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Holiday Personification

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"365 days to year, but certain special days, that someone's gonna cheer. Some by minority, some by a mob. A good thing either way, otherwise us holidays would be out of a job."
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A Sub-Trope of Anthropomorphic Personification, holiday personification is when a being embodies or represents a certain holiday. Holiday embodiments frequently include but are not limited to the following characters, setting up a certain kind of pattern:

  • Baby New Year (New Year's Eve and/or New Year's Day)
  • An East Asian dragon (Lunar New Year)
  • General Beauregard Lee, Punxsutawney Phil, or a generic/random groundhog (Groundhog Day) note 
  • Cupid (Valentine's Day)
  • A Leprechaun (Saint Patrick's Day)
  • The Easter Bunny (Easter)
  • Uncle Sam (Fourth of July)
  • A Pumpkin Person, Stingy Jack, or Spirit of Halloween (Halloween)
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  • Thanksgiving Turkey or a Pilgrim (Thanksgiving)
  • Santa Claus (Christmas)

Note that this lineup is the most prevalent one in American media. Works from different countries are likelier to leave out US-specific holidays (like Groundhog Day and the Fourth of July) but to include personifications of local holidays not observed within the United States.

The power level of holiday entities often varies, although it's common for the ones embodying more popular or culturally impactful holidays to be more powerful; thus, the personifications of Halloween or Christmas are usually the most powerful, while "lesser" holidays like Groundhog Day are much less so. Holidays themselves are human social constructs, so human belief and awareness may also play into how powerful or weak a specific holiday icon is (as well as how popular or unpopular said icon is). In some cases, this may be explicitly extended to changes in a holiday's popularity actively affecting the status of its personification — a personification may experience a loss of power if their holiday fades from prominence, and may risk vanishing or perishing altogether if it ceases to be observed. Contrariwise, if a new holiday is developed a new figure may come into being once it begins to be celebrated.

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Another common attribute of holiday representatives is being co-workers (or an equivalent thereof) or even friends with Mother Nature, Father Time, The Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, Jack Frost, The Grim Reaper, and the Boogeyman.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tsukiuta is about Anthropomorphic Personification idols based on months, so a few of the characters become this as well. There is a boy and girl for each month. The ones whose names and characters directly refer to holidays are:
    • The male October representative, Iku, represents Sports Day, a holiday that is in October in Japan (it's the day that most schools have their sports festivals), while the female October representative, Reina, is Halloween. Reina's songs are about the fantasy of Halloween. Iku plays all sorts of sports, and his songs are about trying your best and believing in your teammates, and all those old Shonen Manga values — aside from one, "Lost My God", which refers to a different October holiday, the one referred to in the traditional Japanese name for the month (which is his family name, as they are for all 12 of the male idols) — "Kannazuki" or "month without gods". In October, it is said that all the Japanese gods go to the festival in Ise, so in the rest of Japan outside of Ise, it is called the month without gods. In Ise, it is called the month with gods.
    • The male January representative is Hajime, his name means "beginning".
    • The male July representative is Kai, his name means "ocean", a reference to "Marine Day" which is in July.
    • A more literal example, the male December representative, Kakeru, has a pet reindeer who is actually a Christmas fairy. In one stage play, the reindeer takes human form and asks the idols to come to the fairy world to help rescue Santa. The boys end up getting their butts kicked, and they have to get rescued by Digital Goddess Kurisu, the female December representative, whose birthday is on December 24 and whose songs are about Christmas, which might make her an example... though the songs in question are called "Holy Night Online" and "I Hate Christmas".
    • The male and female February are named Koi and Ai (both of which mean "love"), and they're pink-haired twins. Their birthday is Valentine's Day.

