ICC w/ "Dr. Z"
Old English hāligdæg 'holy day'
; 1 (often holidays) an extended period of leisure and recreation, especially one
spent away from home or in travelling:I spent my summer holidays on a farm
Fred was on holiday in Spain
; a day of festivity or recreation when no work is done:25 December is an
official public holiday
; [as modifier] characteristic of a holiday; festive:a holiday atmosphere
1. A day free from work that one may spend at leisure, especially a day on which custom or the law dictates a halting of general business activity to commemorate or celebrate a particular event.
2. A religious feast day; a holy day.
3. Chiefly British A vacation. Often used in the phrase on holiday.
A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law in which normal activities, especially business or work, are to be suspended or reduced. Generally holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate something of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, or even personal choices.
The concept of holidays has most often originated as religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as anything else.
In many societies there are important distinctions between holidays designated by governments and holidays designated by religious institutions. For example, in many predominantly Christian nations, government-designed holidays may center around Christian holidays, though non-Christians may instead observe religious holidays associated with their faith. In some cases, a holiday may only be nominally observed. For example, many Jews in the Americas and Europe treat the relatively minor Jewish holiday of Chanukah as a working holiday, changing very little of their daily
routines for this day.
; 1a day or period of celebration, typically for religious reasons:traditional
; 2an organized series of concerts, plays, or films, typically one held annually in
the same place:a major international festival of song
Middle English (as an adjective): via Old French from medieval Latin festivalis, from
Latin festivus, from festum, (plural) festa 'feast'
The word fest derives from the Middle English, from Middle French word festivus,
from the Latin word festivus. Festival was first recorded as a noun in 1589. Before it had been used as an adjective from the fourteenth century, meaning to celebrate a church holiday. The etymology of feast is very similar to that of festival. The word "feste" comes from Middle English, from Middle French, from the Latin word festa. Feast first came into usage as a noun circa 1200, and feast was used as a verb circa 1300. A festival is a special occasion of feasting or celebration, that is usually religious. There can be many different types of festivals, like Halloween, Saturnalia, and Christmas.
Festivals, of many types, serve to meet specific needs, as well as to provide entertainment. These times of celebration offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. Modern festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics seek to inform members of their traditions. In past times, festivals were times when the elderly shared stories and provided a means for unity among families.
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, incorporating elements of a lunar calendar with those of a solar calendar. It is not exclusive to China and is followed by many other Asian cultures as well. In most of East Asia today, the Gregorian calendar is used for day-to-day activities, but the Chinese calendar is still used for marking holidays such as the Chinese New Year, the Duan Wu festival, and the Mid-Autumn Festival, and in astrology, such as choosing the most auspicious date for a wedding or the opening of a building. Because each month follows one cycle of the moon, it is also used to determine the phases of the moon.
A year in the Chinese calendar begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, unless an intercalary month moves it to the third new moon. The current year (February 10, 2013 – January 30, 2014) is Guisi-year (year of the