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Holiday

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The word holiday has related but different meanings in English-speaking countries. A contraction of holy and day, holidays originally represented special religious days. This word has evolved in general usage to mean any special day of rest (as opposed to regular days of rest such as the weekend). In the English-speaking world a holiday can mean a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation (e.g. "I'm going on holiday to Malta next week"); the North American equivalent is "vacation". Canadians often use the terms vacation and holiday interchangeably when referring to a trip away from home or time off work. In Australia, the term can refer to a vacation or gazetted public holiday, but not to a day of commemoration such as Mothers' Day or Halloween.

In all of the English-speaking world, a holiday can be a day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) typically for celebration but sometimes for some other kind of special culture-wide (or national) observance or activity. A holiday can also be a special day on which school and/or offices are closed, such as Labor Day.

When translated into other languages, the meanings of the word "holiday" are sometimes conflated with those of "observance" and "celebration".

Entry #473

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