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What do you mean by "Holiday Season"?
Thread poster: Andrea Riffo

Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:49
English to Spanish
Dec 7, 2006

I've been reading about "holiday season" for the past week but still don't know exactly what's the time period that it encompasses.

In Chile at least, only the 25th of Dec. and the 1st of Jan. are holidays, and most people here work the days in between and the days after, although in some cases Jan. 1st marks the beginning of summer holidays.

So, so far I've gotten 2 e-mails from agencies (both of them US based) asking me about my availability during "holiday season", and somehow I doubt that they mean Dec. 25th only.

I'd appreciate it if someone could enlighten me

Andrea

[Edited at 2006-12-07 20:35]

[Edited at 2006-12-07 20:35]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 11:49
English to French
+ ...
Two definitions Dec 7, 2006

In a strict sense, to me, the holiday season is the period between December 24 and January 1st. Not many people work between the two, and when they do, they have special schedules (shorter days, only a few days not the whole week, etc.)

The non strict sense of it would be pretty much from the beginning of december. To me, the holiday seasons starts when shopping centers are open for longer hours because everybody is buying gift, when we start shopping for Christmas trees and decorate the tree, when we start planning our parties. Of course, if this is what is meant by holiday season, most of us will work as usual during most of the holiday season.


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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:49
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
My guess Dec 7, 2006

Hi Andrea,

I'm not absolutely sure when the holiday season starts and then ends. But for me, it just means the days immediately before Christmas until the New Year day. Let's say, for 2006, from 22-23 December until January, 1st. In Spanish, I think you can say periodo de Navidad.

Hope this helps!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Cristina


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 09:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, etc Dec 7, 2006

Here in the United States, the holiday season is that period starting with Thanksgiving and going until we drop. Everyone (almost) celebrates the New Year, but some of my friends celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and one friend, a pagan, the Winter Solstice. Official holidays (post office and government and schools are closed) are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, but the season encompasses much more.

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Terry Gilman  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:49
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
and don't forget the feast of the 3 kings, jan 6? Dec 7, 2006

I don't know exactly when Heilige Drei Könige is, but my anniversary happens to fall on Dec 23, and from then until the end of the first week of January ("3 Kings" in Bavaria), all work is somewhat dubious here; yes, some things can be done, but many people are away or or at least distracted. That's the holiday season (and it's great that not every single day is devoted to market pursuits).

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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
23rd December to 3rd January Dec 7, 2006

At least, those are the dates in Scotland. You finish up working on 23rd December (Friday 22nd this year) and start again at the earliest on 3rd January, since 1st and 2nd January are both holidays in Scotland. However, people often also need the 3rd, to recover from all the partying over New Year. I personally will be finishing on 22nd December this year and flying back to Germany on 3rd in order to start work on 4th again.

Astrid


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Jessica Klingberg  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:49
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
But in reply to that agency... Dec 8, 2006

...you should probably mention any days that you will be unavailable for work between now and early January. They probably don't have a strict schedule for "holiday season" themselves, I think they just want to know your availability this month and into the new year.

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:49
Member (2008)
Russian to English
+ ...
December/January Dec 8, 2006

Many translators (and other people) go on holiday around Christmastime. The agencies probably want to know who isn't (or at least who's going to be around part of that time). I'd recommend indicating your availability between now and about January 20 (assuming you've planned that far ahead).

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xxx@caduceus
United States
Local time: 09:49
English to German
+ ...
In the US generally between Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November) and New Year's Day (January 1st) Dec 8, 2006

You mentioned that you received these e-mails from agencies based in the US, where the holiday season is generally considered to start after Thanksgiving (4th Thursday in November) and last through New Year's Day (January 1st).

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holiday_season

In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter holiday season, also widely known as the Christmas season, is the religion-neutral designation of a period of holidays during late autumn and early winter. It has been found to have a disproportionate effect on health, compared to the rest of the year. Its reference by schools and governments has been the subject of controversy. It incorporates a Christmas or holiday shopping season.

The exact definition of the period varies from culture to culture. According to Yanovski et al, in the United States the winter holiday season "is generally considered to begin with Thanksgiving and end after New Year's Day". According to Axelrad, the winter holiday season in the United States encompasses at least Christmas and New Year's Day, and also includes Saint Nicholas Day. The U.S. Fire Administration defines the winter holiday season as the period from December 1 to January 7.

[Edited at 2006-12-08 04:44]


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Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 18:49
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Not to forget Russian orthodox christmas Dec 8, 2006

...which comes a fortnight after Western Christmas. So this holiday season is rather widespread. Here in Finland the whole of December is quiet, because people celbrate Little Christmas all the time, meaning hang-over at work. Then we already had 6. December, nobody working, soon there will be Lucia's day and Christmas starts at December 23. and ends after January 6. Very little work is done during our holiday season.
Cheers
Heinrich


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mariz
Local time: 00:49
holiday season Dec 8, 2006

In my own point of view, holiday season means Christmas season. This is the time when people are busy giving and receiving gifts. This is a season for sharing our blessings with others regardless of their status in the society. This season depends on one's religion. For me, as a Catholic, I celebrate the holiday season from December 25-31.

