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Seinfeld’s Festivus Keeps on Giving

Episode still celebrated 12 years later

To hear it from Frank Costanza, the "Seinfeld" character played by Jerry Stiller, the December 23 observance calls for little more than the erection of an aluminum pole, the airing of grievances and the demonstration of feats of strength — which preferably culminate in wrestling down to the ground and pinning the head of the household.

"People want something that’s nothing," said Allen Salkin, author of "Festivus: The Holiday for the Rest of Us," a book that chronicles the birth and flourishing of this oddly sacred day. "All the traditional holidays exclude somebody," but with this one, "everyone’s in on the joke."

The Festivus faithful have gathered across the globe and have come together in places as various as seedy bars, campus squares and corporate boardrooms. Citizens, with varied degrees of success, have petitioned to raise Festivus poles beside public nativity scenes. Social networking sites and holiday-specific venues — like festivusbook.com and festivusweb.com — are go-to places for those who want to share the cheer, or jeers.

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