pertaining to or befitting a feast, festival, holiday, or gala occasion.
In honour of this glad day, we shall drink the best wine and sup on the finest festal dishes.
Stephen R. Lawhead, The Bone House, 2011
Into this festal season of the year—as it already was, and continued to be during the greater part of two centuries—the Puritans compressed whatever mirth and public joy they deemed allowable to human infirmity ...
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, 1850
The adjective festal comes via Old French festal, festel from the Latin neuter singular noun festum “holiday,” a noun use of the adjective festus “relating to or befitting a feast or holiday.” (The French and English suffix -al derives from Latin -ālis.) Festa, the plural of festum, becomes a singular feminine noun in Vulgar Latin and the Romance languages, yielding feste in Old French (fête in French), festa in Provençal, Catalan, Portuguese, and Italian, and fiesta in Spanish (Castilian). Festus forms the Latin adjective festīvus “festal, jovial, festive.” Festal entered English in the second half of the 15th century.
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