Index of pages on various cultural and media topics
By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics

The Holiday Season Never Ends
We Celebrate All Year

In warm weather we have holidays and festivals that are mostly local, the non-local holidays and celebrations are concentrated in the colder parts of the year, but throughout the year we are celebrating one way or another.

Halloween thru Easter

Traditionally the phrase holiday season meant Christmas and New Year's and included parties and other events leading up to Christmas. Now Black Friday is emphasized as the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season, though it really starts before then. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, a major holiday and event in its own right. A few weeks before Thanksgiving is Halloween which has grown into a major event. Trick or treat seems to have declined but Halloween is a major night of partying, costumes, and decorations. So Halloween through New Year's Day lasts just a little longer than two months.

After Christmas, many people may be trying to recover their energy, diet, and repair their finances, but there are still events in the new year. Martin Luther King's birthday comes in January, but it is mostly a day off. The NFL playoffs, culminating with Superbowl Sunday, is perhaps a more serious celebration. February has Presidents day, Washington and Lincoln's birthdays, and more importantly Valentine's Day. Mardi Gras usually is in February, more occasionally March. The more we forget Lent, the more we seem to celebrate Mardi Gras. It is another excuse to decorate, dress up, and party. In addition to some Mardi Gras celebrations, March always has St. Patrick's Day and sometimes has Easter. The celebration is concentrated in late Fall and the first few days of Winter, but Winter and early Spring has quite a few events.

Warm Weather Local Festivals

After Easter, the big holiday's slow down a lot. The 4th of July is the major one between Easter and Halloween. Though we do get days off on Memorial Day, and Labor Day and some spending is done for Mother's and Father's Day.

But while the big national, and religious celebrations slow down in the warm weather, there are many local celebrations. Summer is the season of county and state fairs. In recent years there are also many other local celebrations. Here in the Sacramento area, there is the Dixieland Jazz festival. In Davis, we have Picnic Day, The Whole Earth Festival, Celebrate Davis, and a twice weekly farmers market, which is a festival in itself. Neighboring towns have their special events. I suspect that the warm weather brings a similar collection of festivals to your area.

Festivals and Events All Year Long

So we really do not stop celebrating, the holiday season does last all year. It seems concentrated in the colder months. I had thought that this was the human way of compensating for the cold weather and that maybe part of it. But now I realize that we are actually just shifting from one type of celebration to another. In the colder months, we celebrate mostly indoor events. These are often national, religious, or common to Western civilization. In the summer we have out door events. There is one big national holiday, the 4th of July celebrated with fireworks, an outdoor activity, but most of the excitement is in local celebrations, frequently featuring tents. The tents allow many different groups and businesses to set up their own displays as part of a community celebration. The cold weather events emphasize children, families, friends, and romance. There is generally a limited guest list. The warm weather events are generally open to the public, and therefore emphasize community, the local community.

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Last edited August 10, 2016

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