What Makes a Holiday?

By: Braeden Johnson

braeden-photo-5Holiday decor above the Estes Park Library.

With the holiday season upon us its prime time to reflect on our favorite holidays of the year. What defines a holiday? According to the Merriam Webster dictionary a holiday is a “Holy Day” or “a day on which one is exempt from work; specifically:  a day marked by a general suspension of work in commemoration of an event.

These important events can vary from country to country so not all countries may share the same holiday.

Leisure is another one of the major themes of a holiday. The time taken off is not meant to be used for work or school but rather to reflect and spend time with friends and family.

“I spend time with family,” said Ivan Richmond.

 This theme is easily seen in the American holiday is Thanksgiving where businesses are closed, our families are together, and our bellies are filled from the onslaught of food. The importance of relaxing is crucial on a holiday, as no one wants the stress of work on their mind.

In some cases, holidays are meant to be a celebration. Christmas is a religion based holiday about the birth of Jesus Christ. For such a momentous event in the Christian religion it’s not surprising that it is heavily celebrated with parades, dinners with our families, and presents. The celebration of a holiday is used to honor the event and overall just give it some fun.

“I enjoy the fun and togetherness,” said Allison Whorton.

Tradition is another hallmark trait of a holiday. On Valentine’s Day you gives roses or chocolates to your partner, on Thanksgiving dinner is eaten early, and on Christmas the children receive gifts for their good behavior. Tradition is what bring cultures and families together on these days. The feeling of togetherness is brought upon by practically every holiday. Many celebrate personal tradition too.

“I like eating a lot of food, and drinking eggnog,” said Kenzie Brown.

Finally a holiday is about an important event. Important events are what initially shape a holiday. We wouldn’t have Thanksgiving if the pilgrims didn’t come to the new world. Memorial Day is to commemorate those we’ve lost in war. Without a history, a holiday is not a holiday. These events as well add tradition because most times holiday traditions are in direct relation to the event. This can be seen at Thanksgiving, where a big dinner takes place much like the Pilgrims did.

So on your trip to Walmart to get the latest brand name toy before Christmas, reflect on what makes a holiday, and why we should appreciate them greatly.

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