cache 470 320 0 50 92 16777215 0806252 Im Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Years Celebrations, 2nd Ed.

Cultural Studies

Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations, 2nd Ed.



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The second edition of Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations offers teachers, students, parents, and librarians more than 1,000 pages of information about this joyous holiday season. The first edition, titled Encyclopedia of Christmas, was named an Outstanding Reference Source by the American Library Association. The second edition expands this popular title with new entries on American Christmas traditions, Christmas in other countries, and New Year’s celebrations. Numerous existing entries have been updated as well.

This handy reference contains more than 240 entries ranging in length from about 100 words to well over 2,500 words. Topics covered include folk customs and beliefs, religious practices, symbols, legends, mythological and historical figures, foods, beverages, and major artistic and popular works associated with the celebration of Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. For a more complete understanding of the coverage offered in Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations, please see the Sample Pages.

The following shows just a few of the entries:

  • Advent
  • Baboushka
  • Berchta
  • Black Peter
  • Candlemas
  • Cherry Tree
  • Christkindel
  • Epiphany
  • First Night
  • Frankincense
  • Gaudete Sunday
  • Hogmanay
  • King Herod
  • Ivy
  • Kwanzaa
  • Magi
  • Mistletoe
  • Nativity Scene
  • Peace of Christmas
  • Reveillon
  • Star Boys
  • Stockings
  • Yule
  • Zagmuk

Many entries are devoted to Christmas season celebrations in different countries and parts of the world, including Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific. More information on international Christmas customs can be found in the many entries that detail specific holiday traditions, symbols, and legends.

Encyclopedia of Christmas and New Year’s Celebrations, 2nd Edition, also includes a bibliography, lists of Christmas web sites and associations, and an index.

Special Features

  • Contains 247 entries on all facets of Christmas and New Year’s arranged in alphabetical order
  • Traces the history of the holiday back to ancient times and describes its observance in countries spanning six continents
  • Encyclopedia format allows the user to locate information quickly, or to browse
  • Diverse range of material offers the reader the opportunity to gain a new appreciation of the breadth and depth of this ancient holiday
  • Suitable for a general audience, including students and teachers, as well as interested adults
  • Contains essays on topics from ancient times to the present day: how ancient celebrations bequeathed their customs to Christmas; how Christmas customs, legends, symbols, and foods blossomed in medieval and Renaissance Europe; the decline of Christmas following the Protestant Reformation; its resurgence in the Victorian Era; the continuing evolution of the holiday in recent years, including the development of more recent symbols and customs like Santa Clause, the Christmas tree, the Christmas gift, and other modern customs
  • Covers Christmas celebrations in other countries, including those in Europe, Asia, Middle East, African and Latin America
  • Special attention to historical coverage of Christmas in the United States, with information on f how American slaves celebrated Christmas; how Christmas is celebrated in the White House; favorite Christmas movies and television specials; and more
  • Four additional sections supplement the Encyclopedia: Bibliography, Web Sites, Associations, and Index


"Librarians everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief—the encyclopedia to answer all of those Christmas questions is finally here."

—School Library Journal

"[This] volume is a worthy addition to the cultural reference shelf. Well researched and appealingly illustrated with black-and-white sketches, the text outlines holiday customs in easy-to-read language. ... School and public libraries will want to add this to their collections."

—Booklist, Sep '03

"This encyclopedic work is useful for those schools where folklore is covered, or for those interested in origins of the holidays."

—Library Media Connection, Nov '03