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Chinese New Year, Copenhagen 2006.
In the American English-speaking world, a holiday is a day set aside by a nation or culture, typically for celebration, but sometimes for other kinds of special culture-wide observances or activities. A holiday can also be a special day on which schools and/or offices are closed, such as Labor Day. In the British English-speaking world, a holiday is a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation; the North American equivalent is "vacation". However, some Canadians will use both the terms vacation and holiday interchangeably when referring to a trip away from home or time off of work.

The word holiday has related but different meanings in English-speaking countries. Based on the words holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. The word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest, such as the weekend). When translated from/to other languages, the meanings of the word "holiday" may be conflated with those of "observance" and "celebration". Most holidays can be placed into one of several groupings, depending upon origin, calendar placements, and national observance. Almost all involve traditions of music, dance, art, and/or food, facilitating social engagement and relaxation.

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Red lanterns, Spring Festival, Ditan Park Beijing.JPG

Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival/Lunar New Year, is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. The Chinese New Year period lasts for 15 days, beginning on the first day of the first lunar month of the Chinese calendar. The holiday period ends on the 15th day of the festival. Chinese New Year is also the time when the largest human migration takes place when overseas Chinese all around the world return home on the eve of Chinese New Year to have reunion dinners with their families.

According to legend, in ancient China, nian ("Nyan"), a man-eating beast from the mountains, could infiltrate houses silently to prey on humans. The people later learned that nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. So guo nian actually means surviving the nian. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Celebrated internationally in areas with large populations of ethnic Chinese. Chinese New Year is considered to be a major holiday for the Chinese as well as ethnic groups who were strongly influenced by Chinese culture. This includes Japanese, Koreans, Miao (Chinese Hmong), Mongolians, Vietnamese, Tibetans, the Nepalese and the Bhutanese (see Losar).

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Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character in Charles Dickens' 1843 novel, A Christmas Carol. He is a very cold-hearted, selfish man, who has no love for Christmas, children, or anything that even provokes happiness. The story of his transformation by the three Ghosts of Christmas (Past, Present, and Yet to Come) has become a defining tale of the Christmas holiday in some cultures. Scrooge's phrase, "Bah, humbug!" has been used to express disgust with Christmas traditions in modern times. The inspiration for Charles Dickens' character was a grave marker for an Ebenezer Lennox Scroggie.

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{{Wikipedia:WikiProject Holidays/to do}} The Adventures Of MrMcDog

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Holidays - Anniversaries - Civic holidays - Federal holidays - Hallmark holidays - Heroes' Day - National holidays - Observances - Holidays by Country - Victory Days

Lists: Christmas carols - Christmas dishes - Hindu festivals - Holidays by country - Objects dropped on New Year's Eve - Winter festivals

Religious festivals: Buddhist festivals - Christian festivals - Islamic festivals - Neopagan holidays - Hindu festivals - Jain festivals - Jewish holidays - Roman festivals

Secular holidays: April Fools' - Armed Forces Day - Boss's Day - Children's Day - Cinco de Mayo - Commonwealth Day - Earth Day - Father's Day - Grandparents' Day - Halloween - HumanLight - Labor Day - May Day - Mother's Day - Naadam - Pi Day - Presidents' Day - Spring break - Teachers' Day - Thanksgiving - Yom Yerushalayim

Winter holidays: Chinese New Year - Christmas - Dōngzhì - Eid ul-Adha - Festivus - Groundhog Day - Hanukkah - Kwanzaa - New Year's Eve - Shab-e Chelle - Sol Invictus - Twelfth Night - Valentine's - Winter Solstice - Yule

Personalities: Easter Bunny - Christmas elves - Father Time - The Great Pumpkin - Guy Fawkes - Headless Horseman - Jack Frost - Leprechaun - Santa Claus - Ebenezer Scrooge

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Holidays on Wikinews     Holidays on Wikiquote     Holidays on Wikibooks     Holidays on Wikisource     Holidays on Wiktionary     Holidays on Wikimedia Commons
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