From the Abbot of Misrule (in medieval Scotland) to Zwarte Piet (in
modern Holland), this is a truly comprehensive look at Christmas
and all of its customs around the world. Like all the best
encyclopedias, this extraordinary book is a reader's paradise, with
more than a thousand fascinating and entertaining entries and close
to 200 illustrations in black and white and full color.
The World Encyclopedia of Christmas contains articles on the
history of Christmas baking, drinking, and merry-making, and
Christmas dramas, music, literature, art, and films. It includes
entries on the evolution of the Christmas tree and the Christmas
card, on gift-giving and decoration of church and home. There are
profiles of the many gift-bringers, from Santa Claus to Babouschka,
and miraculous tales of the numerous saints associated with the
season. And there are histories of seasonal celebrations and folk
customs around the world, from the United States to Japan, from
Egypt to Iceland.
Who, for example, knew the links between the Punch and Judy show
and Christmas? That the medieval Paradise tree hung with tempting
apples was the forerunner of the Christmas tree? About the Peerie
Guizers, who terrorized the Shetland Islands, going door-to-door
for Christmas charity? There are detailed accounts of mumming and
wassailing, the Feast of Fools and the origins of eggnog. And of
course stories of the Navtivity and legends of the Magi.
With beautifully illustrated accounts ranging from the pagan
roots of Yuletide, through the birth of Christ, and the long and
fascinating history of the festival ever since, The World
Encyclopedia of Christmas is a rich and continually surprising
array of religious and secularhistory, trivia, literature, and art.
This wonderful book deserves to find a home with every family that
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