Celebrating Holidays Around the World
A holiday is a day set apart by law or custom where normal activities, particularly work or business, including school, are temporarily suspended or even reduced. In general, holidays are designed to let people to commemorate or celebrate an occasion or spiritual or cultural value of great importance to them. Holidays come in many different forms and are used all over the world. They tend to be associated with a specific time of year or sometimes a day of the week. The days and times of major holidays change seasonally.
January holidays include Christmas, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Saint Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Halloween. These are just a few of the major holidays that we celebrate every year, but you can search for more holidays and I have set up a separate page for that. The US government has also designated several holidays throughout the year. You will want to check the US government site or the Department of Labor website to learn how and when to remove this template message.
Holidays are usually associated with special occasions, such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Many people are not aware that the word “holidays” actually comes from the Latin “holnis,” meaning “a holiday.” In Europe, the word “holidays” is replaced by “janually,” indicating a year-round period of time away from normal routines. In English, however, we use the word “holidays” almost exclusively to describe religious occasions, such as Christmas and Easter. Although there is some dispute about the origin of the word, most people believe it originated in Ireland in the 8th century with celebrations of All Hallows’ Eve.
Some Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ with a “natal day of thanksgiving” every May, others celebrate Yule (pronounced “you-tee”) which is the biggest festival of the Celtic calendar, and yet others still use the English word “holidays” to describe their own version of what is known as “annual pilgrimage.” If you are not originally from the English language, you may use the term “holiday” when you refer to a religious holiday, whether or not you are affiliated with a particular church. There are many words associated with holidays that have nothing to do with religion. For example, malls are called “shopping seasons” (in Canada), the word “hope” is used to describe a holiday, and “paradise” is used to describe the state of mind one is in after being depressed. You could say that April’s “halloween” is a “paradise” for those who like trick or treating and who like the dark.
Holidays and public holidays have been around for thousands of years, and in many countries, they vary by location and time of year. In the United States, there are only Sundays and public holidays except for Thanksgiving Day, which is now a bi-monthly holiday. Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland all have several different public holidays, each with its own cultural and historical significance. In the UK, the public holidays are usually Saturday and are generally recognized as working days off while other types of holidays are more flexible.
There are many ways to celebrate a holiday. Some holidays are officially recognized while others are not. Some of the more traditional observances of the Christian faith include Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, and New Year’s. However, if you wish to observe something new this year, such as the recent Orlando shootings, you may decide to make your own observances, which will be just as meaningful.