and the US Government". Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Retrieved 2006-04-14.  
  10. ^ "Report and Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Academic Calendar and Religious Observances Adopted by the Faculty Senate 7 February 1983" (pdf). University of Wisconsin - Madison. 1983. Retrieved 2006-05-17.  
  11. ^ "Christmas back on city's calendar". IndyStar. 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-28.  

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