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The words holiday or vacation have related meanings in different English-speaking countries and continents, but usually refer to one of the following activities or events: A holiday is a special day of rest. ... The Holidays are an Australian four piece indie rock band. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

  • Official or unofficial observances of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities
  • A general leave of absence from a regular occupation for rest or recreation
  • A specific trip or journey for the purposes of recreation or tourism

People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacation or holidays are often used spent with friends or family. Rest may refer to: rest (fitness), a period of relative inactivity to allow recovery and growth. ... Fun redirects here. ... Fun redirects here. ... Tourist redirects here. ...

A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap year, or career break. A sabbatical year is a prolonged hiatus, typically one year, in the career of an otherwise successful individual taken in order to fulfill some dream, e. ... A gap year (also known as a year out, year off, deferred year, bridging year, overseas experience, time off, or time out) is a term that refers to a prolonged period (often, but not always, a year) between two major life stages. ... A career break is a period of time out from employment. ...




Holiday is a contraction of holy and day. Holiday originally refered only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest, as opposed to normal days off work or school. In traditional grammar, a contraction is the formation of a new word from two or more individual words. ... Look up day in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A religious festival is a time of special importance marked by adherents to that religion. ...


In the United Kingdom, vacation once specifically referred to the long summer break taken by the law courts and, later, universities—a custom introduced by William the Conqueror from Normandy where it facilitated the grape harvest. The French term is similar to American English: "Les Vacances". In the past, many upper-class families moved to a summer home for part of the year, leaving their usual family home vacant. A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... William I ( 1027 – September 9, 1087), was King of England from 1066 to 1087. ... For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). ...

Regional meanings

As a trip

Vacation, in English-speaking North America, describes recreational travel, such as a short pleasure trip, or a journey abroad. Most of the rest of the English-speaking world says holiday, rather than vacation. Americans, especially those of recent British or European descent, may also say, going on holiday. People in Commonwealth countries also use the phrase, going on leave. The Commonwealth of Nations as of 2008. ...

Canadians often use vacation and holiday interchangeably referring to a trip away from home or time off work. In Australia, the term can refer to a vacation or a public holiday.

As an observance

In all of the English-speaking world, including North America, holiday may refer to a day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) for commemoration, celebration, or other observance. Schools, business, and workplaces often close for holidays. For other uses, see Nation (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... A celebration is a joyous observation on the occasion of a special event: - Personal Level birth, etc. ...

Employment issues

Most countries around the world have labor laws that mandate employers give a certain number of paid time-off days per year to workers. Nearly all Canadian provinces require at least two weeks, while in most of Europe the minimum is higher. US[1] Where law does not mandate vacation time, many employers nonetheless offer paid vacation, typically 10 to 20 work days, to attract employees. Under US federal law, employers usually must compensate terminated employees for accrued but unused vacation time. Additionally, most American employers provide paid days off for national holidays, such as Christmas, New Years, Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving. This article is in need of attention. ...

While US federal and most state law provides for leave such as medical leave, there are movements attempting to remove vacation time as a factor in the free-market labor pool by requiring mandatory vacation time.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom and Denmark, mandated summer holidays present issues to parents planning vacations. Accordingly, holiday companies charge higher prices, giving an incentive for parents to use their work vacation time in term time.

Types of holiday (observance)

Consecutive holidays

Consecutive holidays refers to holidays that occur in a group without working days in between. In the late 1990s, the Japanese government passed a law that increased the likelihood of consecutive holidays by moving holidays from fixed days to a relative position in a month, such as the second Monday.

Religious holidays

Many holidays are linked to faiths and religions (see etymology above). Christian holidays are defined as part of the liturgical year. The Catholic patronal feast day or 'name day' are celebrated in each place's patron saint's day, according to the Calendar of saints. In Islam, the largest holidays are Eid and Ramadan. Hindus, Jains and Sikhs observe several holidays, one of the largest being Diwali (Festival of Light). Japanese holidays contain references to several different faiths and beliefs. Celtic, Norse, and Neopagan holidays follow the order of the Wheel of the Year. Some are closely linked to Swedish festivities. The Bahá'í Faith observes holidays as defined by the Bahá'í calendar. Jews have two holiday seasons: the Spring Feasts of Pesach (Passover), Chag Ha-Matzot (Festival of Unleavened Bread), and Shavuot (Weeks, called Pentacost in Greek); and the Fall Feasts of Yom Teruah (Day of Blessing, also called Rosh HaShannah), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and Sukkot (Tabernacles). For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... For Dom Guérangers series of books, see The Liturgical Year. ... The Fiestas patronales are yearly celebrations held in countries influenced by Spanish culture. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with one or more saints, and referring to the day as that saints day. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Muslim holidays generally celebrate the events of the life of Islams main prophet, Muhammad, especially the events surrounding the first hearing of the Kuran. ... Eid ul-Fitr or Id-Ul-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiá¹­r), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting. ... This article is about religious observances during the month of Ramadan. ... The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahinsa, meaning non-injury and nonviolence. ... A Sikh man wearing a turban The adherents of Sikhism are called Sikhs. ... Diwali, or Deepawali, (also called Tihar and Swanti in Nepal) (Markiscarali) is a major Indian and Nepalese festive holiday, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... In Neopaganism, the Wheel of the Year is the natural cycle of the seasons, commemorated by the eight Sabbats. ... See Holidays in Sweden. ... This article is about the generally recognized global religious community. ... The Baháí calendar, also called the Badí‘ calendar, used by the Baháí Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years of 365 days, and leap years of 366 days. ... The Baháí calendar, also called the Badí‘ calendar, used by the Baháí Faith, is a solar calendar with regular years of 365 days, and leap years of 366 days. ... Passover, also known as Pesach or Pesah (פסח pesaḥ), is a Jewish holiday (lasting seven days in Israel and among some liberal Diaspora Jews, and eight days among other Diaspora Jews) that commemorates the exodus and freedom of the Israelites from Egypt; it is also observed by some Christians to... Shavuot, also spelled Shavuos (Hebrew: שבועות (Israeli Heb. ... Passover, also known as Pesach or Pesah (פסח pesaḥ), is a Jewish holiday (lasting seven days in Israel and among some liberal Diaspora Jews, and eight days among other Diaspora Jews) that commemorates the exodus and freedom of the Israelites from Egypt; it is also observed by some Christians to... This article is about the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah. ... Yom Kippur (Hebrew:יוֹם כִּפּוּר , IPA: ), also known in English as the Day of Atonement, is the most solemn of the Jewish holidays. ... Sukkot (Hebrew:  ; booths. ...

Northern Hemisphere winter holidays

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere features many holidays that involve festivals and feasts. The winter holiday season surrounds the winter solstice celebrated by many religions and cultures. Usually, this period begins near the start of November and ends with New Year's Day. Holiday season is, somewhat, a commercial term that applies, in the US, to the period that begins with Thanksgiving and ends with New Year's Eve. Some Christian countries consider the end of the festive season to be after the feast of Epiphany. . In the Northern Hemisphere, the Christmas season[1][2] or (winter) holiday season is a late-year season that surrounds the Christmas holiday as well as other holidays during the November/December timeframe. ... Northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. ... This is an incomplete list of festivals and holidays that take place during the winter in the northern hemisphere, especially those commemorating the season. ... This article is about the astronomical and cultural event of winters solstice, also known as midwinter. ... This article is about the date January 1 in the Gregorian calendar. ... Topics in Christianity Preaching Prayer Ecumenism Relation to other religions Movements Music Liturgy Calendar Symbols Art Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... The Wise Men (Magi) adoring the infant Jesus. ...

National holidays

Sovereign nations and territories observe holidays based on events of significance to their history. For example, Australians celebrate Australia Day. This is the list of holidays by country. ... Anniversary Day redirects here. ...

Secular holidays

Several secular holidays are observed, both internationally, and across multi-country regions, often in conjunction with organizations such as the United Nations. Many other days are marked to celebrate events or people, but are not strictly holidays as time off work is rarely given. This article concerns secularity, that is, being secular, in various senses. ... International observance (also known as international dedication or international anniversary) denotes a period of time to observe some issue of international interest or concern. ... UN redirects here. ...

