A holiday is a day set apart by public law or custom where normal daytime activities, particularly work or educational attainment including school, are either suspended or limited. In general such holidays are meant to let people celebrate or remember an occasion or festival of significant social or cultural meaning. The term holiday in English originally referred only to the period leading up to Christmas. It is now generally used to describe any day of rest, celebration or observance.
People mark a holiday by choosing and decorating their houses, gardens, offices, establishments and public places with festive decorations, plants, shrubs, flowers, toys and other items related to that particular holiday. During this time, homes become very busy with family activities and cooking, cleaning and other housework is done. Holidays are great times for spending with friends and family as you get time to spend with them outside the traditional work routine. Many families now go on annual vacations and these days, children stay home with their parents.
The most common holiday occasions in the United Kingdom are Christmas (the traditional Christmas dinner, Father Christmas story, Boxing Day), New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day (St. Patrick’s Day in the UK), Easter, Independence Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Spring Holiday. In the US, the most common holiday is Easter. In Australia, the most common holiday after Christmas is Easter. In all areas of the world, however, the most common holiday remains Christmas.
The word “holidays” comes from the Latin word “hilus”, which mean season, and “severet” which means joy or happiness. In the English language, the term holiday has come to mean any short period of joy, happiness or relaxation. Historically, many public holidays celebrated the passing of time, such as the Passover Seder and became popular as a day of giving to the Lord. Many Christians celebrate this day with feasting and sharing food from different countries. Some even commemorate the death of Christ by building a tree out of the candy cane leaves and branches.
As the holidays approach, the family gathers in the home to prepare foods, decorate the house, and do the things that have become normal for the holiday. Many families have special traditions or activities during the holiday. For example, some families decorate their tree before the meal and read the Book of Ruth before dinner. Others read the New Testament around lunch time and then have Bible studies in the evening.
The holidays are not only about being with family and friends. They are about celebrating our own way of life and making it more meaningful and special for us. During the holiday season, we are given time to pause and reflect. We spend time with those we love. The holiday season can be one of the most beautiful times of the year!