To observe a holiday

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janeiro 20, 2010 por fabiobossard

To observe a holiday –   guardar um feriado

Today’s January,  20th. It’s the holiday of São Sebastião, the Patron saint of the city of Rio de Janeiro and I will tell you the story of how of I learned the word “observe”. It happened last year. I was talking to a friend from the US and halfway through the conversation he told me he didn’t work because it was a holiday there. He worked at bank and stuff. So, on the same day I talked to another friend from the US and asked her how she was enjoying the holiday and she said: “oh, no. It’s not a holiday for me. Only banks and few a other companies observe this holiday.” Wait! observe?? I thought. I had never heard this word in this context before and couldn’t understand it. She tried to explain, but I have to say that it’s a difficult word for a foreigner to understand. So let it go. A few weeks later I was talking to my father and I told him that it was a holiday in his home state. He told me: “É, eles guardam ele feriado lá. BINGO! That’s the word. Funny thing is that I never heard this word before. I even asked my friend and he never heard it either. So I figure it was either an old word or a word more popular in other parts of Brazil, like his home state.

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