Festivus “For the Rest of Us #AiringofGrievances

Festivus is both a parody and a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 that serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season. It has been described as "the perfect secular theme for an all-inclusive December gathering"

Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O'Keefe, who worked on the American sitcom Seinfeld, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of the 1997 episode "The Strike"
Because of this many think it's just a parody holiday because o Seinfeld, however, O'Keefe's family celebrated Festivus as early as February 1966, as a celebration of Daniel O'Keefe's first date with his future wife, Deborah.  In 1982, Daniel O'Keefe wrote a book, Stolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic, that deals with idiosyncratic ritual and its social significance, a theme relevant to Festivus tradition. 

it is now celebrated on December 23, as depicted in a Seinfeld episode written by O'Keefe's son.  The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum Festivus pole, practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength", and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles"

Festivus pole

The tradition of Festivus begins with an aluminum pole. Frank Costanza cites its "very high strength-to-weight ratio" as appealing. During Festivus, the pole is displayed unadorned. According to Frank, "I find tinsel distracting." Dan O'Keefe credits fellow Seinfeld writer Jeff Schaffer with introducing the concept. The aluminum pole was not part of the original O'Keefe family celebration, which centered around putting a clock in a bag and nailing it to a wall. 

In a 2013 CNN segment on the Origins of Festivus, O'Keefe spoke about the real-life experiences related to the holiday. O'Keefe's father, who originated some of the now-recognized Festivus traditions, used a clock, not an aluminum pole. O'Keefe told CNN:

"The real symbol of the holiday was a clock that my dad put in a bag and nailed to the wall every year...I don't know why, I don't know what it means, he would never tell me. He would always say, 'That's not for you to know.

Families can now get their own Festivus Pole: https://www.facebook.com/festivuspoles

Customary practices

  • Airing of Grievances

  • Feats of Strength