In America we go on “vacation,” however in England and the Commonwealth it is called a “holiday”. What is the significance of this?
The etymological roots of the word “vacation” are from the Middle English vacacioun, and from Latin vactivactin – meaning freedom from occupation. The word “vacation” also relates to vactus meaning to be empty or at leisure, escaping life’s responsibilities. After one gets burnt-out from the hectic work-week one goes away to an isle of paradise removed entirely from regular life. Being disconnected from reality while on vacation can get so tiresome and empty that one needs a vacation from vacation!
By contrast, “holiday” means making each day holy. You can take vacation all right and have lots of fun, but the focus and intention is to refreshing yourself so that when you come back you are filled with new vigor and stamina. Then even the mundane regular activities will be filled with spirit and joy.
Let’s go on a holiday!