Short History of Monday
One day, we went to run errands and discovered that the banks were closed and even the car dealership (which we so carefully planned to get to *first thing* this morning so we wouldn't have to wait in line) was closed. We looked around us and most businesses were closed.
Finally, we figured out that it was Constitution Day. The first Monday of February has been officially declared Constitution Day by the federal government of Mexico, a convention the United States started awhile ago. This nicely creates three-day weekends, which everyone loves, and in Mexico, those are called puentes (bridges).
When we first moved to the Yucatan, we noticed how people often didn't work on Monday. We were told that it was San Lunes (Saint Monday). That tradition is related to an even older one. Maya who worked on haciendas were required to work on Mondays for free. The Maya were taxed by the government and paid their taxes in labor (which they had) instead of money (which they didn't have). After awhile, resentments grew over this arrangement. People started not showing up on Mondays... thus, San Lunes. And we've read this was one of the conditions that led to the Caste Wars. Sadly, San Lunes (and the tradition of siesta) seems to be disappearing as more and more workers and businesses in Merida are becoming 'modernized'. But if you are renovating your house, and your workers tend to not show up on Mondays, now you know why. And you can enjoy knowing that you (and they) are following in an historic tradition!
Even Mondays have a history around here...