1 As generally understood, holidays are characterized by the fact that they interrupt everyday (work) life and open up a space for self-determined activity or leisure beyond vocational and other duties. As a rule, they are implemented to mark special occasions or are celebrated in a regular sequence. It is common to distinguish holidays terminologically from the weekly recurring days of rest, although this is questionable with regard to the ¶ Jewish Sabbath and the Christian Sunday and their clear (salvation) historical references. It is important to understand whether one sees holidays primarily as a means to restore the capacity for work or conceives the rhythm of work and leisure, everyday life and celebration as an anthropological given ultimately based in God's creative activity (cf. Gen 2:2f.): Human beings are not only like
homo faber, “man the maker,” but are also fulfilled in leisure, celebration (Feasts and festivals) and play. The eschatological aspect is also involved: in the Christian understanding, feasts and festivals also anticipate the kingdom of God and participate in God's leisure.
2 Sunday was not originally a day of rest and a holiday in the sense described above; it became so only as a result of Constantinian legislation (Holiday observance). But it can certainly be regarded as the original Christian festival. Related is the Christian Passover, originally the only annual festival (Easter), around which very soon additional days and seasons were arranged. It was sometimes c…