Festivus takes place every year on 23rd December. The idea behind Festivus is for a holiday for those people who do not believe in celebrating the religious holidays that take place around this time of the year, including Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan and Kwanzaa. It could almost be argued that the Festivus holiday itself is something of a miracle, given the nature of how it came into being.
The idea of Festivus actually came from an episode of the popular 1990s American situation comedy series Seinfeld, which aired on 18th December 1997. The holiday was the creation of the deranged Frank Costanza, played by legendary comic actor Jerry Stiller (father of Ben Stiller). The character, who was the father of series regular George Costanza (played by Jason Alexander) had created the holiday when George was a boy, much to the latter’s chagrin and humiliation, as he resented being forced to participate in the commercialization of the Christmas season. Thus he created ‘the Festival for the rest of us!’ The notion came from series scriptwriter Daniel O’Keefe, whose own father had come up with the strange holiday idea. The chosen meal of Festivus is meatloaf, with one of the traditions being the Airing of Grievances, where family members can share their disappointment with one another over their behavior in the past year.
Amazingly, the popularity of Seinfeld was such that the idea of Festivus caught the imagination of the American public and many people do now actually celebrate the holiday, with the gift card industry even producing cards to commemorate the special day.