The holidays
Holiday Hol"i*day, n. [Holy + day.] 1. A consecrated day; religious anniversary; a day set apart in honor of some person, or in commemoration of some event. See {Holyday}. [1913 Webster]

2. A day of exemption from labor; a day of amusement and gayety; a festival day. [1913 Webster]

And young and old come forth to play On a sunshine holiday. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. (Law) A day fixed by law for suspension of business; a legal holiday. [1913 Webster]

Note: In the United States legal holidays, so called, are determined by law, commonly by the statutes of the several States. The holidays most generally observed are: the 22d day of February (Washington's birthday), the 30th day of May (Memorial day), the 4th day of July (Independence day), the 25th day of December (Christmas day). In most of the States the 1st day of January is a holiday. When any of these days falls on Sunday, usually the Monday following is observed as the holiday. In many of the States a day in the spring (as Good Friday, or the first Thursday in April), and a day in the fall (as the last Thursday in November) are now regularly appointed by Executive proclamation to be observed, the former as a day of fasting and prayer, the latter as a day of thanksgiving and are kept as holidays. In England, the days of the greater church feasts (designated in the calendar by a red letter, and commonly called red-letter days) are observed as general holidays. Bank holidays are those on which, by act of Parliament, banks may suspend business. Although Sunday is a holiday in the sense of a day when business is legally suspended, it is not usually included in the general term, the phrase ``Sundays and holidays'' being more common. [1913 Webster]

{The holidays}, any fixed or usual period for relaxation or festivity; especially, Christmas and New Year's day with the intervening time. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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