Ramadan and Festivus

Ramadan

Who: Muslims

What: During Ramadan Muslims all over the world fast during day light hours. It is a time for Muslims to purify the soul, refocus on god and practice self sacrifice.

When: The ninth month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. The dates rotate every year and in 2011 Ramadan will occur from Aug. 1 to Aug 30.

Where: In Muslim communities worldwide.

Did you know? During Ramadan, every part of the body is restrained. Tongues must refrain from gossip, eyes must refrain from looking at unlawful things, hands mustn’t steal and feet must keep the body away from sinful places. Ramadan is much more than just a fast from food and water; the whole body observes the fast.

Festivus

Who: Anybody! Festivus is for the rest of us!

What in the heck? Festivus is a nondenominational holiday that was made famous by the TV show Seinfeld. A writer for Seinfeld, Dan O’ Keefe celebrated the holiday with his family for years after his father found mention of it in a holiday book with outlandish holidays that was published in 1966. Later, Dan would introduce the idea to the Seinfeld staff, leading to Festivus’ debut in the 1997 episode “The Strike.”

When: Dec. 23 every year.

What are Festivus “activities…?” Festivus rituals include the Festivus Pole, a Festivus Dinner, the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength.

  • The Festivus Pole was not included in the original holiday, but was introduced to Seinfeld as an aluminum pole that requires no decorating.
  • The Festivus Dinner can consist of whatever is wanted, but traditionally a Festivus fruitcake is on display. The Festivus fruitcake is not to be eaten, and it is usually reused every year for display.
  • The Airing of Grievances occurs during the dinner. The Airing consists of everybody telling each other what has disappointed them in the past year.
  • Immediately after the Airing comes the Feats of Strength. The head of the household selects one person and challenges them to a wrestling match. The challenged can respectfully decline if they have other business to attend to.
  • Festivus ends when the head of the household is pinned in the wrestling match. Festivus will continue until the requirement of pinning the head of the house is met.

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