Festivus, the fictional holiday introduced on Seinfeld, was celebrated around the country on Monday, Dec. 23.

The Festivus episode of Seinfeld aired in 1997 the week before Christmas. Seinfeld writer Daniel O’Keefe had celebrated as a child with his father and introduced the concept on the hit sitcom. Although O’Keefe wasn’t sure how it would go over with audiences, the producers went with it – and it went on to become more than popular with the show’s viewers.

When George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) father, Frank (Jerry Stiller), explains Festivus, he tells the crew that it’s symbolized by a secular and unadorned metal pole. Instead of spreading cheer or thanks, family members participate in the “Airing of Grievances.” Lastly, “feats of strength” must be undertaken.

Several years ago, Milwaukee railings manufacturing company Wagner Cos., began selling Festivus poles and have sold 7,000 of the 7-ft.- tall poles. The company also has its own Festivus Facebook page.

Joel Kopischke wrote a Festivus song set to the tune of the Brady Bunch song: “Then this one day when the show was on the TV/ And they saw it caused so much of a fuss/ Yes it was a Festivus miracle/ That’s the way we all came to know Festivus/ Yes Festivus, Oh Festivus/ That’s the way we all now know Festivus.”

The holiday, which has no ties to religion, ethnicity or philosophy, has the tagline “Festivus: The holiday for the rest of us!”

– Chelsea Regan

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