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Feasts or festivals showcase a community’s unique aspects and beliefs. Historically, religions hold a set of celebrations to give honor to their god or gods.

The term ‘feast’ in secular parlance means a large or elaborate meal. In connection to festival, it mostly refers to a religious festival other that a film or art festival.

Festivals: Origins

The term festival has been derived from the Middle English ‘fest’ and ‘festivus’ from Middle French. It has also been rooted to the word ‘festivus’ in Latin. In 1589, it was used as a noun other than the fourteenth century adjective that means to celebrate a church holiday. The term feast has origins quite similar to festival. It has been derived from the Middle English ‘feste’ and ‘festa’ from Latin.

Festivals: Purpose

The purpose of festival in many types is to meet communities’ specific social needs and duties. Apart from the entertainment that they bring, these community affairs provide a sense of belonging to members of religions, social or geographical groups. Historically, a feast provided a means of developing unity among families and opportunities to find a partner or mate. Festivals were times where the community elders would share stories and pass knowledge to the younger crowd. Modern cultural and ethnic festivals now focus on dissemination of information about traditions among members.

Kinds of Festivals

Festivals have many religious origins. Others have some seasonal relevance or cultural significance. Around the world, communities including some institutions, celebrate several festivals or fests. It is mostly celebrated annually to mark some significant occasion in their history.

Seasonal Festivals

These kinds of festivals are determined by the cycle of the seasons and by the solar and lunar calendars which inadvertently affects the food supply. Seasonal festivals are like the ancient Egyptians’ inundation which was caused by the Nile River and the irrigation it provided to make the land fertile for crops. Almabtrieb is a seasonal festival in the Alps which celebrates the return of the cattle from mountain pastures to the stables in autumn. Festivals determined by the lunar calendar are Winter Festival and the Chinese New Year which is celebrated from the day of the new moon after the winter solstice.

Institutions celebrating ‘fests’

Special events are commemorated by educational institutes like colleges and Senior Secondary, Secondary or High Schools every yr to signify a certain special event in their history. These festivals are mostly called ‘Fests’. Examples are Mecca of Hindu College, Delhi; Rendezvous of IIT Delhi and many more.

Ancient Egyptian Festivals

Ancient Egyptians celebrated festivals based on their religious beliefs. One festival established by Ramesses III, however, was to celebrate his victory over the Libyans . Feasts are determined by lunar cycles or Egyptian calendar.

Modern Types of Festivals

Modern times have expanded the types of festivals that communities celebrate. Here are some common festivals that are predominant today:

Arts Festival

Beer Festival

Comedy Festival

Film Festival

Food Festival

Halloween Festival

Literary Festival

Mela Festival

Join in a celebration near you and share in the foods, fun and traditions.