Festivus is held on December 23 each year. In a 1997 episode of the popular television comedy, Seinfeld, Festivus was brought to the masses when Frank Costanza (played by Jerry Stiller) explains he invented Festivus in response to the commercialism of Christmas. Its slogan is “A Festivus for the rest of us.”
HOW TO OBSERVE
Festivus traditions derived from the television episode and the original creator have been combined over the years.
- The Festivus pole is an unadorned aluminum pole displayed in the home. In the O’Keefe household, there was no Festivus pole, but instead, a clock was placed in a bag and nailed to the wall.
- Festivus dinner is served during the evening.
- The Airing of Grievances occurs during Festivus dinner. Each person takes turns describing how the others have disappointed him or her over the past year.
- Feats of Strength follows dinner and involves wrestling the head of the household. The holiday is not complete unless the head of the household is pinned. Failure to pin the head of the household could result in perpetual Festivus.
- A Festivus Miracle is a frequent if unimpressive miracle. Carrying in all the groceries into the house for Festivus Dinner without tripping or dropping one of the bags could be considered a Festivus Miracle.
Festivus Song by Danny Lutz
Festivus Song by Brett Houston
Use #Festivus to post on social media.
Festivus was created by Reader’s Digest editor and author Daniel O’Keefe in response to family tension. One of its central practices is the “airing of grievances.” It was first celebrated in February of 1966 but later was recognized as it is now, on December 23 in honor of O’Keefe’s first date with his future wife. The Seinfeld episode was written by O’Keefe’s son.