[Edited at 2006-12-08 08:07]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:49
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
In South Africa... Dec 8, 2006

Andrea Riffo wrote:
I've been reading about "holiday season" for the past week but still don't know exactly what's the time period that it encompasses.


In South Africa, the school and university terms run from January to December. Therefore, the holiday season is from roughly mid-December to mid-January. We also have a winterbreak from roughly mid-June to mid-July, and then we have an Easter break which is in April (usually about one week), and some schools also have a Spring break (usually one week in September).

But I think "holiday season" is a euphemism for "Christmas and New Year" without offending those who aren't christians (both nominal and real) and those whose new year don't start on the 1st of January. So if someone from overseas asks me about the holiday season, I'd figure they mean roughly 20 Dec - 5 Jan.


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xxxLia Fail  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 17:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
like Spain! Dec 8, 2006

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

...which comes a fortnight after Western Christmas. So this holiday season is rather widespread. Here in Finland the whole of December is quiet, because people celbrate Little Christmas all the time, meaning hang-over at work. Then we already had 6. December, nobody working, soon there will be Lucia's day and Christmas starts at December 23. and ends after January 6. Very little work is done during our holiday season.
Cheers
Heinrich


The holiday season also seems endless in Spain, becuase it begins the 24th, there's a huge new year celebration on 1st, then there's the 6th. To make matters worse (or better), there is what sometimes turns out to be a "macro-puente" in early December, the 6th and 8th, which is a macro bridge this year becuase these holidays fall on workdays.

So this year, the holiday season effectively stops and starts between about the 1st of December this year and the 6th January. It's fine to have holidays, but this kind of pattern complicates one's working life considerably. EG, on the 5th I was told I had to get a bill in by snail mail before the 11th (to be entered in this year's accounts), but the 6th and 8th were holidays and the 9th and 10th were the weekend...:-) And on a personal level, the library is closed for long periods, the town council too, most offices are understaffed, traffic patterns are crazy, etc etc:-)

So normality will only return by 8th of January this year:-)


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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
Holidays Dec 8, 2006

Heinrich Pesch wrote:
Here in Finland the whole of December is quiet, because people celbrate Little Christmas all the time, meaning hang-over at work.

Hmm, it always amuses me that Finns somehow consider this to be a uniquely Finnish thing... Not so, elsewhere it's just called "office Christmas party", or workplace Christmas party, not "little Christmas" (pikkujoulu)...
(Of course those are only for employees, not self-employed people like us...)

I find it also quite funny that at least here in the UK, all of December is marketed as a one huge party... You have to get to "party shape", buy this and that - fancy dresses, make-up, instant slimming products, whatever... Crazy. Of course it's mainly a marketing gimmick, but I still don't get it - Christmas itself is a family holiday, not a mega-party event, so that would probably leave just your workplace Christmas party (for employees) & New Year (if you're the party inclined type)...!

[Edited at 2006-12-08 14:47]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 13:49
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
Apologies Dec 22, 2006

Please let me offer my sincerest apologies for not answering the posts in this thread, I was swamped in both translation and Christmas shopping -crazy, crazy weeks.

It has been interesting to learn about the cultural differences and similarities (so many people from such different places... I love this site).

Astrid: Here in Chile only Dec. 25th and Jan 1st are holidays (lucky Scottish!), though it's not unusual to see people working at a really slow pace on Jan 2nd and 3rd as well. Hangover, anyone? (I was told that Katter is the word in German, is this so?).

Samuel, I am so used to my local school system that I would have never imagined that in other countries the school and uni terms could run the whole year, with month-long vacations in between. Here, the academic year begins on early March and ends on early December, so students -and schoolteachers- have almost three months of summer holidays.

Renate, I had completely forgotten about Thanksgiving... perhaps that partially explaind the slight slowing down I had been noticing.

Terry, they celebrate the 3 kings in Germany as well? They don't do it in Chile, but I learn about that holiday in the Argentinian comic strip Mafalda when I was about 10.

Heinrich and Lia, if I had been drinking coffee when I read about "Little Christmas", you would probably owe me a new screen. Pardon my ignorance, but what's Dec. 6th in Finland? Lia, what's a "macro puente"? and Dec. 6th in Spain?

Melina, I couldn't agree more, Christmas should be about family and not buying the newest toy nor losing sleep over the latest fashion. Still, in Chile the "marketing gimmick" for slimming products, skin treatments and so on begins around Oct., since Summer starts on December

Mariz, Paul and Jessica, thanks for your suggestions.

To all, I included all of January as well in my reply, since so many people go on vacation or are unavailable. Also, my guess is that lots of freelancers are now at the beginning of summer so they probably will be unavailable during January (and Feb).

As for me, I prefer resting on April, when it's low season (thus, cheaper), the temperature is pleasant (about 23ºC, as opposed to the current 30ºC) and there are far less people roaming about.

Cheers all and Happy Holidays!


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