holiday
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A holiday is a day set aside by
custom Custom may refer to: Sense: Customary * Convention (norm), a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted rules, norms, standards or criteria, often taking the form of a custom * Custom (law) or ''customary law'', laws and regulations establi ...
or by
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundaries, ...
on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices. The concept of holidays often originated in connection with religious observances or associated with traditions. 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 functions 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 people in England treat Bank Holiday 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 United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., federal di ...

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 The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
and other
Commonwealth nations The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary association of 54 sovereign states. Nearly all of them are former Crown colony, British colonies or dependencies of those colonies. No one government in the Commonwealth exercises power over the othe ...
, the word may refer to the period of time where leave from one's duties has been agreed, and is used as a synonym to the US preferred ''
vacation A vacation (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American Engli ...

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.


Etymology

The word ''holiday'' comes from the
Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventu ...
word ''hāligdæg'' (''hālig'' "
holy Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity; considered worthy of spiritual respect or devotion; or inspires awe or Reverence (emotion), reverence among believers. The property is often ascribe ...

holy
" + ''dæg'' "
day A day is approximately the period during which the Earth completes one rotation around its axis, which takes around 24 hours. A solar day is the length of time which elapses between the Sun reaching its highest point in the sky two consecutive t ...
"). The word originally referred only to special religious days. The modern use varies geographically. In North America, it means any dedicated day or period of celebration. In the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, ''holiday'' is often used instead of the word ''vacation''.


Types of holiday (observance)


National holidays

Sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French ''souverain'', which is ultimately derived from the Latin word ''superānus'', meaning "above". The roles of a sovereign va ...
nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history. For example, the American
Independence Day An independence day is an annual event commemorating the anniversary An anniversary is the date on which an event took place or an institution was founded in a previous year, and may also refer to the commemoration or celebration of that ...
celebrates the signing of the
Declaration of Independence#REDIRECT Declaration of independence {{Redirect category shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...

Declaration of Independence
in 1776.


Other secular holidays

Other
secular Secularity, also the secular or secularness (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latiu ...

secular
(non-religious) holidays are observed nationally, internationally (often in conjunction with organizations such as the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...

United Nations
), and across multi-country regions. The United Nations Calendar of Observances dedicates decades to a specific topic, but also a complete year, month, week and days. Holidays dedicated to an observance such as the commemoration of the ending of
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
, or the
Shoah The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of History of the Jews in Europe, European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and #Collaboration, its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Je ...
, can also be part of the reparation obligation as per
UN General Assembly Resolution 60/147 UN General Assembly Resolution 60/147, the ''Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law'', is a ...
Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law. Another example of a major secular holiday is the
Lunar New Year Lunar New Year is the beginning of a calendar year whose months are moon cycles, based on the lunar calendar A lunar calendar is a calendar based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases ( synodic months), in contrast to solar calendars, ...
, which is celebrated across East Asia and South East Asia. Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, but are not strictly holidays as time off work is rarely given; examples include
Arbor Day Arbor Day (or Arbour in some countries) is a secular day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, sup ...
(originally U.S.),
Labor Day Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States In the United States, a federal holiday is a calendar date that is recognized and designated by the federal government of the United States as a holiday. Every year on a U.S. federal holida ...

Labor Day
(celebrated sometimes under different names and on different days in different countries), and
Earth Day Earth Day is an annual event on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970, it now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EARTHDAY.ORG (formerly Earth Day Network) including 1 bil ...

Earth Day
(22 April).


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 Monkey Day is an unofficial international holiday celebrated on December 14. The holiday was created and popularized in 2000 by artists Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin when they were art students at Michigan State University Michigan State ...
is celebrated on December 14, International Talk Like a Pirate Day is observed on September 19, and Blasphemy Day is held on September 30. Other examples are April Fools' Day on April 1 and World No Tobacco Day on May 31. Various community organizers and marketers promote odd social media holidays.


Religious holidays

Many holidays are linked to faiths and religions (see etymology above). Christianity, Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year, the chief ones being Easter and Christmas. 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. Jehovah's Witnesses annually commemorate "The Memorial of Jesus Christ's Death", but do not celebrate other holidays with any religious significance such as Easter, Christmas or New Year's. This holds especially true for those holidays that have combined and absorbed rituals, overtones or practices from non-Christian beliefs into the celebration, as well as those holidays that distract from or replace the worship of Jehovah.Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. ''Reasoning from the Scriptures''. Watchtower, 1985, pp. 176–182 In Islam, the largest Islamic holidays, holidays are Eid al-Fitr (immediately after Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (at the end of the Hajj). Ahmadi Muslims additionally celebrate Promised Messiah Day, Promised Reformer Day, and Khilafat Day, but contrary to popular belief, neither are regarded as holidays. Hindus, Jainism, Jains and Sikhs observe several holidays, one of the largest being Diwali (Festival of Light). Public holidays in Japan, Japanese holidays as well as few Catholic holidays contain heavy references to several different faiths and beliefs. Celtic, Norse, and Neopaganism, Neopagan holidays follow the order of the Wheel of the Year. For example, Christmas ideas like decorating trees and colors (green, red, and white) have very similar ideas to modern Wicca (a modern Pagan belief) Yule which is a lesser Sabbat of the wheel of the year. Some are closely linked to Swedish festivities. The Baháʼí Faith observes Baháʼí Holy Days, 11 annual holidays on dates determined using the Baháʼí 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). brad & ben


Substitute holidays

If a holiday coincides with another holiday or a weekend day a substitute holiday may be recognised in lieu. In the United Kingdom the government website states that "If a bank holiday is on a weekend, a 'substitute' weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday.", and the list of bank holidays for the year 2020 includes Monday 28 December as "Boxing Day (substitute day)", as 26 December is a Saturday. The process of moving a holiday from a weekend day to the following Monday is known as Mondayisation in New Zealand.


See also

*Christmas and holiday season *Holiday heart syndrome *Public holiday *List of holidays by country *Commemoration (Anglicanism) *Tribute


References


External links

* {{Authority control Holidays,