    Comic Books 
  • Jingle Belle: The titular character is the daughter of Santa Claus himself and thus royalty as the embodiment of Christmas. She has a friend named Polly Greene, who's also a witch, who decided to take on the vacant mantle of being the embodiment of Halloween. The Easter Bunny has also been mentioned.
  • Santa Versus Dracula: The Easter Bunny's supposed death is what kicks off the story when he's left out in front of Santa's home to warn him of Dracula's coming. The Easter Bunny is shown to have survived and teams up with other holiday personifications like a leprechaun (St. Patrick's Day), a cupid (Valentine's Day), and a turkey (Thanksgiving). They all prepare to fight Santa and save him from the vampirism he was inflicted with at the end of the story.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Linus is devoted to the Great Pumpkin, who rises out of the most sincere pumpkin patch on Halloween Night and gives all good children toys. He waits in a pumpkin patch near his neighborhood every Halloween, but he never manages to catch a glimpse of him.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the German movie Little Peter's Journey to the Moon, the children Peter and Anneliese meet Santa Claus, find that there isn't just one but many Easter Bunnies, and also meet non-holiday personalities such as the Sandman, Evening Star, Lightning Witch, and Man on the Moon.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack Skellington, a.k.a. the Pumpkin King, is presented as the personification of Halloween and tries to usurp Christmas from Santa, who fills his usual role as the personification of Christmas. The Easter Bunny, personification of Easter, also makes an appearance when Oogie's kids mistake the rabbit for Santa after going through the wrong holiday door.
  • Rise of the Guardians: As in the book the film's based on, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus appear here in their normal roles as the representations of Easter and Christmas, respectively, while also being the respective personifications of hope and wonder.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hop: The main character is E.B., a hip young bunny who wants to make it as a rock and roll musician. After an argument with his father (the Easter Bunny), E.B. hits the road and gets a befuddled human to take him in. Eventually, though, E.B. realizes the family business is under attack and goes back to help his dad.
  • The Santa Clause: The second and third films in the trilogy feature the Council of Legendary Figures, which unsurprisingly include the titular Santa for Christmas, the Easter Bunny for Easter, and (possibly) Cupid for Valentine's Day.

    Literature 
  • A Christmas Carol has the 3 spirits: Past, Present and Future.
  • The Guardians of Childhood: The series features holiday personifications in the form of Nicolas St. North (Santa Claus) for Christmas and Bunnymund the Easter Bunny for Easter.
  • The titular character of Hogfather is the personaification of the Discworld equivalent of Christmas, Hogswatch night, fullling the role of Santa Claus while having a basis on much older traditions and festivals. Other personifications include the Soul Cake Tuesday Duck. (Soul Cake Tuesday is a sort of combination Easter and Halloween. It also happens to be the start of the duck-hunting season.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock: One episode features copious made-up lore surrounding Leap Day, including a mythical figure called Leap Day William. Liz meets a mysterious man in the street who turns out to be Leap Day William, and also a Humanoid Abomination.
  • In an episode of Friends, Ross dresses up as the fictional Holiday Armadillo to teach his son about Hanukkah.
  • One well-known Saturday Night Live sketch featured Santa getting sick and being unable to fulfill his duties. To help, he summons the only other holiday representative available—Hanukkah Harry (Jon Lovitz), who flies to houses in a sleigh pulled by donkeys and offers kids incredibly cheap and boring gifts like socks ("Two pairs!") and sensible slacks.

    Video Games 
  • There are several monsters that represent holidays in My Singing Monsters. These include:
    • Punkleton, native to Plant Island, which represents Spooktacle note 
    • Yool, native to Cold Island, which represents Festival of Yay note 
    • Schmoochle, native to Air Island, which represents Season of Love note 
    • Blabbit, native to Water Island, which represents Egg-stravaganza note 
    • Hoola, native to Air and Earth Islands note , who represents Summersong note 
    • Gobbleygourd, native to Fire Haven and Fire Oasis, stands for Feast-Ember note 
    • Jam-boree, a Monster exclusive to Seasonal Shanty, which represents Anniversary Month note 
    • Clavaera, currently exclusive to Seasonal Shantynote , which represents Beat Hereafter note 
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge, based on The Nightmare Before Christmas (mentioned above), reveals that Oogie Boogie himself used to be one of these for the obscure Bug Day. When people stopped celebrating it, the holiday ceased to exist, which and cost Oogie his power. As his titular revenge, he intends to kidnap the personifications of other holidays (including Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, the Fourth of July, and Valentine's Day ) to become the "Seven Holidays King" and rule all of their respective domains.

