For other uses, see Festival (disambiguation).
"Festivity" redirects here. For the ship, see MV Festivity.
A festival is an event ordinarily celebrated by a community and centering on some characteristic aspect of that community and its religion or traditions. It is often marked as a local or national holiday, mela, or eid. Next to religion and folklore, a significant origin is agricultural. Food is such a vital resource that many festivals are associated with harvest time. Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.
Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanksgiving. The celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness. They may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment. Festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics also seek to inform community members of their traditions; the involvement of elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.
In Ancient Greece and Rome, festivals such as the Saturnalia were closely associated with social organisation and political processes as well as religion. In modern times, festivals may be attended by strangers such as tourists, who are attracted to some of the more eccentric or historical ones. The Philippines has traditionally been the capital of the world's festivities, as each day of the year has at least one specific Filipino festival. There are more than 42,000 known major and minor festivals in the Philippines, the majority of which are in the barangay (village) level.
The word "festival" was originally used as an adjective from the late fourteenth century, deriving from Latin via Old French. In Middle English, a "festival dai" was a religious holiday. Its first recorded used as a noun was in 1589 (as "Festifall"). Feast first came into usage as a noun circa 1200, and its first recorded use as a verb was circa 1300. The term "feast" is also used in common secularparlance as a synonym for any large or elaborate meal. When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival rather than a film or art festival. In the Philippines and many other former Spanish colonies, the Spanish word fiesta is used to denote a communal religious feast to honor a patron saint.
Many festivals have religious origins and entwine cultural and religious significance in traditional activities. The most important religious festivals such as Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Diwali, and Eid al-Adha serve to mark out the year. Others, such as harvest festivals, celebrate seasonal change. Events of historical significance, such as important military victories or other nation-building events also provide the impetus for a festival. An early example is the festival established by Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses III celebrating his victory over the Libyans. In many countries, royal holidays commemorate dynastic events just as agricultural holidays are about harvests. Festivals are often commemorated annually.
There are numerous types of festivals in the world and most countries celebrate important events or traditions with traditional cultural events and activities. Most culminate in the consumption of specially prepared food (showing the connection to "feasting") and they bring people together. Festivals are also strongly associated with national holidays. Lists of national festivals are published to make participation easier.
Types of festivals
Main article: Religious festival
Among many religions, a feast is a set of celebrations in honour of Gods or God. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. Most religions have festivals that recur annually and some, such as Passover, Easter and Eid al-Adha are moveable feasts – that is, those that are determined either by lunar or agricultural cycles or the calendar in use at the time. The Sed festival, for example, celebrated the thirtieth year of an Egyptian pharaoh's rule and then every three (or four in one case) years after that.
In the Christianliturgical calendar, there are two principal feasts, properly known as the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas) and the Feast of the Resurrection, (Easter). In the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican liturgical calendars there are a great number of lesser feasts throughout the year commemorating saints, sacred events or doctrines. In the Philippines, each day of the year has at least one specific religious festival, either from Catholic, Islamic, or indigenous origins.
Buddhist religious festivals, such as Esala Perahera are held in Sri Lanka and Thailand.Hindu festivals, such as Holi are very ancient. The Sikh community celebrates the Vaisakhi festival marking the new year and birth of the Khalsa.
Main article: Arts festival
Among the many offspring of general arts festivals are also more specific types of festivals, including ones that showcase intellectual or creative achievement such as science festivals, literary festivals and music festivals. Sub-categories include comedy festivals, rock festivals, jazz festivals and buskers festivals; poetry festivals,theatre festivals, and storytelling festivals; and re-enactment festivals such as Renaissance fairs. In the Philippines, aside from numerous art festivals scattered throughout the year, February is known as national arts month, the culmination of all art festivals in the entire archipelago.
Film festivals involve the screenings of several different films, and are usually held annually. Some of the most significant film festivals include the Berlin International Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival.
