When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival rather than a film or art festival.
In the Philippines and many other former Spanish colonies, the Spanish word fiesta is used to denote a communal religious feast to honor a patron saint.
During the festival the number of volunteers increases to about 30,000.
The volunteers provide camping security, build stages, staff the festival stalls etc.
An early example is the festival established by Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III celebrating his victory over the Libyans.
In many countries, royal holidays commemorate dynastic events just as agricultural holidays are about harvests. There are numerous types of festivals in the world and most countries celebrate important events or traditions with traditional cultural events and activities.
Lists of national festivals are published to make participation easier.
A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable.
Religious commemoration and thanksgiving for good harvests are blended in events that take place in autumn, such as Halloween in the northern hemisphere and Easter in the southern.
Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanking to the gods and goddesses.
In the Christian liturgical calendar, there are two principal feasts, properly known as the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas) and the Feast of the Resurrection, (Easter).
In the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Anglican liturgical calendars there are a great number of lesser feasts throughout the year commemorating saints, sacred events or doctrines.
Celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness.