Vacational Offers

A holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted. Examples of types of holidays include:
  • Official or unofficial observances of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations or festivities
  • A general leave of absence or vacation from a regular occupation for rest or recreation
A holiday can also refer to a specific trip or journey for the purposes of recreation or tourism
People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacation or holidays are often used spent with friends or family.
A person may take a longer break from work, such as a sabbatical, gap year, or career break.


The word "holiday" comes from the Old English word hāligdæg. The word originally referred only to special religious days. In modern use, it means any special day of rest or relaxation, as opposed to normal days off work or school. The word derived from the notion of "Holy Day", and gradually evolved to its current form.


In the United Kingdom, vacation once specifically referred to the long summer break taken by the law courts and, later, universities—a custom introduced by William the Conqueror from Normandy where it facilitated the grape harvest. In the past, many upper-class families moved to a summer home for part of the year, leaving their usual family home vacant.

Regional meanings

As a trip

Vacation, in English-speaking North America, describes recreational travel, such as a short pleasure trip, or a journey abroad. People in Commonwealth countries also use the phrase, going on leave or going on holiday.
Canadians often use vacation and holiday interchangeably referring to a trip away from home or time off work. In Australia, the term can refer to a vacation or a public holiday.

As an observance

In most of the English-speaking world, including North America, holiday may refer to a day set aside by a nation or culture (in some cases, multiple nations and cultures) for commemoration, celebration, or other observance.
Schools, business, and workplaces often close for holidays.