What is Festivus and How has it Made the News In Sunny Orlando Florida?
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What is Festivus and How has it Made the News In Sunny Orlando Florida?

Recently in Orlando, Florida a fictitious holiday spun off of a popular episode of Seinfield has been recognized by two very unlikely canidates. Could these two completely separate events be Festivus Miracles? What is Festivus and how is it celebrated?

Recently, the Festivus Spirit has appeared in unsuspecting sunny Orlando, Florida. Ironically the fictitious anti-commercial holiday made an impact on the commercial airline industry. In response to the consumer airing grievances regarding holiday air fare prices, Orlando based Air Tran now offers special rates called Festivus Deals for travel dates of Jan. 1st through Feb. 16. Will this be a new tradition to come? Only time will tell. Speaking of time, a man serving time in Orlando, Florida claimed religious devotion to Festivus. After doing this Malcolm Alarmo King received double portions of kosher meals for two months before the order for his request was thrown out of court. What is it about this unique secular holiday that impacted both the Air Tran and Orange County judicial system? Could this be the starting of a strand of “Festivus Miracles”?

The celebration Festivus, often referred to as “The Festival for the Rest of Us”, was created by Dan O’Keefe and introduced by his son and screenwriter for The Seinfeld Show, Daniel. Celebrating Festivus is a way to protest the commercialism and the enormous pressure of the holidays. This secular holiday has spun off of a popular episode of Seinfeld where Frank Costanza’s father explains and displays his created holiday traditions. As he describes the birth of the celebration to Jerry Seinfeld he explains, “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son, I reached for the last one they had but so did another man. As I rained blows on him I realized, there had to be another way!” With the airing of the show many across the nation have adopted this tradition as their own.

Festivus, which is celebrated on Dec. 23, has many unique traditions. For Festivus, a bare aluminum pole is displayed instead of a traditional ornamented tree. Some other Festivus rituals include The Festivus Dinner referred to as “The Strike”, followed by an “Airing of Grievances” where guest and household members verbally attack one another and the world by sharing disappointments that occurred during the past year. Many positive occurrences during this time are often declared as “Festivus Miracles” as depicted in Seinfeld. The last tradition of Festivus is “The Feats of Strength” in which the head of the household chooses one person and challenges them to a wrestling match. The pinning of the head of the household signifies the end of Festivus.

The Real Festivus written by Daniel O’Keefe explains the holiday in more detail. The moral of the story is, don’t let this holiday season get you down! Hold your aluminum pole proudly, pin your host down to the floor fiercely and keep in mind the next time you feel bombarded with the stress of the holiday season that maybe a simple “Airing of Grievances” could make a positive change.

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