What Is a Festival?
A festival is usually an occasion usually celebrated by a group and centered around a theme feature of the community and its religious or cultural beliefs or traditions. In many cases it is also commemorated as a national or local holiday, festive, or cultural festival. It may also be the product of an artistic expression, a social movement, or a period of history which has visual significance. Sometimes an ongoing tradition is depicted, where an old custom becomes a part of the everyday culture. For instance, during Yom Kippur in early March, Jews commemorate the six-day fasting that started at the Jewish Passover.
A festival is normally of regional or family interest, but sometimes international interest comes into play. The most common international festivals are Christmas, Diwali (which falls on the Indian sub-continent in the middle of the Hindu calendar), Easter, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, the Olympic Games, and the World Cup. Most of these regional festivals share some common features. These include feasting, gift giving, and playing traditional games, which are meant to symbolize the life cycle of the Earth, and may involve dance, music, rituals, and costume.
A festival may also be connected with the religious events of a religion. It is usually linked closely enough to its belief system that its customs can be considered significant. Some examples of this are Christmas and Easter, which both have religious significance that supersede their secular meaning. A festival may have roots in an ancient religion that has died out, but its history is preserved and is widely accepted among its members. That is why some Christians celebrate Easter as a festival of crucifixion, while Hindus celebrate the festival of Diwali, which involves divine celebrations.
There are many other common types of festivals. A festival might be celebrated for example to mark the death of a leader, teacher, or hero. It could be a celebration of a national holiday. In many cases, it marks a special occurrence in the life of a person or group. Some examples of these are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, and many others.
A festival, especially New Year’s, is normally associated with the arrival of spring. This is why New Year’s Day is considered to be a special holiday for people around the world. The main point of the New Year’s Eve celebration is to enjoy and commemorate the coming of a new year. People around the world use this occasion to wish each other and bless the family and friends they have made over the years.
Most people associate New Year’s with feasting and celebration. They go out to restaurants, celebrate parades, and throw large parties. A festival in this category is similar to a religious festival because of its focus on feasting and enjoyment. However, unlike a religious festival, where food is a symbol of sacrifice and Christ’s birth, a festival that falls under the category of a cultural event celebrates pleasure and fellowship. This type of festival may be held on any night of the year and can last up to a week.