Star Wars: What is Life Day and how is it celebrated?

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special concept art. Photo:
LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special concept art. Photo: /

Life Day was introduced as a Wookiee holiday in Star Wars with the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special, a variety show that was aired on television just before Thanksgiving that year. The special features Han Solo and Chewbacca traveling to Kashyyyk so that Chewbacca can celebrate Life Day with his family.

Although the Star Wars Holiday Special only aired once on television and has never been considered canon, the concept of Life Day has remained an important one in Star Wars, earning mentions in a variety of stories. In the opening episode of The Mandalorian on Disney+, for example, a character known as The Mythrol, a bounty hunted by Din Djarin, says, “I was hoping to be free for Life Day.”

So just what is this Star Wars holiday all about?

What is Life Day in Star Wars?

Life Day is an annual holiday celebrated by the Wookiees of the planet Kashyyyk. The holiday is a tradition marked by festive string lights, colorful decor, music, food, and communal activities designed to celebrate the Wookiee values of harmony, joy, and family. The holiday was traditionally celebrated at the Tree of Life on the forested world of Kashyyyk, a tree that symbolized the first seed and spark of life on Kashyyyk.

The Wookiees of Kashyyyk were enslaved by the Empire, but after the Empire’s fall and the Wookiees’ liberation, the celebration of Life Day became a tradition shared not only by Wookiees but by beings all throughout the galaxy. Life Day is a day to be reminded of the importance of compassion and the togetherness of family.

We saw the holiday celebrated just recently in the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special that was released on Disney+ in 2020. It revolved around a Life Day celebration, which served as the catalyst for new Jedi Rey Skywalker to travel throughout time to some of the most iconic moments in the Skywalker saga to learn how to train Finn as a Jedi. Though also regarded as outside of the official Star Wars canon, the LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special demonstrates the importance of Life Day to the Star Wars universe and among the Star Wars fandom.

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