celebrate, observe

saarah7

Senior Member
urdu
what's the difference between ''observe'', celebrate?

Which o0ne is more approprite?
1. We are celebrating Mother's day.
2. We are observing mother's day.
 
  • Observe is more like 'taking notice of '; 'recognising the significance of'. For example,
    We are observing the Holocaust Memorial Day.
    He observes Lent ( 40 days of fasting).
    Celebrate has the added connotation of pleasure, of joy.
    She is celebrating the birth of her first grandchild.
    We celebrate Jesus' rising from the dead on Easter Sunday.
    We are celebrating Mother's Day.
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    Hi, I have a question about "celebrate": My birthday is next week. One of my friends call me "What's your plan for your birthday? Are you going to hold a party?" I said "I don't celebrate birthdays." I wanted to mean, I would spend that day as usual, nothting special to me (not holding a party or invite friends for dinner, or buying birthday cakes for me....).

    I would like to know if you native speaker say something like the part in bold above when you don't do something special to celebrate your birthday or other good days. Thank you.
     

    xuliang

    Senior Member
    Chinese Mandarin
    This looks fine to me for the meaning you want: "I don't celebrate birthdays."

    :)
    This looks fine to me for the meaning you want: "I don't celebrate birthdays."
    :)
    Hi, Cagey. Thank you. I am wondering if without the context in Post#8, would you understand "I don't celebrate birthdays." as I don't celebrate anybody's birthdays.

    Is it still natural if I say "I don't celebrate (my) birthdays." (I added "my".)

    Thank you.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I am wondering if without the context in Post#8, would you understand "I don't celebrate birthdays." as I don't celebrate anybody's birthdays.
    It depends on the context. If you were answering your friend's question, I would think you meant your birthday. If we were talking about celebrations in general, for instance, I would think that you didn't celebrate anyone's birthday.

    To be clear, you could add 'my', as you suggest. That would sound natural too. :)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Hello, native friends,

    What's the difference when I say:
    I celebrate my birthdays.
    OR
    I observe my birthdays.
    Since the typical thing to say is "I celebrate my birthdays" I would have to assume that you observe them by doing something other than celebrating. :) Perhaps you add one more mark on a chalkboard to remind yourself that you have one less year left and then continue with the day. ;)
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    I have been told that the meaning of both "observe" and "celebrate" is the same, and they both can be used interchangeably, e.g:

    I observe/celebrate my birthdays, I observe/celebrate X (any festival - Easter, Christmas, Diwali, Holi, Eid's etc.)

    Do you agree on this, James Sir?
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I have been told that the meaning of both "observe" and "celebrate" is the same, and they both can be used interchangeably, e.g:
    No. You can observe non-festive occasions (Memorial Day, Ash Wednesday, the anniversary of someone's death), but we don't say that we celebrate those observances.
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    I'm a bit puzzled as to when to use 'observe' and when to use 'celebrate' for festivals. What difference would you find between the two?
     
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