Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or of the nature of a feast or festival; festive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. festive, relating to a festival or feast

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to a holiday or a feast; joyous; festive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Pertaining to or befitting a feast or festival; hence, joyous; gay; jubilant: as, a, festal air or look.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. offering fun and gaiety

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin fēstālis, from Latin fēstum, feast; see feast.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The priest enters, clad in festal robes, a type of the heavenly bride going to her divine nuptials (this very common Introit originated in the Greek liturgy).

    A Little Rock'n'Roll with our Elevenses

  • The two released Shala men, clad in festal attire that had been brought for the purpose, and already fully armed, ran about madly embracing all their friends.

    High Albania

  • For me, for me, in festal halls it shall kindle o'er thy face!

    Records of Woman, With Other Poems

  • Even from the island they could perceive that everything known as festal pleasure was rife in Alexandria, and bore along in its mad revelry the court and the citizens.

    Cleopatra — Volume 08

  • The hospital stands close adjacent to the town of Greenwich, which will always retain a kind of festal aspect in my memory, in consequence of my having first become acquainted with it on Easter Monday.

    Our Old Home A Series of English Sketches A Series of English Sketches

  • All servile work was forbidden on this day holy to the Lord; and all over the house, and in the face of all the family, I observed a kind of festal air.

    The memoirs of Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

  • Here were their festal decorations and shrine for St. Philip yesterday:

    St. Philip's Day from London and Birmingham

  • Many of you will be familiar with Father Cyprian La Pastina of St. Gabriel's in Stamford, Connecticut, a parish which is active in pursuing both the reform of the reform and the usus antiquior, inclusive of festal vespers a number of times throughout the liturgical year.

    Restoration and Dedication of a Chapel at St. Gabriel's in Stamford, CT: The St. Philip Neri Chapel

  • While I am hopeful the NLM will be able to present you with some sense of their festal celebrations today, here are a few images from this day two years ago in Birmingham which shows the Solemn Vespers of the Feast.

    Feast of St. Philip Neri

  • Of course, in studying the theology of the icon and considering the Eastern iconographic tradition, while there is great interest in looking at particular icons in their various symbolic and theological details (and I would highlight the festal icons here in particular), one must also consider them within their ecclesial and liturgical context in order to gain the fullest possible appreciation and understanding of this tradition.

    Icons: Windows into Heaven and Theology in Paint

Comments

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  • This festal day, two thousand times returning,
    Should light fresh fires on all the altar-sods.
    His natal day! we should set incense burning,
    And call—if gods there were—upon the gods.
    We, his good friends, right joyous should demean us,
    Like Horace on the birthday of Mæcenas.

    - George Meason Whicher, 'For the Eighth of December'.

    September 23, 2009