I just found this so interesting. This is not really a national holiday (we here in the U.S. prefer to destroy others politically through rhetoric, not actual loss of said head). But at one time it was a great reminder to those in power, that eventually through an act of King or people they could lose it all from the top down.
It really is a gruesome way to go. Famous people known for not escaping the executioner are Anne Boleyn who’s husband was kind enough to have a master swordsman do the deed that was only brought to fruition due to trumped up charges (the others who died at Henry’s hands weren’t so lucky and had an ax and sometimes a very drunk axman who missed a few times maiming the poor souls before they died.)
Of course there was the King and Queen of France and many of their court who fell victim to progress and the guillotine. (A current interest – not the beheading of nobility at the common peoples’ hands, the time period since I am reading Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran).
Oh and from previous reads, there’s the beheading of Ptolemy brother of Cleopatra by Caesar’s rival and friend, who hoped to make Caesar a closer ally. This act drove the Emperor closer to the arms of Cleo and a disaster for them all.
People used to view these as the American Idol of the day, and I'm sure if we still had public executions, some still would (Makes me think of the 80s TV show Max Headroom and the gruesomeness, but I digress again.) They would make a day of it bringing along food to eat and wine to drink as all the distressing merriment drove the crowd into a frenzy. I couldn't imaging what I would eat or drink at one of these if I had to attend (if was considered inappropriate for a citizen not to attend, meaning you were not supportive of said King's decision and you could be the next on the chopping block).
So whatever you do today, don’t lose your head.
A Better Me: Mind – remember no matter how stressful it is or hopeless it seems, I won’t lose my head about it.