Festivus, the fictional non-denominational holiday introduced in a Seinfeld episode, is celebrated by fans of the erstwhile series on Christmas Eve Eve, Dec. 23.

What Is Festivus?

Seinfeld aired the famous “Festivus” episode back in 1997 the week before Christmas, and ever since it has had enthusiastic celebrants. Seinfeld writer Daniel O’Keefe, who had celebrated the made up holiday as a child with his father, introduced the concept on the hit sitcom. Producers decided to give O’Keefe’s concept a shot, and it eventually became something of a cultural phenomenon.

In the “Festivus” episode, George Costanza’s (Jason Alexander) father, Frank (Jerry Stiller), breaks down the details on Festivus to the gang. He even introduces them to the symbol of the holiday, an unadorned metal pole instead of a tree or menorah. Festivus, according to Frank, is not, like other holidays, a time for cheerfulness and thanks. It’s a time to bemoan life. In order to do that, family members participate in the “Airing of Grievances.” On Festivus, “feats of strength” must also be undertaken and Festivus miracles observed.

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


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For those who are “the rest of us,” Milwaukee railings manufacturing company Wagner Cos. sells Festivus poles that measure 7-feet-tall. Those getting into the Festivus spirit can also sing along to Joel Kopischke‘s song for the holiday that is set to the tune of the Brady Bunch theme song.

“Then this one day when the show was on the TV/ And they saw it caused so much of a fuss,” goes the song. “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.”


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