Portal:Holidays

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Introduction

A holiday is a day set aside by custom or by law on which normal activities, especially business or work including school, are suspended or reduced. Generally, holidays are intended to allow individuals to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The degree to which normal activities are reduced by a holiday may depend on local laws, customs, the type of job held or personal choices.

The concept of holidays often originated in connection with religious observances. The intention of a holiday was typically to allow individuals to tend to religious duties associated with important dates on the calendar. In most modern societies, however, holidays serve as much of a recreational function as any other weekend days or activities. (Full article...)

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Mother's Day cake.jpg

Mother's Day is a holiday honouring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places around the world. Mothers often receive gifts on this day. Mother's Day is a strange time of year for mail in many countries. In 1973, mail delivery through the U.S. Postal Service was delayed for eight days because of the amount of mail. Telephone networks are also at their busiest on Mother's Day. Mother's Day is the number one holiday for flowers purchased throughout the year.

Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origins. One school of thought claims this day emerged from a custom of mother worship in ancient Greece. Mother worship — which kept a festival to Cybele, a great mother of gods, and Rhea, the wife of Cronus — was held around the Vernal Equinox around Asia Minor and eventually in Rome itself from the Ides of March (March 15) to March 18. The Romans also had another holiday, Matronalia, that was dedicated to Juno, though mothers were usually given gifts on this day.

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"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a popular Christmas story about Santa Claus' ninth and lead reindeer who possesses an unusually red colored nose that gives off its own light that is powerful enough to illuminate the team's path through inclement weather. The story is owned by St. Nicholas Music Inc. and has been sold in numerous forms including a popular song, a television special, and a feature film. Rudolph was created by Robert L. May in 1939 as part of his employment with Montgomery Ward.

Rudolph is an extension of Santa's reindeer which pull his sleigh and help him deliver Christmas gifts. The names of the original eight reindeer are taken from the 1823 poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, which led to the popularity of reindeer as Christmas symbols.

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SnowflakesWilsonBentley.jpg
Credit: NOAA
Snow flakes by Wilson Bentley.

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