What is Festivus? Read on…
You may remember a Seinfeld episode called “The Strike” which aired on December 18, 1997 and it was in this episode that Festivus was born. The slogan for the holiday is “A Festivus for the rest of us!” and in the episode, we learn all about the secular holiday. First, a bare aluminum pole called a Festivus pole is used instead of over the top decorations. As for traditions, there is an “Airing of Grievances” which is where you can tell your fellow guests how they’ve disappointed you, followed by a Festivus dinner. The final event of the evening is “The Feats of Strength” where the head of the family tests his or her strength against a guest of the head’s choosing. Festivus is not over until the head of the family has been pinned to the floor.
It’s funny how we’ve taken a fictional holiday and turned it into a widespread celebration. Festivus has found its way into pop culture so much so that the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens have referred to the playoffs as Festivus and the Superbowl as Festivus Maximus, according to Onbrady.com. In politics, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle was declared Governor Festivus” in 2005 after putting up his very own Festivus Pole in his Executive Mansion in Madison. Last but not least, Festivus has worked its way into our food. Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream introduced a limited edition Festivus flavor in 2000.
Will you be celebrating Festivus today?