Difference between Holiday and Vacation

Key Difference: Holiday refers to a special day that is to be celebrated, which is why most people have the day off from work, school, or any thing else. Vacation, on the other hand, refers to a time when normal activities, such as work, school, or anything else are closed. A vacation is usually longer than a day or two. However, the terms are commonly used interchangeably.

 For all purposes, the term ‘holiday’ and ‘vacation’ are pretty much synonymous and are used interchangeably. However, in the technical aspects there is a slight difference between the two terms.

Both the terms refer to time taken off from your regular activities; this could time include work/job, school, chores, etc. Any time that is taken off of one’s usual schedule is considered a holiday or vacation from that task. However, the two terms have a slight implication.

The term ‘holiday’ actually comes from ‘holy day’, which basically means that the day is holy. Holiday refers to a special day that is to be celebrated, which is why most people have the day off from work, school, or any thing else.

Vacation, on the other hand, refers to a time when normal activities, such as work, school, or anything else are closed. A vacation is usually longer than a day or two. For example, the school will be on vacation for two weeks. The term vacation also refers to a period of time, when a person takes off from their usual activities, such as work or school. For example: I am going to vacation for two weeks. During this time, the person can stay at home and rest and relax, or he can take a trip to enjoy himself. The trip itself, which is taken for enjoyment, will also be referred to as a vacation. For example: I am going to a vacation to Hawaii.

 However, over time, the term ‘holiday; has been used to refer to all variations of a vacation, and vice versa. Hence, today, the terms are basically used interchangeably. For example: I am going on a holiday, and I am going on a vacation, basically mean the same thing in common tongue. The actual usage of the terms differs regionally, where some people might prefer to use one term over the other.

Still, a major difference between the two words is that a holiday can refer to one or two days, as well as an extended amount of days, whereas vacation is rarely if ever used to refer to only one or two days. It is mainly used to refer to an extended amount to time.

Comparison between Holiday and Vacation:

 

Holiday

Vacation

Definition (Merriam-Webster)

  • A special day of celebration : a day when most people do not have to work
  • A period of time that a person spends away from home, school, or business usually in order to relax or travel
  • The number of days or hours per year for which an employer agrees to pay workers while they are not working
  • A time when schools, colleges, and universities are closed

Description

A special day of celebration is which most people do not have to work.

Can refer to a trip taken for enjoyment, a significant amount of time taken for rest and relaxation. It may also refer to a period when schools are closed, i.e. summer vacation.

Implication

Days to rest

A trip taken for relaxation or enjoyment.

Examples

  • Friday is a holiday, as it is Good Friday.
  • Tomorrow is the bi-annul office holiday.
  • Saturdays and Sundays are holidays.
  • I am taking a two week vacation.
  • Mary is taking a vacation to Paris.
  • The summer vacation starts in June.
  • The winter vacation is only a week long.

Image Courtesy: csatimes.co.in, blog.goodbyecrutches.com

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