When I lived in Barrow, Alaska, I loved the end of June and the first week of July. Borough Holidays abounded. First you’d get a Nalukataq day. Nalukataq events are hosted by successful whaling captains to celebrate their bounty. These are usually held the last few weeks of June and we’d get a couple of 1/2 day holidays to attend the festivities. Nalukataq literally means blanket toss. The hides from the seal-skin boats-umiat-are sewn together to make a blanket. Members of the community grab the sides of the blanket and someone stands in the middle. Then the fun commences. The brave soul on the blanket is tossed into the air and falls back to the blanket to be sent soaring once again. I wonder if the Inupiat invented the trampoline?
In addition to the wonderful Nalukataq holidays, the brilliant founding fathers of the North Slope Borough incorporated the borough on July 2, 1972. So, not only did we receive the 4th of July off, we also celebrated Founder’s Day. For example, this weekend, NSB employees would get Friday-Monday off. Come on, you gotta love that, don’t you?
I really miss all those paid holidays. As a writer I don’t take weekends and holidays off. Do you?