Lobster People! A Short History of Vacations
The word vacation comes from the Latin vacare, meaning freedom or exemption. We use vacation and holiday as interchangeable terms now, but originally these are two completely different concepts. Dan in most countries around the world would celebrate a holy day - proclaimed for a saint or some battle commemoration. In a very Christian Europe, he'd head to mass on St. Joseph's day and think about how sucky it would have been for him as a step-dad. It also meant a day off of work for Dan from toiling in the fields to worship at his local church/temple, rest, or just sleep in.
Vacations could have holy days in them, but a lot of time there was no real reason for it other that rest and relaxation. In the Western world, the Romans were the first to go on vacations to get away from it all in a busy, crazy and often over-heated city. Dan, in his best straw hat, palanquin, and servants, would head for his villa in Sicily.
|A little drafty now though|
|Pictured - a party animal|
|More pilgrims than party animals - but Basho did drink a lot of wine|
|What you would have seen on the Grand Tour in the 1800s. Dan is sitting and trying to be a gentleman and not staring at all the naked chicks|
Which leads Dan to his current vacation location, the beach.
The English and Welsh came up with the modern concept of going to a seaside resort to bathe, or take in the waters, stay overnight, and for Dan, eat entirely too much cheese. In the 19th century, a middle class was emerging and these people along with the upper class families would escape from the city heat and head to places like Blackpool, Brighton. There Dan could enjoy a music-hall with dances and variety shows, pleasure gardens and exhibitions. More informal seaside town would pick up in the summer months, such as Lyme (mentioned in Austen´s Persuasion as a seaside destination in the 1800s CE) where fishing and farming predominated and visitors entertained themselves. The reason? The modern industrial era was placing a huge strain on people, and doctors were actually prescribing time off for the rich to get away from it all.
|Blackpool, not really getting away from anything.|
Thanks to the invention of the train and creation of the railways,seaside vacations became possible for the middle and working class. Since the 1840s, cheap and affordable fares to fast growing resort towns in the UK and American made thousands of sun seekers head to the sands. Entrepreneurs (con-men) would build accommodation and create new attractions, leading to more visitors like Dan to cough up their money just to stay and get some sun on their white bodies. Hence the beginning of the Lobster People.
|But it took a while.|
Wear SPF 5000, Dan!