Food and drink festivals
Main article: Food festival
A food festival is an event celebrating food or drink. These often highlight the output of producers from a certain region. Some food festivals are focused on a particular item of food, such as the National Peanut Festival in the United States, or the Galway International Oyster Festival in Ireland. There are also specific beverage festivals, such as the famous Oktoberfest in Germany for beer. Many countries hold festivals to celebrate wine. One example is the global celebration of the arrival of Beaujolais nouveau, which involves shipping the new wine around the world for its release date on the third Thursday of November each year. Both Beaujolais nouveau and the Japanese rice wine sake are associated with harvest time. In the Philippines, there are at least two hundred festivals dedicated to food and drinks.
|Food and drink festivals|
Seasonal and harvest festivals
Seasonal festivals, such as Beltane, are determined by the solar and the lunar calendars and by the cycle of the seasons, especially because of its effect on food supply, as a result of which there is a wide range of ancient and modern harvest festivals. Ancient Egyptians relied upon the seasonal inundation caused by the Nile River, a form of irrigation, which provided fertile land for crops. In the Alps, in autumn the return of the cattle from the mountain pastures to the stables in the valley is celebrated as Almabtrieb. A recognized winter festival, the Chinese New Year, is set by the lunar calendar, and celebrated from the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. Dree Festival of the Apatanis living in Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh is celebrated every year from July 4 to 7 by praying for a bumper crop harvest.
Midsummer or St John's Day, is an example of a seasonal festival, related to the feast day of a Christian saint as well as a celebration of the time of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, where it is particularly important in Sweden. Winter carnivals also provide the opportunity to utilise to celebrate creative or sporting activities requiring snow and ice. In the Philippines, each day of the year has at least one festival dedicated to harvesting of crops, fishes, crustaceans, milk, and other local goods.
|Seasonal and harvest festivals|
Study of festivals
- ^Robertson, Noel (1992). Festivals and legends: the formation of Greek cities in the light of public ritual (Repr. ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0802059880.
- ^Brandt, edited by J. Rasmus; Iddeng, Jon W. (2012). Greek and Roman festivals : content, meaning, and practice (1st ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-969609-3.
- ^Pickard-Cambridge, Sir Arthur (1953). The dramatic festivals of Athens (2nd ed.). Oxford: At the Clarendon Press. ISBN 0198142587.
- ^Picard, David; Robinson, Mike (2006). "Remaking Worlds: Festivals, Tourism and Change". In David Picard and Mike Robinson. Festivals, Tourism and Social Change. Channel View Publications. pp. 1–3. ISBN 978-1-84541-267-8.
- ^ ab"festival, adj. and n.". OED Online. March 2014. Oxford University Press. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- ^festival (adj.) at the Middle English Dictionary. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- ^"feast, n.". OED Online. March 2014. Oxford University Press. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- ^"feast, v.". OED Online. March 2014. Oxford University Press. Accessed April 16, 2014.
- ^Berrett, LaMar C.; Ogden D. Kelly (1996). Discovering the world of the Bible (3rd ed., rev. ed.). Provo, Utah: Grandin Book Co. p. 289. ISBN 0-910523-52-5.
- ^See for example: List of festivals in Australia; Bangladesh; Canada; China; Colombia; Costa Rica; Fiji; India; Indonesia; Iran; Japan; Laos; Morocco; Nepal; Pakistan; Philippines; Romania; Tunisia; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States; Vietnam.
- ^Ancient Egyptian festivals could be either religious or political.Bleeker, C. J. (1967 ). Egyptian festivals. Enactments of religious renewal. Leiden, The Netherlands: E. J. Brill.
- ^"Heb-Sed (Egyptian feast)". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 16 April 2014.
- ^Gerson, Ruth (1996). Traditional festivals in Thailand. Kuala Lumpur; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9676531111.
- ^Roy, Christian (2005). "Sikh Vaisakhi: Anniversary of the Pure". Traditional Festivals, Vol. 2 [M – Z]: A Multicultural Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 480. ISBN 978-1-57607-089-5.
- ^See List of music festivals.
- ^Some such as such as Cúirt International Festival of Literature started as a poetry festival and then broadened in scope.
- ^Hyslop, Leah (21 November 2013). "Beaujolais Nouveau day: 10 facts about the wine". The Telegraph.
