Festivus: What is it and how does Portland celebrate it?

What do you know about the real Festivus festival? We have the scoop and how to do Festivus Portland-Style.

  1. What is Festivus

    Festivus is a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 as an alternative to the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas season.

  2. Is Festivus celebrated in Portland?

    Do Portlanders celebrate Festivus? You bet we do! The annual “Festivus” celebration at Hey Love (Portland’s very own bar / restaurant / lounge / indoor jungle / neighborhood escape inside the Jupiter NEXT Hotel), pays homage to the classic 90s sitcom, Seinfeld. You will take part in the airing of grievances, feats of strength and the famed Festivus Pole. Live music? Yes!

    Chef Roscoe Roberson will be cooking up “I was in the pool! There was shrinkage!” (Nathan’s famous all-beef Kosher wiener wrapped in an egg roll and fried golden with sauerkraut and hot mustard accompaniments),  and aa “Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That” (pastrami fried rice with peas and carrots served with soy-glazed baby bok choy and a bright sunny egg). Each dish will be paired with Emily Mistell’s perfectly crafted, seasonal cocktails, including “Feats of Strength” (London dry gin takes on Clear Creek Pear Brandy) and a spiced Fino Sherry and fresh lemon juice, plus “The Human Fund” (a peppermint patty shot for the 21st Century drinker).

    Cost: Free
    Time: 4 pm until!
    Age: All ages until 9 pm, then you have to be 21.
    Other: Proof of vaccination is required to dine and imbibe indoors.
    Address: 920 E Burnside St.

  3. How did Festivus originate?

    Originally created by author Daniel O’Keefe, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 Seinfeld sit-com episode.

  4. How is Festivus celebrated?

    Festivus Pole

    In the episode, the tradition of Festivus begins with an aluminum pole. The pole is displayed unadorned so as not to find it “tinsel distracting.”

    Festivus Dinner

    A celebratory dinner is shown on the evening of Festivus prior to the Feats of Strength and during the Airing of Grievances. Food is non-descript meatloaf. No alcohol is served at the dinner, unless from a hip flask.

    Airing of Grievances

    This takes place immediately after the Festivus dinner has been served. It begins with the phrase, “I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re going to hear about it!” It consists of each person lashing out at others and the world about how they have been disappointed in the past year.

    Feats of Strength

    The Feats of Strength are the final tradition observed in the celebration of Festivus, celebrated immediately following or during the Festivus dinner. The head of the household selects one person at the Festivus celebration and challenges them to a wrestling match. Tradition states Festivus is not over until the head of the household is pinned. Someone can circumvent the rule by creating an excuse to leave. Failing to pin the head of the household results in Festivus continuing until such a requirement is met.

    Festivus Miracles

    A “Festivus Miracle” is declared if, by happenstance, some coincidental bad luck happens to someone.

Festivus info from Wikipedia.