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Portal:Holidays

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Chinese New Year, Copenhagen 2006.
In the American English-speaking world, a holiday is a day set aside by a nation or culture, typically for celebration, but sometimes for other kinds of special culture-wide observances or activities. A holiday can also be a special day on which schools and/or offices are closed, such as Labor Day. In the British English-speaking world, a holiday is a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation; the North American equivalent is "vacation". However, some Canadians will use both the terms vacation and holiday interchangeably when referring to a trip away from home or time off of work.

The word holiday has related but different meanings in English-speaking countries. Based on the words holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. The word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest, such as the weekend). When translated from/to other languages, the meanings of the word "holiday" may be conflated with those of "observance" and "celebration". Most holidays can be placed into one of several groupings, depending upon origin, calendar placements, and national observance. Almost all involve traditions of music, dance, art, and/or food, facilitating social engagement and relaxation.


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Easter eggs in the stage of painting.jpg

Easter, also known as Pascha, the Feast of the Resurrection, the Sunday of the Resurrection, or Resurrection Day, is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his death by crucifixion some time in the period AD 27 to 33 (see Good Friday). In the Roman Catholic Church, Easter is actually an eight-day feast called the Octave of Easter. Easter also refers to the season of the church year, lasting for fifty days, from Easter Sunday through Pentecost.

In Western Christianity, Easter always falls on a Sunday from March 22 to April 25 inclusive. The following day, Easter Monday, is a legal holiday in many countries with predominantly Christian traditions. In Eastern Christianity, Easter falls between April 4 and May 8 between 1900 and 2100 based on the Gregorian date. As with many other Christian dates, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting. Today it is commercially important, seeing wide sales of greeting cards and confectionery such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans.

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"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a popular Christmas story about Santa Claus' ninth and lead reindeer who possesses an unusually red colored nose that gives off its own light that is powerful enough to illuminate the team's path through inclement weather. The story is owned by St. Nicholas Music Inc. and has been sold in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special, and a feature film. Rudolph was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as part of his employment with Montgomery Ward.

Rudolph is an extension of Santa's reindeer which pull his sleigh and help him deliver Christmas gifts. The names of the original eight reindeer are taken from the 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, which led to the popularity of reindeer as Christmas symbols.

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Credit: Jorge Luis Recalde Mesías
Carnival float in the Blacks and Whites Carnival in Pasto, Colombia.

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