Holidays and heroes are our failures. We look to the hero as a vessel for all the things we've let slide. All of our wrongs, weaknesses, and cowardice, we push into the closets of our minds, waiting for someone else to clean everything out and exemplify what we've already known we should have been doing. We can idealize the hero, when he finally appears, only because we've already known what was missing. We demand her as a sacrifice to appease our collective guilt. We revere how he has finally proven that it wasn't necessary for us to have done anything at all.
And the hero does suffer, always, even if he's glad to have done so. We fail in tiny bits, excusing just a little bit of interest here, a few bodies there, waiting for a child to sacrifice in our names; an example who proves that we do actually understand what we've been doing wrong this whole time. The hero never solves anything, because in order for her to be there, to be a hero, we have to be so shamefully lazy and timid that we're able to recognize a hero when he comes. Once we've destroyed him, we can continue being inadequate, awaiting only another hero. How long until the next hero comes?
You can't recognize a holiday in a good place, except by its sadness. In good civilizations, holidays are moments of sadness for the past. In better ones, there aren't any, because it's all happening right now.
Antilife marks calendars and epochs and individual points of light. Antilife catalogs, conforms, organizes, and spreadsheets the process. This day is for love. This day is for equality. And so forth. The sweetest expressions of "holiday" can only exist when other "days" fail to conform to the false ideal; the holiday is the back of the last person to throw down his sword and run away, sniveling, after ten thousand others have already done the same. The holiday is merely the fattest soldier in the army, unable to keep up with others when they flee before shadow.
Your own reflection lies in that shadow from which you flee. You cheer for the special days, because marking those days, those very special days themselves, as a reminder of something you should be living constantly, is like buying your own affection on the cheap. A goalpost; a marker; a golden sculpture that never grows smaller, no matter how many things you buy or refuse to buy. The hero, the holiday, can only visit lands of failure.