- ^Haine, W. Scott (2006). Culture and Customs of France. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 978-0-313-32892-3.
- ^Bunson, Margaret (2009). "Nile festivals". Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Infobase Publishing. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-4381-0997-8.
- ^"Press release – Dree festival". Directorate of Information, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh. 5 July 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-13.
- ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Heortology". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- ^Robert Parker: Athenian Religion
- Ian Yeoman, ed. (2004). Festival and events management: an international arts and culture perspective (1st ed., repr. ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann. ISBN 9780750658720.
- Media related to Festivals at Wikimedia Commons
- The dictionary definition of Festival at Wiktionary
The festival forms an auspicious day for everyone and also for other celebrations that are prevalent in every society and religious communities.
Festivals are an important part of our life. In a country like India, festivals are associated with religion. The Hindus worship many deities. This is why there are many Hindu festivals. Here is why celebrating festivals is important :
• We celebrate festivals mainly to propagate the cultural heritage of nations.
• A festival also helps us to embrace one another in a bond of love.
• Across the globe the festivals bring convergence.
• All of the festivals have some scientific reason to celebrate. The most important thing behind celebrating a festival is to spread happiness.
• It is during a festival that people exchange gifts with one another and celebrate the events together. In fact, it is one of the best times to meet friends and family members which otherwise is not possible.
• At festival time the family members, friends, neighbors, and relatives meet together and enjoy the time spent in the company of each other. This meeting helps to make relations stronger forever. It also provides us with a chance to know better about our culture and each other.
• At the national level, the festivals help to promote patriotic spirit and solidarity in the society.
• Festival keeps us together.
• Festivals depict the many different aspects of a society.
• Festivals have many stories, customs, and traditions connected to them. Each and every festival has a symbolism and the entire proceedings is centered on that particular theme.
• Festivals teach us to forget our enmity.
• It is at the time of a festival that we are worshiping God. A festival helps to enhance our faith in truth. Now all community peoples celebrate all festival together. This increases feelings of brotherhood.
• Ethical, moral as well as social values of life that blend well with entertainment through festivals.
• The international festivals enhance brotherhood as well as to eliminate ethnic racism in the world.
• They also help to create an environment of cultural harmony.
• We also celebrate festivals to make someone smile. We should celebrate our festivals in such a way that we can stop too much waste of money, should not pollute the environment. Other importance of festivals are as follows:
• We celebrate festivals in memory of the victory of truth, victory of light over darkness.
• When we celebrate a festival, it helps to relieve ourselves from the monotony of life.
• When we celebrate festivals of all kinds in a country, it improves the overall image of the country and shows the acceptance of cultural diversity in the country.
It is advantageous for our business: It is during festival times that we shop a lot prompting the retail stores so that the shopkeepers can provide us with heavy discounts. During Christmas, Diwali or Eid people tend to purchase gifts for each other. It also helps us to decorate our homes. This is why the festivals have a major impact on the sales of vehicles and electronic items also increase during the festive period. It is during a festival that the shopkeepers have a gala time and they wait especially for these occasions to make a sound profit.
Eating out: These days the families rarely have free time left on their hands. This is why the festival is the only event when they can go out and have a good time at the malls. There are many people who prefer to watch movies while others dine in multi cuisine restaurants.
Happiness all-around: A major advantage of celebrating a festival is that it helps to instill happiness amongst the people. The people visit one another or gather around at a particular place or visit each other, it is also the best time for them to talk over the dinner and chill out in a relaxed environment. This is why a festival serves as a welcome break from the mundane routine of performing household chores and office work. Festivals add color to the life.
It helps promote tourism: Festivals are celebrated to promote tourism, the traditional handicrafts, the potential of the state as well as the unity in diversity of its people.
A festival teaches us to take care of the poor: At festival times a very important charity activities is feeding the poor and giving them alms. It serves as a wonderful gesture especially from the rich people to give back to the society. In a nutshell, the occasion increases the feeling of brotherhood amongst the neighbors as they meet and have a good time.