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Last night some of us watched the Star Wars Holiday Special. We probably shouldn’t have done that, but now that we have, I was wondering what the Wookiee holiday of “Life Day” is all about. The special didn’t really tell us anything except that Chewbacca wants to get home in time to be with his family for Life Day, all of his human friends seem to know about this holiday, and the limited celebration we did see at the end involved Carrie Fisher singing for some reason.

Is it just a vague celebration of “life”? Or is it about family, the trees they live in, their ancestors, some combination of the above or something entirely different?

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    Dang, I thought all copies of that had been destroyed decades ago.
    – Seeds
    Dec 21, 2016 at 21:56
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    There are Legends novels showing Life Day being celebrated all across the galaxy, and not just by Wookies. But seriously, why are you worrying about this? There are bigger questions! I am more concerned about why the Jefferson Starship had microphones that looked like light sabers. And how did they managed to get that band during the brief period when Grace Slick wasn't part of it?
    – Buzz
    Dec 21, 2016 at 21:57
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    Life! And also days. Dec 21, 2016 at 22:18
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    @Paul, yes, exactly. That's why I suggested that Life Day is best considered as a solstice festival. (But for the record, I'm not a historian either, and I'm aware that some historians dispute this interpretation, though I think they're in the minority.) Dec 30, 2016 at 21:57
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    (In my part of the world, the word "Christmas" usually refers to the solstice festival rather than the religious festival, and most non-Christians celebrate it that way. It's difficult sometimes to remember that the US considers it inherently religious. No offense intended.) Dec 30, 2016 at 22:13

1 Answer 1

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Life Day is a celebration of various warm, fuzzy, and vague ecumenical concepts. For example:

  • Joy and harmony (according to the Star Wars Galaxies site):

    Wookiees have a primitive patriarchy with a complicated lineage structure, initiation rites, and a religion that rejects materialism. One of the most important Wookiee customs is Life Day, wherein extended Wookiee families gather and celebrate a day of joy and harmony, as promised by the Tree of Life.

  • The renewal of life, and the commemoration of the deceased. From the same source:

    Life Day is upon us. Traditionally celebrated on the Wookiee home world Kashyyyk, Life Day is a time to reflect on the renewal of life and to remember those who have passed on

  • Dedication and courage, as well as love for each other:

    LEIA: I hope that this day will always be a day of joy in which we can reconfirm our dedication and our courage. And more than anything else, our love for one another. This is the promise of the Tree of Life.

    Star Wars Holiday Special

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