How Festivus Works

By: Matt Hunt  | 

Festivus Today

"It's a Festivus miracle!" -Cosmo Kramer

­Festivus was originally created by Seinfeld writer Dan O'Keefe's father when O'Keefe was 8 years old. It included Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances. (The pole was added by show writers.)


Since it first appeared in episode 166 ("The Strike") in December 1997, Festivus h­as continued to gain popularity among "Seinfeld" fans. As the series continues to find more fans in syndication, new legions of disenfranchised gift givers will make the pilgrimage to their local Home Depot to obtain the sacred aluminum poles. So, if you find that a donation has been made in your name to the "Human Fund" (a fake fund set up by George Costanza) this holiday season, remember it's just someone's way of saying, "Happy Festivus!"

Festivus FAQ

How do you celebrate Festivus?
The non-commercial holiday celebration includes three elements. A Festivus pole is displa­yed in a prominent location in a person's dwelling. The airing of grievances occurs at an annual dinner during that every guest informs everyone in attendance how they disappointed them in the past year and to report any ongoing problems or irritation. Feats of strength are the final marker, during which the host of the Festivus dinner challenges one guest to a test of physical strength in which one must pin their opponent to the ground to win.
Who invented Festivus?
Dan O'Keefe, a Seinfeld writer, invented this Christmas-substitute holiday.
Did Seinfeld invent Festivus?
Yes, Festivus occurred to Seinfeld writer Dan O'Keefe from a tradition started by his father Daniel O'Keefe. The celebration was prominent in the 1997 episode "The Strike", during which viewers learned all about Festivus from Seinfeld's Frank Costanza, who refused to conform to the increased commercialism and consumerism that saturated the December holiday season.
What is the Festivus greeting?
The traditional Festivus greeting is "Happy Festivus".
When is Festivus?
Festivus occurs on December 23, but due to the nonconformist spirit of the holiday, it can be celebrated whenever one wants.

Originally Published: Dec 8, 2004