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Portal:Holidays

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Introduction

Victory Day in Donetsk in 2013.

A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices.

The concept of holidays often originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities.

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The First Thanksgiving cph.3g04961.jpg

Thanksgiving is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks, traditionally to God, for the things one has at the end of the harvest season. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Certain kinds of food are traditionally served at Thanksgiving meals. First and foremost, turkey is usually the featured item on any Thanksgiving feast table (so much so that Thanksgiving is sometimes referred to as "Turkey Day"). Stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, Indian corn, other fall vegetables, and pumpkin pie are commonly associated with Thanksgiving dinner. All of these primary dishes are actually native to the Americas or were introduced as a new food source to the Europeans when they arrived.

In New York City, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held annually every Thanksgiving Day on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Families and friends usually gather for a large meal or dinner, the result being that the Thanksgiving holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year. Known as "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the largest shopping days in the U.S. Although most stores actually start to stock for and promote the December holidays immediately after Halloween, and sometimes even before. American football is often a major part of Thanksgiving celebrations in the U.S. with the National Football League playing a series of Thanksgiving Day games since its founding.

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Leprechaun ill artlibre jnl.png

In Irish mythology, a leprechaun is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. They are a class of "faerie folk" associated in Irish mythology and folklore, as with all faeries, with the Tuatha Dé Danann and other quasi-historical races said to have inhabited Ireland before the arrival of the Celts. Leprechauns and other creatures of Irish mythology are often associated with "faerie forts" or "faerie rings" — often the sites of ancient earthworks or drumlins. They are said to be very rich, having many treasure crocks buried during war-time. According to legend, if anyone keeps an eye fixed upon one, he cannot escape, but the moment the eye is withdrawn he vanishes.

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Credit: Malene Thyssen
A Danish Jule tree on Christmas eve. (2004 December 24)

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