A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition 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, the type of job being held or even personal choices.
The concept of holidays has most often originated in connection with 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 any other weekend days or activities.
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 on 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 Hanukkah as a "working holiday", changing very little of their daily routines for this day.
The word "holiday" has some variance in meaning across different locales. In the United States the word refers to widely observed days of rest and recreation, whereas in the U.K. and many Commonwealth nations including Canada, the word refers to any extended period of recreation. It is this first, more restricted sense of the word that concerns this article.
There is a very interesting energetic connection between the ideas of Holidays, Rituals and Superstitions. Partly through the questions and partly through the messages that they would like to offer, we will go into some depth about that energy, so that we can have an understanding of how to experience a Holiday, or a Ritual or to understand Superstitions in a way that is supportive of us in a deeper spiritual sense. Plus, it’s fun! There is some very serious stuff here, but this is about fun and about joy. You have Ritual and Holiday because of the joy of experience. When Holiday’s and Rituals are repeated so often that you get into a numb place, you move away from the joy of it. The whole point of all this would be to talk about what Holidays, Superstitions and Rituals are about in order to connect with the joy that is an inherent part of the experience of these.
Christmas- Birth of Jesus. May have been capitalized a slight bit along the way, but almost EVERYONE is more joyous around Christmas! TRADITION! Hang those stockings and top that tree!
Hanukkah- ENOUGH OIL FOR ONE DAY BURNED FOR EIGHT. EIGHT STRAIGHT DAYS. IF THIS DOESN'T SIGNIFY HOPE TO YOU, I DON'T KNOW WHAT.
Forgive me if I didn't mention a holiday, it's 2:30 am and I'm tired.
Many holidays are linked to faiths and religions. Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year, the chief ones being Easter and Christmas. The Orthodox Christian and Western-Roman Catholic patronal feast day or "name day" are celebrated in each place's patron saint's day, according to the Calendar of saints. Jehovah's Witnesses annually commemorate "The Memorial of Jesus Christ's Death", but do not celebrate other holidays with any religious significance such as Easter, Christmas or New Year's. This holds especially true for those holidays that have combined and absorbed rituals, overtones or practices from non-Christian beliefs into the celebration, as well as those holidays that distract from or replace the worship of Jehovah. In Islam, the largest holidays are Eid ul-Fitr (immediately after Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (at the end of the Hajj). Ahmadi Muslims additionally celebrate Promised Messiah Day, Promised Reformer Day, and Khilafat Day, but contrary to popular belief, neither are regarded as holidays. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs observe several holidays, one of the largest being Diwali (Festival of Light). Japanese holidays contain references to several different faiths and beliefs. Celtic, Norse, and Neopagan holidays follow the order of the Wheel of the Year. Some are closely linked to Swedish festivities. The Bahá'í Faith observes holidays as defined by the Bahá'í calendar. Jews have two holiday seasons: the Spring Feasts of Pesach (Passover) and Shavuot (Weeks, called Pentecost in Greek); and the Fall Feasts of Rosh Hashanah (Head of the Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Tabernacles), and Shemini Atzeret (Eighth Day of Assembly).