What Are Holidays?
Holidays are the best time of the year to take someone on a vacation. A vacation is a period set aside for public recreation or by custom, where regular activities, particularly work or business including school, are halted or limited. In general, vacations are planned to let people commemorate or celebrate an occasion or even tradition of historical or cultural importance. Holidays give us a chance to relax, to have fun and to spend time with friends and family.
For example, Thanksgiving is the widely celebrated Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. Thanksgiving in the English language is referred to as Allfather’s Day. On this day, in many states of the US, children can be awarded with a turkey to eat. The saying “Thanksgiving dinner says holiday”, indicates that thanksgiving dinner is one of the most important and well-liked holiday events. The word Thanksgiving in the English language actually derives from the English word “alliance” – all men were associated at one point or another with groups of soldiers in the English army during the American Revolution.
We know that many people prefer to celebrate Christmas holidays during the winter months. Therefore, the ideal time to celebrate such holiday is in the winter months when the British English weather is conducive for holidays. When it comes to planning a British English summer holiday, the same principles as those used for planning English summer holidays apply. Holidays are highly preferred by most people worldwide; however, according to studies, people in Britain have fewer holidays per year than almost any other country in the world. According to one survey, nearly half of all British people planned a holiday during at least one of the four major holidays: Christmas, New Year’s, Father’s day, Mother’s day, and Christmas Day.
Many of these holidays (i.e. Christmas, New Year, Father’s day, Mother’s day, and Christmas) are well-established; however, there are also a few British traditions that are less well-known – and which have earned their place on British holidays. One of these traditions, according to many experts, is that many British people (and in particular, younger generations), do not like to work on holidays. Many employers consider such a holiday the height of laziness and a waste of productive time. In response, many British people (and, surprisingly, even some Americans) choose to take paid vacation days rather than holidays. And even today, fewer British people (i.e., Generation X and Generation Y) consider taking paid vacation days than any other holiday.
Within Christianity, there are two main holidays recognized in the UK: Christmas and New Year’s Day. On Christmas, people in Britain observe the traditional dinner, gift-giving, and family celebration; while on New Year’s Day, people celebrate the historical beginnings of the faith with parades, parties, and fancy dress parties. The meanings behind these two major religious holidays can be considered as symbolic of the birth and life of Jesus Christ – and of Britain as a nation. For this reason, it has become usual for families to observe both of these main holidays on the same date – the same days each year.
As well as having religious significance, the customs associated with the major holidays can have social significance too. Some families enjoy going out to see relatives during the Christmas months and the New Year; or perhaps on one of the memorial holidays (i.e., Good Friday, Easter, July Fourth, Thanksgiving, etc.). Others may hold get-togethers during the observances of certain dates throughout the year. There are also sports-related holidays (such as football, rugby, cricket, hockey, etc.)