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Festivus History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<<- November

Festivus

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born
. . . a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll.

 

Traditional Festivus Information

Festivus was first debuted on "The Strike" episode of the hit sitcom Seinfeld, aired on December 17th, 1997. The acutal holiday is celebrated every year on December 23rd and was created in despair of the commercialization of Christmas.

In place of an aromatic, flush evergreen as a Christmas tree, Festivus followers use an aluminum pole. A traditional Festivus celebration consists of the following: first, families and friends take part in the "Airing of Grievances," where everyone vents their hostilities towards each other. After a nice meal of meat loaf or spaghetti in red sauce, it is time for the "Feats of Strength." To take part in the "Feats of Strength," one must be chosen by the head of the household. The chosen one must then fight the head until he/she is wrestled to the ground and admits defeat.

Seinfeld writer Daniel O'Keefe's father found Festivus in a book that outlined observed holidays published in 1966.

Since the episode in 1997, Festivus has become a renowned holiday that is celebrated by many. Here are some examples:

Ben and Jerry had an ice cream flavor dubbed Festivus, but renamed it "Gingerbread Cookie" in 2001 for reasons unknown.

Festivus is the name of a red wine produced by Grape Ranch Vineyards in Okalahoma.
Its holiday song, "Oh Festivus," was first sung in Dallas, TX to the tune of "O, Canada."

Festivus Trivia

In the 2000 NFL season, the Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick didn't allow the team to use the "P-Word" (Playoffs- for those who are football ignorant), until the team got there. In its place, they had to use the word Festivus. The Ravens referred to the Superbowl as the "Festivus Maximus," and actually went on to defeat the New York Giants 34-7 in Superbowl XXXV.

The 2006 Baltimore City Department of Public Works calendar highlights Festivus Appreciation Day. Seems like those Baltimorians really enjoy the merriments of Festivus.

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