Festival

Festival

Overview

A festival or gala' is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival.

Among many religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, a feast is a set of celebrations in honour of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or gods
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. However, the term "feast" has also entered common secular parlance
Idiom
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

 as a synonym for any large or elaborate meal
Meal
A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Festival'
Start a new discussion about 'Festival'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Encyclopedia

A festival or gala' is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival.

Among many religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

s, a feast is a set of celebrations in honour of God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 or gods
Polytheism
Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals....

. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. However, the term "feast" has also entered common secular parlance
Idiom
Idiom is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is comprehended in regard to a common use of that expression that is separate from the literal meaning or definition of the words of which it is made...

 as a synonym for any large or elaborate meal
Meal
A meal is an instance of eating, specifically one that takes place at a specific time and includes specific, prepared food.Meals occur primarily at homes, restaurants, and cafeterias, but may occur anywhere. Regular meals occur on a daily basis, typically several times a day...

. When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival
Religious festival
A religious festival is a time of special importance marked by adherents to that religion. Religious festivals are commonly celebrated on recurring cycles in a calendar year or lunar calendar...

 rather than a film or art festival.

In the Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 liturgical calendar there are two principal feasts, properly known as the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

) and the Feast of the Resurrection, (Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

). In the Catholic
Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican liturgical calendars there are a great number of lesser feasts throughout the year commemorating saints, sacred events, doctrines, etc.

Etymology


The word fest derives from the Middle English
Middle English
Middle English is the stage in the history of the English language during the High and Late Middle Ages, or roughly during the four centuries between the late 11th and the late 15th century....

, from Middle French
Middle French
Middle French is a historical division of the French language that covers the period from 1340 to 1611. It is a period of transition during which:...

 word festivus, from the Latin word festivus. Festival was first recorded as a noun in 1589. Before it had been used as an adjective from the fourteenth century, meaning to celebrate a church holiday. The etymology of feast is very similar to that of festival. The word "feste" (one letter different from "fest") comes from Middle English, from Middle French, from the Latin word festa. Feast first came into usage as a noun circa 1200, and feast was used as a verb circa 1300. A festival is a special occasion of feasting or celebration, that is usually religious. There can be many different types of festival, like Halloween and Christmas.

Function


Festivals, of many types, serve to meet specific needs, as well as to provide entertainment. These times of celebration
Party
A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, or recreation. A party will typically feature food and beverages, and often music and dancing as well....

 offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. Modern festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics seek to inform members of their traditions. In past times, festivals were times when the elderly shared stories and transferred certain knowledge
Knowledge
Knowledge is a familiarity with someone or something unknown, which can include information, facts, descriptions, or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject...

 to the next generation. Historic feasts often provided a means for unity among families
Family
In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies it is the principal institution for the socialization of children...

 and for people to find mates
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

. Select anniversaries
Anniversary
An anniversary is a day that commemorates or celebrates a past event that occurred on the same day of the year as the initial event. For example, the first event is the initial occurrence or, if planned, the inaugural of the event. One year later would be the first anniversary of that event...

 have annual festivals to commemorate previous significant occurrences.

Types of festivals


There are numerous types of festivals in the world. Though many have religious origins, others involve seasonal change or have some cultural significance. Also, certain institutions celebrate their own festival (often called "fests") to mark some significant occasions in their history. These occasions could be the day these institutions were founded or any other event which they decide to commemorate periodically, usually annually.

Seasonal festivals




Seasonal festivals are determined by the solar
Solar calendar
A solar calendar is a calendar whose dates indicate the position of the earth on its revolution around the sun .-Tropical solar calendars:...

 and the lunar calendar
Lunar calendar
A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. A common purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri calendar. A feature of the Islamic calendar is that a year is always 12 months, so the months are not linked with the seasons and drift each solar year by 11 to...

s and by the cycle of the season
Season
A season is a division of the year, marked by changes in weather, ecology, and hours of daylight.Seasons result from the yearly revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the tilt of the Earth's axis relative to the plane of revolution...

s. The changing of the season was celebrated because of its effect on food supply. Ancient Egyptians would celebrate the seasonal inundation caused by the Nile River, a form of irrigation
Irrigation
Irrigation may be defined as the science of artificial application of water to the land or soil. It is used to assist in the growing of agricultural crops, maintenance of landscapes, and revegetation of disturbed soils in dry areas and during periods of inadequate rainfall...

, which provided fertile land for crops. In the Alps
Alps
The Alps is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria and Slovenia in the east through Italy, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west....

, in autumn the return of the cattle from the mountain pasture
Pasture
Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

s to the stables in the valley is celebrated as Almabtrieb
Almabtrieb
The Almabtrieb is an annual event in the alpine regions in Europe, referring to a cow train in autumn....

. A recognized winter festival, the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

, is set by the lunar calendar, and celebrated from the day of the second new moon after the winter solstice. An important type of seasonal festivals are those related with the agricultural seasons. Dree Festival
Dree Festival
The Dree Festival is an Apatani agricultural rite. It involves the sacrifice of fowls, eggs and animals to the Gods - Tamu, Metii and Danyi Pilo. The purpose of the festival is to appease these Gods so that famine could be avoided. This rite is observed by the Apatanis in Arunachal Pradesh, India...

 of the Apatanis living in Lower Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh is one such important festival, which is celebrated every year from July 4 to 7 praying for bumper crop harvest.

Ancient Egyptian festivals


Most Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ian festivals were religious, but others were not such as one festival established by Rameses III to celebrate his victory over the Libyans. When feasts occurred, they were either determined by lunar cycles or the Egyptian calendar. Festivals were large celebrations with plenty of food available. In one festival in the 12th century BC, 11,341 loaves of bread and 385 jars of beer were given to the public. The Sed festival
Sed festival
The Sed festival was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh...

 celebrated the thirtieth year of a pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

's rule and then every three (or four in one case) years after that.
Iranian traditional festivals:
Mehregan festival, Norooz or nuroz festival, qadir festival, Chahar shanbehesori festival.
Islamic festivals:
EId-ul-Adha festival (biggest Islamic festival) and Id-ul-Fiter festival is another Islamic festival (second-biggest).

See also


  • Convention
    Convention (meeting)
    A convention, in the sense of a meeting, is a gathering of individuals who meet at an arranged place and time in order to discuss or engage in some common interest. The most common conventions are based upon industry, profession, and fandom...

  • Event planning
    Event planning
    Event planning is the process of planning a festival, ceremony, competition, party, or convention. Event planning includes budgeting, establishing dates and alternate dates, selecting and reserving the event site, acquiring permits, and coordinating transportation and parking...

  • Fair
    Fair
    A fair or fayre is a gathering of people to display or trade produce or other goods, to parade or display animals and often to enjoy associated carnival or funfair entertainment. It is normally of the essence of a fair that it is temporary; some last only an afternoon while others may ten weeks. ...

  • Festive ecology
    Festive ecology
    Festive ecology explores the relationships between the symbolism and the ecology of the plants, fungi and animals associated with cultural events such as festivals, processions and special occasions...

  • Holiday
    Holiday
    A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

  • List of festivals in the United States
  • List of music festivals
  • Liturgical year
    Liturgical year
    The liturgical year, also known as the church year, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches which determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read. Distinct liturgical colours may appear in...

  • Moveable feast
    Moveable feast
    In Christianity, a moveable feast or movable feast is a holy day – a feast day or a fast day – whose date is not fixed to a particular day of the calendar year but moves in response to the date of Easter, the date of which varies according to a complex formula...

  • Trade show