Seinfeld fans will immediately recognize the name ‘Festivus’ as one of many great topics from nine seasons of the best ever sitcom about nothing.
“Festivus for the rest of us.”
If you’re tired of all the other holiday traditions, but still want to celebrate in some way this holiday season, Festivus is for you.
Celebrated on 23 December, the secular holiday was created by writer Dan O’Keefe and passed on to his son Daniel, a writer on the Seinfeld show.
The holiday is for those people frustrated with the commercialism and pressure of other December holidays like Christmas and Hanukkah.
The original Festivus took place in 1966, but the holiday gained fame from the 1997 Seinfeld episode titled “The Strike,” where Frank Constanza (played by Jerry Stiller) regales Kramer (Michael Richards) with the story of the first Festivus.
Frank is out shopping for a doll for his son when another man reaches for the same doll.
“As I rained blows upon him, I realized that there had to be another way,” Frank says. “But out of that a new holiday was born: a Festivus for the rest of us!”
And the sitcom world was never the same.
The common traditions of Festivus are the “airing of grievances,” an aluminum “Festivus pole,” the “feats of strength,” and the explaining of “Festivus miracles.”
The “airing of grievances” is an event during Festivus where each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed them over the past year.
After the Festivus meal, someone must pin the head of the household’s head in the “feats of strength.”
Frank explains the “Festivus pole” in this way when Kramer asks if there is a tree: “No, instead, there’s a pole. It requires no decoration. I find tinsel distracting. It’s made from aluminum. Very high strength-to-weight ratio.”
The traditions of Festivus continues to grow each year and make their way into Seinfeld fans’ homes across the world.
If nothing else, Festivus is good for a laugh.