The Trend Pig looks for patterns in behaviour that can be used to inspire organisations to develop things that people love.

First trend… any excuse to celebrate!

This week tickets went on sale for the London leg of the Holi Festival of Colour, a music festival which also involves throwing coloured paint in the air. Fun festivals such as this one are inspired by the ancient Hindu spring festival of Holi and are exciting people far beyond Asia.

And Holi Festival isn’t the only holiday being observed by increasing numbers each year, a survey by Waitrose shows that 1 in 6 Brits now celebrate the traditional US holiday Thanksgiving.

For many the frivolities of these occasions are separate from any cultural and/or religious connotations that the holidays have in their native countries. In pretty much the same way that non-Christians have been enjoying eating chocolate eggs at Easter for many years.

So why are these holidays being ‘borrowed’ from elsewhere? Because they offer opportunities to get together with family and friends to have a good time, sharing food, drink, music and other experiences provided by the occasion – when you look at it like that why wouldn’t people adopt these fun traditions as their own?! Particularly after years of recession, people want to let their hair down.

Did you notice that Facebook was awash with photos of children wearing (rather impressive) outfits a couple of weeks ago? They were dressing up as their favourite characters from their favourite books to celebrate World Book Day and it clearly captured the hearts of many parents and children. Social media enables interest in events to spread and allows people to easily enjoy them with friends and family.

Marks and & Spencer’s Dine In deals and Dominos Pizza’s Two For Tuesday offer are two examples of businesses who have successfully innovated to respond to this trend. M&S tends to roll out its offer on special occasions, allowing its consumers the luxury of choosing from a menu whilst sticking to a budget. Whilst Dominos Pizza own a day of the week in the eyes of its consumers.

What can your organisation do to help people to enjoy new occasions as much as possible? What information, products and services do they need to be able to do this? Which holidays could be borrowed from other countries and religions next?