The holiday drew national consideration thanks to Seinfeld. In a 1997 episode titled “The Strike”, which aired during the ninth season, George Costanza’s father, Frank (Jerry Stiller), decided he was performing a solitary war on Christmas. Instead of celebrating a tacky commercialized holiday, Frank was going to start his own occasion—Festivus. “Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son,” explained Frank in the show. “I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.” With that, Festivus was born.
The holiday is celebrated on December 23rd, because Frank wanted “to get a leg up on Christmas.” To mark the occasion, an aluminum pole is set up in the living room or backyard—the Festivus pole, which “requires no decoration,” according to Frank. After a Festivus meal, celebrants must air their grievances with each other and engage in feats of strength, like wrestling.