December 23 is the official date for Seinfeld's 'Festivus'

(KGTV) - "I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're gonna hear about it!" 

Those famous words were spoken by Frank Costanza in the television show Seinfeld's famous holiday episode back in 1997. "Festivus" was created as an alternative to the commercialization of Christmas and, according to the show's canon, is celebrated on December 23.

Festivus instead chooses to celebrate without bells and whistles, adopting an aluminum pole and focusing on events such as the "airing of grievances," and, "feats of strength."

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Maybe those events don't quite encapsulate what is traditionally considered the message of the season, but the idea is sparked by actual traditions.

According to festivusweb.com, the Seinfeld premise was based on the traditions of a show writer, Dan O'Keefe. O'Keefe's father reportedly invented the holiday in 1966. Over the year's he shared those traditions with his son, who went on to become a TV scriptwriter.

The show follows Costanza and his son, George, as they celebrate Festivus.

"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 upon him, I realized there had to be another way," Costanza recalls. "But out of that a new holiday was born... a Festivus for the rest of us!"

According to the website, there are four main facets of Festivus:

  • The Festivus Pole: An unadorned aluminum pole with "very high strength-to-weight ratio."
  • Airing of Grievances: Before the beginning of Festivus dinner, each participant tells friends and family all the times they have disappointed him or her the past year.
  • Festivus dinner: A celebratory dinner on the evening of Festivus prior to the Feats of Strength. In the Seinfeld episode, the meal appeared to be meatloaf on a bed of lettuce.
  • Feats of Strength: The head of the household tests his or her strength against a participant of their choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned.

Celebrate Festivus with a primer on the holiday.

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