Festivus | The favorite anti celebration of a non-religious Americans

Festivus | The favorite anti celebration of a non-religious Americans


Christmas costing you emotionally and financially? Does the protocol side of Hanukkah annoy you? For next year, let yourself be tempted by Festivus! In the United States, this alternative holiday popularized by the Seinfeld series is celebrated by those disappointed with traditional religious holidays. Here is an article about alternative holiday of Festivus…

Festivus is celebrated around December 23, with no fixed rules

Is this the great upheaval of beliefs across the Atlantic? A recent study from the Pew Research Center suggests that a third of Americans want to tailor religious holidays for themselves. A reaction to the hyper commercial nature of Christmas? Or maybe it is just “the stupidity of people” who “have a lot of time to waste,” jokes one of the interviewees.

One thing is certain: its success cannot be denied. Celebrated with family or friends around December 23 (there is no fixed date, however), Festivus is indeed observed by several hundred thousand Americans – perhaps several million according to observers.

Their place of worship? Apartments and houses, but also bars and concert halls across the country. Their sacred text? None: everyone is free to adapt the ritual to their wishes.

Festivus first appeared in the “Seinfeld” series

These “anti-festivals” or “alternative festivals” have multiplied in recent years in the United States. Alongside Festivus, Chrismukkah (a mixture of Christmas and Hanukkah which made its appearance in the series “The OC”) or the Solstice festival observed by non-believers are finding more and more followers in the country of ” In God We Trust ”.

How to celebrate Festivus

According to Mark Nelson, the Canadian bookseller author of “Festivus: the book” and creator of the Festivusweb site, the 3 essential traditions described in the Seinfeld series are:

  • the Festivus dinner
  • at the table, the “diffusion of grievances”: members of the family and friends detail how they have disappointed each one during the year
  • the show of force: the head of the family wrestles with a member of the household.

Mark Nelson himself has been celebrating Festivus with his family since 2005, he told us by email – which does not prevent him from celebrating Christmas as well.

And to replace the physical struggle, “we play games, or we have fun asking ourselves questions about Seinfeld,” says Mark Nelson.

What “a festivus to the rest of us” really means

In Seinfeld’s Season 9 episode “The Strike,” Frank continually declares “a Festivus for the rest of us” explaining the meaning of the party. While Festivus’s name was derived from Latin for “merry, public holiday, and feast day,” the title of O’Keefe’s vacation had simply appeared in his father’s head and stuck.

But, Seinfeld’s television gag seemed to have returned to its Latin origins in the “Festivus for the Rest of Us”, as Frank’s statement essentially implies to signify a celebration for the “rest of us” who don’t want to celebrate Christmas. In Festivus’ True Inspirational Holiday, “a Festivus for the rest of us” was indeed a recurring phrase, but referred to OKeefe’s late grandmother.

The “rest of us” was referring to those who were still alive after our grandmother died in 1976, so it’s meant to mean the living as opposed to Seinfeld. The version refers to those who are fed up with the Christmas marketing.

Why O’Keefe didn’t originally want Festivus in Seinfeld

While George Costanza isn’t necessarily O’Keefe in Seinfeld’s Season 9 episode, the writer had a very similar reaction to Festivus as the character of Jason Alexander.

As previously mentioned, O’Keefe would intentionally try to avoid being home for Festivus, just as George actively rejected Frank Costanza’s vacation. Likewise, O’Keefe recalls trying to suppress Festivus from his memory after the annual celebrations, while George tries to forget Frank’s Festivus due to its quirks being “too real”.

Read also: Native American Heritage : culture, ritual and ceremony, belief, custom and symbol

As such, O’Keefe originally had no intention of including his bizarre family vacation in Seinfeld, but was left with no choice once his younger brother revealed the details of Festivus to Seinfeld executive producers of.

After the producers found out, they cornered O’Keefe in a restaurant and convinced him to let them adapt it for the Seinfeld Season 9 holiday episode, which he reluctantly agreed to.

First, writer Seinfeld was hesitant because he didn’t want America to know about the outrageously eclectic nature of her family. Then he got the task of letting his mom and dad know that their strange tradition was broadcast on such an iconic TV show like Seinfeld.

O’Keefe initially recalled that his father hated the idea because he felt he was being laughed at, but quickly embraced the popularity of Festivus and used it as a way to justify everything he had. done in his entire life.

Although O’Keefe has spent most of his life running away from his problematic memories of Festivus, his inclusion in Seinfeld only worked to commemorate and increase the party’s presence, turning it into one of the centuries-old traditions and it’s most popular around Christmas.

Sources: PinterPandai, Pew Research Center, Dictionary

Photo credit: FreeSVG


Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *