What is Festivus and what day is it celebrated on?

THE FESTIVUS holiday has arrived, and it's the time of the year to gather your family around the table and air your grievances.

Festivus is a non-religious holiday, created by Daniel O'Keefe in 1966 and was popularized by his son, Dan O'Keefe, after writing an episode about the tradition in the '90s sitcom Seinfeld.

What is Festivus?

As depicted in Seinfeld, Festivus is celebrated every December 23, aiming to protest the commercialism surrounding theChristmas holiday.

Instead of a Christmas tree, the holiday is celebrated with an undecorated aluminum pole, a Festivus dinner, the feats of strength, and the airing of grievances.

The airing of grievances is is an opportunity to complain about anything to your family members and other participants at the dinner.

The phrase associated with the tradition, "a Festivus for the rest of us" originated as a way to refer to the living that are able to attend the Festivus dinner, in contrast to the deceased individuals who aren't able to appear.


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During what episode of Seinfeld was Festivus portrayed?

The holiday was portrayed in The Strike episode in season nine of Seinfeld.

"A Festivus for the rest of us!" said George Costanza's father Frank – played by Jerry Stiller – in the episode.

“Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had – but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way!” Frank explains in the episode.

Cosmo Kramer, played by Michael Richards, quickly embraced the holiday, but abandons it toward the end of the episode when Frank invites him to wrestle in the feats of strength.

"Frank, no offense, but this holiday is a little out there," Kramer tells Frank.

The episode also follows Kramer's years-long strike at H&H Bagels, Jerry Seinfeld's experience with two-face women and George's (played by Jason Alexander) attempt to skimp on holiday gifts.

What were the real life traditions of Festivus?

According to Dan O'Keefe, the real-life traditions of Festivus included the airing of grievances and wrestling matches portrayed in Seinfeld.

However one tradition that didn't make it to the episode was O'Keefe's father putting a clock in a bag and nailing it to a wall.

While speaking to CNN regarding the one festivity that didn't make the Seinfeld script, O'Keefe said: "The real symbol of the holiday was a clock that my dad put in a bag and nailed to the wall every year…I don't know why, I don't know what it means, he would never tell me."

He went on to say: "He would always say, 'That's not for you to know.'"

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