Festival

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A festival is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival.

Among many religions, a feast is a set of celebrations in honour of God or gods. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. However, the term "feast" has also entered common secular parlance as a synonym for any large or elaborate meal. When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival rather than a film or art festival.

In the Christian liturgical calendar there are two principal feasts, properly known as the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas) and the Feast of the Resurrection, (Easter). In the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican liturgical calendars there are a great number of lesser feasts throughout the year commemorating saints, sacred events, doctrines, etc.

For a list of festivals in the USA, please see List of festivals in the United States.

Contents

Etymology

The word fest derives from the Middle English, from Middle French word festivus, from the Latin word festivus. Festival was first recorded as a noun in 1589. Before it had been used as an adjective from the fourteenth century, meaning to celebrate a church holiday. The etymology of feast is very similar to that of festival. The word "feste" (one letter different from "fest") comes from Middle English, from Middle French, from the Latin word festa. Feast first came into usage as a noun circa 1200, and feast was used as a verb circa 1300.[1] A festival is a special occasion of feasting or celebration, that is usually religious. There can be many different types of festival, like Halloween and Christmas.

Function

Festivals, of many types, serve to meet specific needs, as well as to provide entertainment. These times of celebration offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. Modern festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics seek to inform members of their traditions. In past times, festivals were times when the elderly shared stories and transferred certain knowledge to the next generation. Historic feasts often provided a means for unity among families and for people to find mates. Select anniversaries have annual festivals to commemorate previous significant occurrences.

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