Posts filled under #holiday

An extract on #holiday

The concept of holidays 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 differing connotations in different regions. In the United States the word is used exclusively to refer to the nationally, religiously or culturally observed day(s) of rest or celebration, or the events themselves, whereas in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations, the word may refer to the period of time where leave from ones duties has been agreed, and is used as a synonym to the US preferred vacation. This time is usually set aside for rest, travel or the participation in recreational activities, with entire industries targeted to coincide or enhance these experiences. The days of leave may not coincide with any specific customs or laws. Employers and educational institutes may designate holidays themselves which may or may not overlap nationally or culturally relevant dates, which again comes under this connotation, but it is the first implication detailed that this article is concerned with.

The word holiday comes from the Old English word hligdg (hlig "holy" + dg "day"). 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.

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere features many holidays that involve festivals and feasts. The Christmas and holiday season surrounds the Christmas and other holidays, 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 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.

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