Plural-noun Holidays

As I prepare for the holiday of Purim to start (in a few hours, where I am) I am of course led to wonder: Do other languages and cultures have more plural-noun holidays than Americans do?

I can only think of Veterans Day and Presidents Day, and Presidents day is kind of iffy. I mean, technically, the US federal holiday is still Washington’s Birthday and there’s only one of him. But we don’t have, f’r’ex, Groundhogs Day or Arbors Day or even Workers Day. The American family celebrations are Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, although there exist the lesser-observed plural Grandparents Day and Siblings Day, I suppose, and there is some question of whether those few places that observe the anniversary of the Battle of Lexington and Concord do so on Patriot’s Day or Patriots’ Day.

And in the Jewish liturgical calendar, too, most of the holidays have either single names (often the equivalents of Day of … or New…) or names that are derived from the date they fall on in the calendar (similar to the US Fourth of July). Still there are three that I can think of off the top of my head: Purim, Sukkot and Shavuot. The Catholics have All Saints Day and All Souls Day, I guess those are awfully plural, when you think about it.

Anyway, just wondering, for any of y’all that celebrate holidays in other tongues: are there lots of plural-noun holidays? Or is Purim unusual like that?


4 Responses to “Plural-noun Holidays”

  1. KTO

    May 5 is 子供の日? (Children’s Day – Kodomo no hi) in Japan
    I’m sure there are more, but I can’t think of them at present.

    • Jeremy

      My understanding is that Japanese does not inflect nouns, so an equally good translation is “Child’s Day”.

      • KTO

        …sort of. “domo” is a aggregation marker. (There’s a better technical word for this that I’m not recalling at the moment.)

        Related to this:
        ども 《共》 (suf) (1) (hum) (uk) first-person plural (or singular); (2) (derog) (uk) second or third person plural (implies speaker is of higher status than those referred to)

  2. -Ed.

    A correspondent from Another Place alerts me to the knowledge that in Ancient Rome, the names of observances such as Lupercalia, Saturnalia, or the various Ludi are all plural.


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