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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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May Day is May 1, and refers to any of several holidays celebrated on this day. May 1 was a traditional springtime holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures, and many elements of these holidays are still celebrated on May 1 today, such as the Maypole. "May Day" also refers to various socialist and labor movement celebrations conducted on May 1, unrelated to the traditional celebrations, to commemorate the Haymarket Riot of 1886 and the international socialist movement generally.

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian Europe, as in the Celtic celebration of Beltane, and the Walpurgis Night of the Germanic countries. Although the pagan-oriented celebrations faded as Europe became Christianised, a more secular version of the holiday continued to be observed in the schools and churches of Europe well into the 20th century. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May. Today many Neopagans, especially Wiccans, celebrate reconstructed versions of the old pagan holidays on May 1.

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The domesticated turkey is a large poultry bird raised for food. The modern domesticated turkey descends from the wild turkey, one of the two species of turkey; however, in the past the ocellated turkey was also domesticated. Turkeys are traditionally eaten as the main course of large feasts at Christmas in Europe and North America, as well as Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada, in both cases having displaced the traditional goose. While eating turkey was once mainly restricted to special occasions such as these, turkey is now eaten year round and forms a regular part of many diets.

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Credit: User:Kjrajesh
Thrissur Pooram festival (Kuda Mattam).

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