Holidays

Everyone loves a good holiday, no matter whether you're commemorating a special occasion or just looking for a day out of the office. Read about important holidays in these articles.

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The earliest biblical descriptions don't mention the presence of animals at the manger when Jesus was born. So how did those Nativity scenes evolve into what we know today?

By Vanessa Corcoran

This centuries-old Pagan holiday isn't necessarily scary. But those who celebrate are honoring the dead, believing their spirits have easy access to the world of the living during Samhain.

By Mark Mancini

More states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. What's prompted the switch and how you do celebrate it?

By Dave Roos

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The July 14 holiday celebrated by the French is way more complicated than the term "Bastille Day" might suggest.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

The typical manger scene features Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and an assortment of animals. But in Catalonia, Spain, there is one more character: a figure with his pants down taking a poop. But why?

By Nathan Chandler

White elephant. Mean Santa. Yankee swap. These are the holiday parties we live for. But if it feels like yours is getting a bit tired, we've got 10 rules to liven it up this year.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

These Advent calendars give new meaning to the phrase "countdown to Christmas." Plus, where did the Advent calendar come from? And what are some of the more unusual takes on it?

By Alia Hoyt

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Although there will be no crowds of onlookers this year, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade still marches on. Find out more about the beloved holiday tradition.

By Kathleen Seiler Neary

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City may be an iconic symbol of the holidays, but how well do you know this tree-dition?

By Laurie L. Dove

Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. It's a celebration of life — both here and beyond — when the souls of the departed come home for feasting and fun. Here's how it started.

By Dave Roos

When your broomstick just won't do, and you're forced to fly the "friendly skies," at least you can feel safe knowing you can still show up dressed to kill.

By Stephanie Vermillion

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This fall festival is about food, faith, lights and gifts. But please don't call it an Indian Hanukkah.

By Dave Roos

As more states are swapping Columbus Day celebrations for Indigenous Peoples' Day observances, does Columbus Day still have any relevancy?

By Dave Roos

Which three presidents died on July 4? What's the Horribles Parade? And, should America be celebrating on July 2 instead?

By Dave Roos

Today Americans mostly celebrate it as the start of summer. But the annual May holiday has a significant history that's worthy of acknowledgment.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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The Cinco de Mayo holiday is far more popular in the U.S. than in Mexico. Why is that and what does it celebrate?

By Julia Layton & Kathryn Whitbourne

The Easter holiday is on a different date each year. But how is the date determined? Answer: Look to the moon.

By Kathryn Whitbourne

Nope, it's not the police code for marijuana possession. It has a much cooler origin story.

By Nathan Chandler

Why is April 1 a day to celebrate foolishness and play pranks on each other? How did this tradition begin? Moreover, are you going to prank someone today?

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Mardi Gras turns New Orleans into a hotbed of fun and reveling. This might make the festival's religious ties rather hard to imagine. So did how Mardi Gras get started?

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The annual festival of lights signifies the end of Chinese New Year and the beginning of spring.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

This mass migration totally dwarfs Thanksgiving travel in the United States.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

This beloved holiday celebrates the poet Robert Burns and is full of whisky, readings and fat juicy haggis.

By Dave Roos

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On Christmas Eve, Icelandic families traditionally settle down to a cozy night of exchanging gifts of books and reading. It's all part of jólabókaflóð or the Christmas Book Flood.

By Dave Roos

We tallied up how much dough it costs the big guy to give every kid in the world toys. And it's way more than we expected.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky