Holiday Essay

Topics: Holiday, Public holiday, Christmas controversy Pages: 4 (980 words) Published: February 15, 2011
A holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted. It is generally an official (more common) or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities. Contents [hide]

1 Etymology
2 Regional meaning
2.1 Australia, Canada, UK
2.2 U.S.A.
3 Types of holiday (observance)
3.1 Religious holidays
3.2 Northern Hemisphere winter holidays
3.3 National holidays
3.4 Secular holidays
3.5 Unofficial holidays
4 Opposition
5 See also
6 Notes
7 References
8 External links

The word holiday derived from the notion of "Holy Day", and gradually evolved to its current form. The word holiday comes from the Old English word hāligdæg. The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days away from work or school. [edit]Regional meaning

The usage of the word holiday varies in different parts of the English-speaking world. [edit]Australia, Canada, UK
In Australia, Canada, and the UK, all usage of the word holiday means time away from normal employment or education. The meaning is further subdivided into two major sub-categories: Public holiday, a day decreed by government as a day when the bulk of the population is not normally expected to be at work, such as Australia Day, Anzac Day, Bank Holiday or Christmas Day. A non-working trip or stay away from one's normal home. This is similar to what is described elsewhere as a vacation, but that word is rarely used in Australia or the UK. Canadians variously use either the term vacation or the word holiday. Days referred to as holidays in other places but which do not involve formally decreed time away from work especially for that day, such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day, are not described as holidays in Australia or the UK....

References: Susan E. Richardson (July 2001). Holidays & Holy Days: Origins, Customs, and Insights on Celebrations Through the Year. Vine Books. ISBN 0-8307-3442-2.
Lucille Recht Penner and Ib Ohlsson (September 1993). Celebration: The Story of American Holidays. MacMillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-02-770903-5.
Barbara Klebanow and Sara Fischer (2005). American Holidays: Exploring Traditions, Customs, and Backgrounds. Pro Lingua Associates. ISBN 0-86647-196-0.
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