A festival or fest is an event, usually staged by a local community, which centers on some theme, sometimes on some unique aspect of the community.Among many religions, a feast or festival is a set of celebrations in honour of God or gods. A feast and a festival are historically interchangeable. However, the term "feast" has also entered common secular parlance as a slang term for any large or elaborate meal. When used as in the meaning of a festival, most often refers to a religious festival rather than a film or art festival.
Festivals, of many types, serve to meet specific social needs and duties, as well as to provide entertainment. These times of celebration offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. Modern festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics seek to inform members of their traditions. In past times, festivals were times when the elderly shared stories and transferred certain knowledge to the next generation. Historic feasts often provided a means for unity among families and for people to find mates. Select anniversaries have annual festivals to commemorate previous significant occurrences.