This holiday season you probably fall into one of two camps: Those asking when is Festivus, and those now wondering what is Festivus.
If you’re simply trying to remember the date of this wacky secular holiday, you’re probably old enough to remember Seinfeld. If you’re not quite old enough to remember Festivus taking over as a pop culture movement, you might at least recognize it from a Seinfeld episode.
What is Festivus, anyway?
In case you’re wondering, is Festivus a real holiday: No, Festivus is a made-up secular holiday that stems from a Seinfeld episode. In a 1997 episode of Seinfeld, entitled “The Strike,” George Costanza shares that his father created his own holiday as a rejection of the commercialization of Christmas. The epiphany — and creation of “A Festivus for the rest of us” — happened after a particularly brutal fist fight over a toy. Sound eerily similar to past Christmas shopping experiences you’ve had?
What is Festivus? Let the Festivus Seinfeld episode tell you
Watch the short clip below from the episode that started it all on Seinfeld. They not only answer the question what is Festivus but also tell you how George’s father Frank came to create such a wacky holiday as well as some of the offbeat traditions Frank made up to go along with the occasion.
When is Festivus?
If you, too, are sick of the hand-to-hand combat of shopping for toys and sweaters to wrap up and stick under the tree, maybe try out Festivus this year. Festivus is held on December 23, the day before Christmas Eve. Festivus 2017 falls on a Saturday.
But maybe copy a little bit of Santa before you sign on to this non-religious holiday: Make a pros and cons list, and check it twice. After all, Festivus dinner, which includes the tradition of telling your family members all the ways they’ve disappointed you that year, sounds just as painful as those awkward Christmas dinners you spent trying to avoid charged political debates.