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A holiday is a day set aside by custom or law on which normal activities are suspended or reduced, including business or work, including school. In general, public holidays are intended for people to celebrate or commemorate an event or tradition of cultural or religious significance. Holidays may be designated by governments, religious institutions, or other groups or organizations. The extent to which normal activities are reduced by a vacation may depend on local laws, customs, the type of work performed, or personal choices.

The concept of festivity often appears in connection with religious observances. The intention of the holidays was usually to allow people to perform religious duties associated with important calendar dates. In most modern societies, however, vacations serve as much of a recreational function as any other daytime or weekend activity.