Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us

Festivus is a secular holiday on December 23 to celebrate the holiday season without participating in its commercial and religious aspects. Daniel O’Keefe, a screenwriter for the TV show Seinfeld, introduced his father’s idea into pop culture as part of a comic storyline on the show.

The holiday’s celebration on Seinfeld, included an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” the “Airing of Grievances” during the Festivus meal, in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. After the meal the “Feats of Strength” are performed.  The head of the household is wrestled to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned.

The original holiday featured more peculiar practices, as detailed in the younger Daniel O’Keefe’s book The Real Festivus. Some people, influenced or inspired by Seinfeld, still celebrate the holiday in varying degrees of seriousness.

Tomorrow: Moore’s Night Before Christmas    Rita Bay

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