    Webcomics 
  • Sleepless Domain: In a society where Magical Girl Warriors are a part of daily life, it's no surprise that major holidays have their own Magical Girls associated with them. The most prominent of these is Holly Jolly, a Santa Claus-inspired magical girl who embodies the winter holiday of Crimmus. It's implied that several others exist as well. One that's mentioned offhand is named Spring Rabbit.
  • Sluggy Freelance: The "Holiday Wars" arc is about Bun-bun murdering his way through a long list of personifications of various holidays, absorbing their powers in the process. He starts with Easter and Groundhog Day and works his way up through Halloween (and its pumpkin-headed king) and Thanksgiving (a turkey general), before facing off against his archnemesis, Christmas (in the form of Santa Claus).

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom has the villain Fright Knight as the personification/spirit of Halloween.
  • Daria: The Bizarro Episode "Depth Takes a Holiday" has the eponymous character meet the St. Patrick's Day leprechaun and the St. Valentine's Day Cupid, who convince her to help them track down the personifications of Christmas, Halloween and Guy Fawkes Day, who have escaped into the real world to form a band.
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • The Holiday Mascots are the rulers of their respective holidays, have duties they must perform on said holidays, and are generally loved by children all over the world. Their official members are Baby New Year (New Year's Eve/Day), Cupid (Valentine's Day), the April Fool (April Fool's Day), the Easter Bunny (Easter), the Hallowiener (a dachshund who represents Halloween), and Santa Claus (Christmas).
    • A later episode focusing on leprechauns saw them celebrate an eight-day holiday called "Leprechanuka," which has it's own representative called "The Great Potato" (likely a riff on the above-mentioned Great Pumpkin).
    • Early in the series, the Anti-Fairies were described as the embodiments of bad luck in general and Friday the Thirteenth in particular. Later, the Friday the Thirteenth angle was dropped and the Anti-Fairies became a recurring nuisance.
  • Futurama: Around the holidays, we see three beings who represent their respective religious holidays. The first is Robot Santa Claus, who was designed to decide who is naughty and nice and give gifts accordingly; unfortunately, the programming worked too well and gave Santa a bad case of Black-and-White Insanity, as he views all actions as equally bad (case in point: a group demanding extortion money is just as bad as the group not paying their extortion money) and thus tries to kill everyone in the world on Christmas Eve. The end of Robot Santa's debut also revealed Kwanzaa-Bot, who's left to hand out books about his holiday (aptly titled "What the Hell is Kwanzaa?") since no one—not even Kwanzaa-Bot himself—understands the festivities. The final member of the trio, the Hanukkah Zombie, first appears in "Bender's Big Score"; he's a Jewish zombie.
  • How Murray Saved Christmas: The special is set in a town called "Stinky Cigars," which is home to many embodiments of national holidays big and small. Murray actually sticks out a bit because it seems he's a regular human among the group until it's revealed later he's the embodiment of a forgotten holiday called "Milk Man Day".
  • The Life and Times of Juniper Lee: We see a few holiday beings within the show. The first is someone who embodies April Fools' Day and usually plays harmless pranks on people. Easter Bunnies and Chickens, who normally work together to deliver candy and eggs to kids, naturally embody Easter.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In "A Pinky and the Brain Christmas," Schootzie the elf brings up the Easter Bunny and "Herschel the Hanukkah Goblin" while interrogating the main characters at the North Pole.
  • Rankin Bass' Jack Frost: Pardon-Me-Pete, the narrator of the special, is called the Official Groundhog of Groundhog's Day, and sings a song about how February 2nd is named after him. Subverted in that he also reveals to the audience that his famous shadow is actually that of Jack Frost, the protagonist of the special - they have a deal so that Jack gets six more weeks of fun and Pete gets six more weeks of sleep when he sees "his" shadow.
  • Teen Titans Go!: In "The Teen Titans Go Easter Holiday Classic," Santa Claus tries to take over both Easter and the rest of the calendar holidays. Said holidays are represented by Cupid (Valentine's Day), George Washington (either Presidents Day or Independence Day), a leprechaun (St. Patrick's Day), and a turkey (Thanksgiving).


 
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HMSC [Stinky Cigars Intro]

How Murray Saved Christmas (2014): The Christmas special begins with the introduction of Stinky Cigars. A town in the North Pole where all the holidays of the world, major and minor, reside and how they usually start their day.

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