Dec 23, 2005


Festivus - Non-denominational alternate Christmas-time holiday featured on episode No. 166 "The Strike" on the sitcom SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98. Festivus was created by Frank Costanza (Jerry Stiller) after getting into a fight in a toy store when he and another man both grabbed for the last doll in the place. Frustrated at the commercialization of Christmas, Frank created Festivus.
Celebrated on December 23rd, the pseudo-festival had a traditional undecorated eight-foot aluminum pole (no tinsel, or ornaments), a father-son wrestling match ("The Feats of Strength") and the ("The Airing of Grievances") when each member at the gathering sat around the dinner table and insultingly counted down the reasons why other family members were such a disappointment throughout that year.
The concept of "Festivus" was created in 1966 by Daniel O'Keefe, a former writer for Readers Digest who later wrote the book "Stolen Lightning: The social theory of magic," (Vintage, 1983) A review in the New York Times described the book as "a work of sociology that explores the ways people used cults, astrology and the paranormal as a defense against social pressures."
Years later, O'Keefe's son, Dan O'Keefe introduced the idea of Festivus to the SEINFELD program when he worked as a writer for the show.

1 comment:

Tsuji Eriku said...

Seinfeld = a show about Jews in New York. No wonder I was not familiar with the holiday. Oh, there will always be exceptions to the rule for me, ya Sammie to the Rat Pack & stuff. Sandler comes to mind but um yeah....Jerry's cool, um Jerry's cool.