NEW HEADING 1
December 19, 2012By Kyle Adams of Thomas Nelson HS
Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to Christmas and as way to commemorate the season without participating in its pressures and commercialism. Festivus became part of worldwide popular culture after being featured on an episode of the American TV show Seinfeld in 1997.
Festivus was conceived by writer Dan O'Keefe and was celebrated by his family as early as 1966. The holiday was later introduced into popular culture by O'Keefe's screenwriter son Daniel on an episode of Seinfeld. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, included an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole," practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength," and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles."
Celebrants of the holiday sometimes refer to it as "a Festivus for the rest of us," a saying taken from the O'Keefe family traditions and popularized in the Seinfeld episode to describe Festivus' non-commercial aspect. It has also been described as a parody and as playful consumer resistance.
Although the first Festivus took place in February 1966, as a celebration of the elder O'Keefe's first date with his future wife, Deborah, it is now celebrated on December 23.
In the episode, the tradition of Festivus begins with an aluminum pole. Daniel O'Keefe credits fellow Seinfeld writer Jeff Schaffer with introducing the concept, which was not part of the original O'Keefe family celebration. During Festivus, the pole is displayed unadorned.
In "The Strike", a celebratory dinner is shown on the evening of Festivus prior to the Feats of Strength and during the Airing of Grievances. The on-air meal was shown to be some sort of meatloaf. The original holiday dinner in the O'Keefe household featured turkey or ham followed by a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&M's, as described in detail in O'Keefe's The Real Festivus. In the Seinfeld episode no alcohol is served at the dinner, but George Costanza's boss, Mr. Kruger, drinks from a hip flask.
The celebration of Festivus begins with the "Airing of Grievances", which takes place immediately after the Festivus dinner has been served. It consists of lashing out at others and the world about how one has been disappointed in the past year.
The Feats of Strength is the final tradition observed in the celebration of Festivus, celebrated immediately following (or in the case of "The Strike", during) the Festivus dinner. The head of the household selects one person at the Festivus celebration and challenges that person to a wrestling match. Evidently, the person may decline if they have something else to do, as Kramer did in the episode. Tradition states that Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned in a wrestling match. The Feats of Strength are mentioned twice in the episode before they actually take place. In both instances, no detail was given as to what had actually happened, but in both instances, George Costanza ran out of the coffee shop in a mad panic, implying he had bad experiences with the Feats of Strength in the past. What the Feats of Strength entailed was revealed at the very end of the episode, when it actually took place. Failing to pin the head of the household results in Festivus continuing until such requirement is met.
Some people may think that Festivus is a fake holiday, but people actually celebrate this holiday.So if you want to learn more about festivus, then try something diffrent this year and celebrate Festivus this year.