It may be winter, dark and cold, but the village of Taft will be in festive mood on December 18th.” “Ladies and Gentlemen, according to long-standing tradition

From English collocations in use (Advanced) by Felicity O’Dell, P50;U23.

“Long standing tradition” and “festive mood” are countable nouns; however, in these examples, they are used without articles. Could someone please explain why?


I'll start with tradition. It can be both countable and uncountable. According to Macmillan Dictionary, it is uncountable when it has the following meaning:

very old customs, beliefs, or stories, considered together

Here are a few examples from different dictionaries:

According to family tradition, Mr Thomas was a teacher.

By tradition, it’s the bride’s parents who pay for the wedding.

The move represents a break with tradition.

As for mood, the Cambridge dictionary says it can be considered both countable and uncountable, too. I agree that the indefinite article is usually expected before a singular indefinite mood. And according to other dictionaries I have used (Collins and Longman), mood is always countable. Anyway, if we say "in a festive mood", it's certainly OK. Let's attribute the lack of a before mood in your example to that rare point of view the Cambridge dictionary has noted (unless someone can give a better explanation).

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