Happy Festivus! The history behind this inane holiday

Get your Festivus poles out (yes, you can actually buy one) because today, Dec. 23 has been dubbed as the official Festivus holiday. The holiday was made famous by Daniel O’Keefe, a writer for the show Seinfeld, but actually originated decades earlier by his father, as a celebration of his first date with his wife.

Here’s some fun facts on the history of the holiday, according to Wikipedia:

Although the original Festivus took place in February 1966 as a celebration of O’Keefe’s first date with his wife, Deborah, many people now celebrate the holiday on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode “The Strike“.

According to O’Keefe, the name Festivus “just popped into his head.”

The holiday includes novel practices such as the “Airing of Grievances”, in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year. Also, after the Festivus meal, the “Feats of Strength” are performed, involving wrestling the head of the household to the floor, with the holiday ending only if the head of the household is actually pinned

The original holiday featured far more peculiar practices, as detailed in the younger Daniel O’Keefe’s book The Real Festivus, which provides a first-person account of an early version of the Festivus holiday as celebrated by the O’Keefe family, and how O’Keefe amended or replaced details of his father’s invention to create the Seinfeld episode.

Here’s the hilarious clip from that fateful and iconic Seinfeld episode that introduced this holiday into our lives:

Enjoy your “Airing of Grievances” tonight and have a wonderful holiday. I hope each one of you too has a Festivus miracle tonight.

To quote Frank Costanza, “A Festivus for the Rest of Us!”

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