*** holiday and celebration attire

Seasonal Holidays and Celebrations

Christmas smock
Figure 1.--This boy outfitted in the 1890s shows his Christmas presents. Note his doll, a boy dall dressed in a Little Lord Fauntleroy suit. I'm not sure if the boy is wearing a smock or dress.

Many holidays are especially associated with children and some are associated with dressing up. Children look forward to annual holiday celebrations. Of course Christmas is number one on their list. The modern observation of many mondern holidays were often developed during the Victorian era. Children dress up in their best clothes for holidays like Easter or Christmas or wear costumes for some holidays like Haloween. There are some majorr differences between the celebrations and the clothes worn for certain holidays in different countries. Some holidays are specific national celebrations. Others are celebrated across national boundaries, but often with destinct national twists.


Many holidays are especially associated with children and some are associated with dressing up. Children look forward to annual holiday celebrations. Of course Christmas is number one on their list. Often children are dressed up in their best party clothes for Christmas. The girls seem to enjoy this, but the boys are less excited about it. Of corse, most children are willing to put up with a great deal given the loot they collect on December 25 or what ever date is associated with Christmas gift giving. The holiday most associated with dressing up is Easter. Many other celebrations such as Halloween. This was at one time primarily an American celebration, but in our modern world, celebraions often cross national borders. Christmas is celebrated in Japan eventhough there are few Chistians. Haloween trick or treating now occurs in many European countries. Some of these holidays have costumes associated with them. Younger boys in particular enjoy costumes. Others holidays require no special attire.

National Diversity

Many holidays are country or region specific. On virtually any given day, there is a national celebration somewhere in Europe or North America, let alone the world overall. Very few days are celebrated throughout all of Europe. The only two widely observed holidays are Christmas and New Years. Not only is their a wide disparity of days, but many of the national hoidays are mutually exclusive. The French, British, and Americans celebrate the end of World War I on November 11, called Veteran's Day in America. There is also Memorial Day honoring the sacrific of American servicemen which is celebrated on the last Monday in May. The end of World War II is also observed in France. The Germans observe neither, even though a case can be mase that, at least West Germany, was also liberated from the NAZI tyranny as much as the occupied countries were liberated. (Germans watching World War II movies must have mixed emotions in terms of idenytifying friends and enemies.) Most countries have more national holidays than Americans. The Austrians for example celebrate 17 holidays. Some countries have more. These events include patriotic and religious holidays as well as a wide variety of special hoidays.

Important Holidays

Quite a large number of holidays are celebrated by people all over the world, or at leasr by large numbers of countries. HBC for the time being is listing the holidays chronolgically. This is slightly complicated by the fact that many countries celebrate certain holidays on different days--prinmarily because of religious differences. We hope to eventually add many national holidays, but will them by country in the national diversity section above. Do let us know if you have any information on holidays in your country.

Local Celebrationd

We have focused primarikly on nationsl celevrations. That is complicsted enough when you are dealing with over two hundred countries. Local celebrtions of course are much more complicated. And here we are tkjing about state/provincial, municipal, village, and community as well as institutiional events. Here the celebrations are virtually beyond counting.


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Created: December 27, 1998
Last updated: 12:04 AM 10/22/2008