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A festival or gala is an event ordinarily staged by a community, centering on and celebrating some unique aspect of that community and its traditions, often marked as a local or national holiday, mela or eid.

Festivals often serve to meet specific purposes, especially in regard to commemoration and/or thanksgiving. They are associated with celebration and may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment. These celebrations offered a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups. Festivals that focus on cultural or specifically ethnic topics also seek to inform members of their traditions and the involvement of community elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.

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