It is a joyful occasion for special festivities to mark some happy event.
The words holiday or vacation have related meanings in different English-speaking countries and continents, but will usually refer to one of the following activities or events:
- A general leave of absence from a regular occupation for rest or recreation
- A specific trip or journey for the purposes of recreation / tourism
- Official or unofficial observances of religious/national/cultural/other significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities (public/religious holiday)
So what is the difference between holiday, vacation and festival?
Holiday is a contraction of holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. This word has evolved in general usage to mean any extra special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest such as the weekend).
A festival is an event, usually staged by a local community, which centers on some unique aspect of that community. There are numerous types of festivals in the world. Though many have religious origins, others involve seasonal change or have some cultural significance.
In the United Kingdom the word "vacation" referred specifically to the long summer break. The French term is similar to the American English: "Les Vacances." The term derives from the fact that, in the past, upper-class families would literally move to a summer home for part of the year, leaving their usual family home vacant for countrywide holidays.
Longer breaks from a career or occupation also exist, such as a sabbatical, gap year or career break
Holidays are either religious or secular:
- Most holidays are linked to faiths and religious. They are religious holidays.
- Secular or non religious holidays can be national (Independence Day) or international (Mother Day)
April Fool's Day
April Fools' Day or All Fools' Day, although not a holiday, is a day celebrated in many countries on April 1. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, enemies, and neighbors, or sending them on a fool's errand, the aim of which is to embarrass the gullible. Traditionally, in some countries, the jokes only last until noon: like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, someone who plays a trick after noon is called an "April Fool" Elsewhere, such as in Ireland, France, and America, the jokes last all day.
Brazil’s most popular and festive holiday is Carnival. In fact, many people consider Carnival one of the world’s biggest celebrations. Each spring, on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, the streets of Brazil’s largest city, Rio de Janeiro, come alive with wild parties, festivals and glamorous balls.
The Samba School Parade is the highlight of the four-day event. About 3,000 performers, clad in ornate costumes embellished with feathers, beads and thousands of sequins, dance down the parade route alongside dazzling floats and into the Sambadrome-a dance stadium built for the event. Judges award a prize to the most spectacular group of dancers.
Chinese new year
Chinese New Year is a very old celebration, a time for repaying debts, enjoying feasts, giving "red envelopes" of lucky money to friends and relatives, and remembering ancestors.This holiday is celebrated approximately 15 days after the start of the Chinese New Year.
Yan Yat - The seventh day of the Chinese New Year is called Yan Yat, "Everybody's Birthday."
The last day of the celebrations is called Chinese Lantern Festival.
There are many old and delightful ancient superstitions surrounding this holiday. People buy presents, decoration, material, food, and clothing. It is also the tradition that every family thoroughly cleans the house to sweep away any ill-fortune in hopes to make way for good incoming luck.
Modern customs of the holiday include gift-giving, Church celebrations, and the display of various decorations—including the Christmas tree, lights, mistletoe, nativity scenes, and holly. Santa Claus (also referred to as Father Christmas, although the two figures have different origins) is a popular mythological figure often associated with bringing gifts at Christmas for children.
Christmas is celebrated throughout the Christian population, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. Because gift-giving and several other aspects of the holiday involve heightened economic activity among both Christians and non-Christians, Christmas has become a major event for many retailers.
Eid ul-Fitr or Id-ul-Fit
Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضح) "Festival of Sacrifice" is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. However, God provided a ram in place once Ibrahim demonstrated his willingness to follow God's commands.
Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country.
Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in any mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called uDHiyyah (Arabic: أضحية, also known as "al-qurbān"), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old.
Eid ul-Fitr or Id-ul-Fitr (Arabic:عيد الفطر), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while FiTr means "to break the fast" (and can also mean "nature", from the word "fitrah"); and so the holiday symbolizes the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated starting on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
Eid ul-Fitr is a three day celebration and is sometimes also known as the "Smaller Eid" (Arabic:العيد الصغير) as compared to the Eid ul-Adha that is called the "Greater Eid" (Arabic:العيد الكبير)
July 4th(USA Independence Day)
Easter is the time for holidays, festivals and a time for giving chocolate Easter eggs. But Easter means much more....
Easter is the oldest and the most important Christian Festival, the celebration of the death and coming to life again of Jesus Christ. For Christians, the dawn of Easter Sunday with its message of new life is the high point of the Christian year.
Easter is the story of Jesus' last days in Jerusalem before his death.The Easter story includes Maundy Thursday (the Last supper leading to the Eucharist), Good Friday (the day on which Jesus was crucified) and Easter Day (the day on which Jesus came back to life).
In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.
Mother's Day/ Fathers Day
May Day occurs on May 1. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, which celebrates the social and economic achievements of the labor movement Celebrations which honor mothers and fathers. They are celebrated on various days in many places around the world.
New Year's day
New Year's Day is the first day of the new year. It is celebrated on January 1, often celebrated with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts.
January 1 marks the end of a period of remembrance of a particular passing year, especially on radio, television, and in newspapers, which usually starts right after Christmas Day.
This day is traditionally a religious feast, but since the 1900s has become an occasion for celebration the night of December 31, called New Year's Eve. There are often fireworks at midnight.
Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. While perhaps religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States. Thanksgiving dinner (turkey) is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends
International Women's Day
Valentine's Day or Saint Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. In the Americas and Europe, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. The international women's day is celebrated on 8th of March.
Women's Day or Working Women's Day is a day of international solidarity, and a day for reviewing the strength and organization of proletarian women.
It was decided to have a Woman's Day in every country as a form of struggle in getting working women to vote. This day was to be a day of international solidarity in the fight for common objectives and a day for reviewing the organized strength of working women under the banner of socialism.