Holiday


Holiday

A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted. It is generally an official (more common) or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities.

Contents

Etymology

The word holiday derived from the notion of "Holy Day", and gradually evolved to its current form.

The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg. The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school...

Regional meaning

The usage of the word holiday varies in different parts of the English-speaking world.

Australia, Canada, UK

In Australia, Canada, and the UK, all usage of the word holiday means time away from normal employment or education. The meaning is further subdivided into two major sub-categories:

  1. Public holiday, a day decreed by government as a day when the bulk of the population is not normally expected to be at work, such as Australia Day, Anzac Day, Bank Holiday or Christmas Day.
  2. A non-working trip or stay away from one's normal home. This is similar to what is described elsewhere as a vacation, but that word is rarely used in Australia or the UK. Canadians variously use either the term vacation or the word holiday.

Days referred to as holidays in other places but which do not involve formally decreed time away from work especially for that day, such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, are not described as holidays in Australia or the UK.

The UK also refers to School holidays (typically Christmas, Easter, and Summer) for the periods between School terms when children are not required to go to school, and Half-term holidays for the short break (usually one week) part-way through each School term.

United States

In the US, holiday may refer to a day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) for commemoration, celebration, or other observance. Schools and businesses often close for certain holidays. The term "holiday" is also commonly used as a direct euphemism for Christmas; businesses may announce, for example, that a product will be available "for Holiday 2011", meaning that it will be available in time for the Christmas shopping season.

India

In India holidays are days in which mainly schools or small firms get a free day because of some regional or religious reason. The term "Bank Holiday" in India is referred to as a day when the majority of the people get a leave due to national, international or major cultural reasons.

Types of holiday (observance)

Religious holidays

Many holidays are linked to faiths and religions (see etymology above). Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year. 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. In Islam, the largest holidays are Eid ul-Fitr (immediately after Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (at the end of the Hajj). 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).

Northern Hemisphere winter holidays

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere features many holidays that involve festivals and feasts. The Christmas and holiday season surrounds the winter solstice, Christmas and Holiday, and is celebrated by many religions and cultures. Usually, this period begins near the start of November and ends with New Year's Day. Holiday season is, somewhat, a commercial term that applies, in the US, to the period that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year's Eve. Some Christian countries consider the end of the festive season to be after the feast of Epiphany.

National holidays

Sovereign nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history. For example, Australians celebrate Australia Day.

Secular holidays

Several secular holidays are observed, such as Earth Day or Labour Day, both internationally, and across multi-country regions, often in conjunction with organizations such as the United Nations. Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, but are not strictly holidays as time off work is rarely given.

Unofficial holidays

These are holidays that are not traditionally marked on calendars. These holidays are celebrated by various groups and individuals. Some promote a cause, others recognize historical events not officially recognized, and others are "funny" holidays celebrated with humorous intent. For example, Monkey Day celebrated on December 14, International Talk Like a Pirate Day observed on September 19 and Blasphemy Day is September 30.

Opposition

Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate certain holidays, such as Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, because they believe these holidays are pagan.[1]

See also

Calendar icon.svg Holidays portal

Notes

  1. ^ Reasoning from the Scriptures. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 1985, revised 1989. pp. 176–182. 

References

  • Susan E. Richardson (July 2001). Holidays & Holy Days: Origins, Customs, and Insights on Celebrations Through the Year. Vine Books. ISBN 0-8307-3442-2. 
  • Lucille Recht Penner and Ib Ohlsson (September 1993). Celebration: The Story of American Holidays. MacMillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-02-770903-5. 
  • Barbara Klebanow and Sara Fischer (2005). American Holidays: Exploring Traditions, Customs, and Backgrounds. Pro Lingua Associates. ISBN 0-86647-196-0. 

External links


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Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Holiday — puede hacer referencia a: Contenido 1 Música 2 Cine y televisión 3 Personajes 4 Véase también Música …   Wikipedia Español

  • holiday — I noun celebration, day of festivities, day off, dies festus, feriae, festival, fete, furlough, gala, jubilee, leave, leisure, lull, recess, rest, time off, vacation associated concepts: general holiday, legal holiday II index furlough …   Law dictionary

  • HOLIDAY (B.) — HOLIDAY BILLIE (1915 1959) La chanteuse Billie Holiday débute à Harlem vers 1930. De 1935 à 1939, elle enregistre au sein de petites formations souvent dirigées par le pianiste Teddy Wilson, et travaille parallèlement avec l’orchestre de Count… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Holiday — (Морской Милан,Италия) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Viale Vittorio Veneto 8, 4 …   Каталог отелей

  • Holiday — Holiday, FL U.S. Census Designated Place in Florida Population (2000): 21904 Housing Units (2000): 12788 Land area (2000): 5.381647 sq. miles (13.938401 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.345342 sq. miles (0.894432 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.726989… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Holiday, FL — U.S. Census Designated Place in Florida Population (2000): 21904 Housing Units (2000): 12788 Land area (2000): 5.381647 sq. miles (13.938401 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.345342 sq. miles (0.894432 sq. km) Total area (2000): 5.726989 sq. miles (14 …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • holiday — [häl′ə dā΄] n. [< ME holidei, with shortened first vowel < OE hāligdæg: see HOLY & DAY] 1. HOLY DAY 2. a day of freedom from labor; day set aside for leisure and recreation 3. [often pl.] Chiefly Brit. a period of leisure or recreation;… …   English World dictionary

  • Holiday — Hol i*day, a. 1. Of or pertaining to a festival; cheerful; joyous; gay. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Occurring rarely; adapted for a special occasion. [1913 Webster] Courage is but a holiday kind of virtue, to be seldom exercised. Dryden. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Holiday —   [ hɔlɪdeɪ], Billie, eigentlich Eleonora Fagan [ feɪgən], genannt Lady Day [ leɪdɪ deɪ], amerikanische Jazzsängerin, * Baltimore (Maryland) 7. 4. 1915, ✝ New York 17. 7. 1959; trat ab 1929 in New Yorker Klubs auf und wirkte später u. a. in den… …   Universal-Lexikon


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