Unofficial holidays

These are holidays that are not traditionally marked on calendars. These holidays are celebrated by various groups and individuals. Some promote a cause, others recognize historical events not officially recognized, and others are "funny" holidays celebrated with humorous intent.


Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate holidays, including Christmas, Halloween, and Easter, because they believe holidays are pagan.[2]. They reject national holidays as well because they believe that by celebrating these holidays they are giving honor to man's governments and not God's Kingdom[3]. For other uses, see Christmas (disambiguation). ... This article is about the holiday. ... This article is about the Christian festival. ... Pagan and heathen redirect here. ...

See also

Holidays portal

Adventure tourism is a type of niche tourism involving exploration or travel to remote areas, where the traveller should expect the unexpected. ... For the Bank Holiday declared in the USA during the Great Depression, see Emergency Banking Act. ... Christmas controversy refers to publicized controversy surrounding public acknowledgment or celebration of the Christmas holiday in media, advertising, government, and various secular environments. ... This article is about the use of a secular term in North America for the Easter holidays, which occur in Spring in the northern hemisphere. ... Look up Furlough in Wiktionary, the free dictionary A furlough (IPA: ) is temporary leave of absence, especially from duty in the armed services or from a prison term. ... Holiday Heart Syndrome is a consequence of binge drinking. ... This article is in need of attention. ... This is the list of holidays by country. ... Long Service Leave is an additional employee vacation payable after long periods of service with an employer // In Australia, unlike many other countries, employees are generally entitled to additional leave, known as Long Service Leave, over and above their annual leave if they stay with a particular firm for a... A luxury resort, sometimes referred to as an exclusive resort, is a very expensive vacation facility which is fully staffed and has been rated with five stars. ... There are many holidays, commemorations and observances in the Church of Scientology, including but not limited to: January 25: Criminon Day This commemorates the 1970 founding of Criminon, a program which seeks to rehabilitate prisoners by disseminating free copies of Scientology-related materials such as The Way to Happiness. ... Sick leave (or sickness pay or sick pay) is an employee benefit in the form of paid leave which can be taken during periods of sickness. ... A Staycation is a vacation where you physically stay at/near home, but mentally go wherever you want. ... Tourist redirects here. ... The expression work-life balance was first used in 1986 in the US (although had been used in the UK from the late 1970s by organisations such as New Ways to Work and the Working Mothers Association) to help explain the unhealthy life choices that many people were making...


  • Susan E. Richardson (July 2001). Holidays & Holy Days: Origins, Customs, and Insights on Celebrations Through the Year. Vine Books. ISBN 0-8307-3442-2. 
  • Lucille Recht Penner and Ib Ohlsson (September 1993). Celebration: The Story of American Holidays. MacMillan Publishing Company. ISBN 0-02-770903-5. 
  • Barbara Klebanow and Sara Fischer (2005). American Holidays: Exploring Traditions, Customs, and Backgrounds. Pro Lingua Associates. ISBN 0-86647-196-0. 
  1. ^ US law does not require employers to grant any vacation or holidays, and about 25% of all employees receive no vacation time or holidays No-Vacation Nation. Many US State and local governments require a minimum number of days off. For employees that do receive vacation, 10 working days with 8 national holidays is fairly standard. Members of the US Armed Services earn 30 vacation days a year, not including national holidays.
  2. ^ Reasoning from the Scriptures. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 1985, revised 1989. pp. 176-182. 
  3. ^ Reasoning from the Scriptures. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. 1985, revised 1989. pp. 176-182. 

External links

  • Holidays at the Open Directory Project
  • National and Public Holiday of all Countries
  • Holiday Stress Brings Anxiety and Abuse (ABC News)
  • Calendar of all legal Public and Bank Holidays worldwide, until 2050
Wikibooks logo Wikibooks, previously called Wikimedia Free Textbook Project and Wikimedia-Textbooks, is a wiki for the creation of books. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Wiktionary (a portmanteau of wiki and dictionary) is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 151 languages. ... The Open Directory Project (ODP), also known as dmoz (from , its original domain name), is a multilingual open content directory of World Wide Web links owned by Netscape that is constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors. ...

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