Definition of festival in English:



  • 1A day or period of celebration, typically a religious commemoration.

    ‘a tabulation of saints' days and other festivals’
    as modifier ‘a festival atmosphere’
    • ‘These shows take place at fairs, religious festivals, weddings, funerals, and sporting events.’
    • ‘When my sister taught at a junior school they celebrated all the religious festivals.’
    • ‘Could there be some innocent reason to do with tax or religious festivals that would result in contributions tending to bunch at that time?’
    • ‘There was a festival atmosphere in UK bookshops as children eagerly flocked to snap up the latest tale.’
    • ‘He charged that in Tripura Hindu religious festivals were not allowed to be celebrated by Christians.’
    • ‘It is in these places that festivals are celebrated with religious music and masked dances.’
    • ‘One example of this is the issue of prayers and celebration of non-Christian religious festivals in schools.’
    • ‘Besides the religious connotation of the festival, it is seen as a time for revelry.’
    • ‘At a season of religious festivals, the rich peoples of the world indulge in a benign competition to do good.’
    • ‘Even in the contemporary church, this is one of the least religious of the festivals.’
    • ‘This epic of Dravidian India is of the type that is told in homes rather than at religious festivals.’
    • ‘Because this time of year is not only a time of religious festivals.’
    • ‘In India celebration of fairs and festivals has become like a ritual.’
    • ‘We do celebrate more religious festivals than most schools, but the children enjoy it.’
    • ‘Passover is one of the most important religious festivals in the Jewish calendar.’
    • ‘Here in Doi Tung, these tribal villagers continue to celebrate their ancient festivals and religious rituals.’
    • ‘These are usually performed at religious fairs and festivals or at harvest time.’
    • ‘Falafel are made for religious festivals, especially among Christian communities during Lent when meat is forbidden.’
    • ‘Villagers may derive their greatest pleasure from fairs and religious festivals.’
    • ‘Among Indo-Fijians, feasting is associated with marriages and religious festivals.’
    fete, fair, gala day, gala, carnival, fiesta, jamboree, pageant
    holy day, feast day, saint's day, holiday
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An annual celebration or anniversary.
      ‘highlights of this year's pumpkin festival’
      • ‘A new annual Army festival is being planned to replace the Garrison Country Day.’
      • ‘There are just days to go before Southampton's annual festival at the Common.’
      • ‘Torrential rain and vandalism marred Settle's annual flag festival and Sheep Shambles.’
      • ‘Last month, I was in Wigtown in Galloway for its sixth annual literary festival.’
      • ‘Ignore the gripe fringe which gathers around this annual festival of achievement.’
      • ‘The High School also plans to hold an annual technology festival for children from local primary schools.’
      • ‘The town is staging its annual bugs festival and there is a real buzz of excitement in the community.’
      • ‘Jackie said the school would want to be a part of any city-wide anniversary festival.’
      • ‘Linda and Steve hope the event will become a popular annual fundraising motorcycle festival.’
      • ‘Exotic sights, sounds and flavours filled a parish hall in Cricklade as part of the annual town festival.’
      • ‘She grew up flying kites in Bermuda, which has a large annual kiting festival.’
      • ‘Kyoto celebrates its cultural birthright with many annual festivals.’
      • ‘In the Trobriand Islands the annual yam festival is more than just ordinary.’
      • ‘The Bank Holiday weekend saw Harewood House play host to their annual family festival of food and drink.’
      • ‘Colorful costumes of all kinds can be seen at the annual Junkanoo festivals in Nassau and other locations.’
      • ‘It was the sixth annual Devizes beer festival and the number of people attending has grown each year.’
      • ‘Mike and his committee are determined to make their tenth anniversary festival a memorable one.’
      • ‘This annual festival is in its 24th year and is connected to Cricklade College in Andover.’
      • ‘Grease, sweat and motor enthusiasts are no doubt panting at the thought of this annual motorbike festivals.’
      • ‘Cricklade will be buzzing with activity when its annual town festival kicks off next month.’
    2. 1.2 An organized series of concerts, plays, or movies, typically one held annually in the same place.
      ‘numbers that are still heard at traditional jazz festivals’
      • ‘Also, he is trying to send the movie to several film festivals.’
      • ‘The films were hand picked by organisers who travelled and networked with major international film festivals.’
      • ‘They used to take me up to Auckland for Philharmonia concerts and film festivals.’
      • ‘Hilton Tokyo has been busier than usual with a series of colorful and exciting international cultural festivals.’
      • ‘It's great for films, festivals, concerts, and of course the opportunity to study at the university.’
      • ‘This was the latest in a series of film festivals, displaying the work of African moviemakers.’
      • ‘The world situation has had deleterious effects on a couple of international film festivals this week.’
      • ‘It has now been seen at 15 international festivals, and had its British premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival.’
      • ‘It also organises major music festivals throughout the world such as the Fleadh and Leeds music festival.’
      • ‘Until one makes time to watch two film festivals which ran almost back to back mid- and late October into this first week of November.’
      • ‘Sponsorships are big, including film festivals, concert tours and music showcases.’
      • ‘Most of the films have been shown in film festivals across the globe and have been internationally acclaimed.’
      • ‘Some cineastes still curse Hoop Dreams for turning film festivals into video festivals.’
      • ‘What is required is a concerted effort to promote such films at foreign festivals.’
      • ‘She popularised women's films through various festivals around the world and learned more about them and their way of work.’
      • ‘His music for Indian art films won awards in international film festivals like Venice and Cannes in the 1950s.’
      • ‘He's played a number of major jazz festivals and recently recorded his first album.’
      • ‘Of course, the presence of two major international jazz festivals also contributes to the country's jazzy well-being.’
      • ‘Mr. Kiran and Ms. Satyan finished the project in nearly two months and sent the film to three short film festivals abroad.’
      • ‘Such was the impact that we decided to roll out a series of organic festivals across the country to promote eco-friendly living.’


Middle English (as an adjective): via Old French from medieval Latin festivalis, from Latin festivus, from festum, (plural) festa ‘feast’.