When Cosmo Kramer asked his boss at the bagel shop for December 23 off, he sparked a cultural phenomenon. Well, not really. But he did bring Festivus into the mainstream conscience, so that’s something!
Festivus was made famous in an episode of Seinfeld (created by and starring East Ender Jerry Seinfeld). In the episode “The Strike,” written by Dan O’Keefe, Kramer asks his boss at the bagel shop for the day off on December 23, in observance of the holiday. Today, Festivus is something of a pop culture celebration—you can even buy your own Festivus Pole.
The main Festivus event is the Airing of Grievances, which takes place during dinner. During this activity, everyone goes around the table and give reasons why the loved ones present disappointed them during the year. While George Costanza’s dad is the only one who is allowed to do this on Seinfeld, the O’Keefe family extends the invitation to everyone. After the Airing of Grievances are the Feats of Strength. During the Feats of Strength portion of the evening, the head of the household is wrestled and pinned to the ground by a guest of their choosing (in Seinfeld’s case, Kramer was the “lucky” wrestler).
The traditional Festivus meal (also eaten by the Costanzas) is a meatloaf placed atop a bed of plain lettuce. Alternatively, you can try the O’Keefe dinner, which is turkey, ham, beef stew or lamb chops with pecan pie for dessert.
See Festivus explained on Seinfeld above.
For more info about Festivus, check out festivusweb.com.