The World Encyclopedia of Christmas
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The World Encyclopedia of Christmas

by Gerry Bowler
     
 

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At last, a truly comprehensive look at Christmas and all of its customs with its long history around the world. The World Encyclopedia of Christmas contains articles on the history of Christmas baking, drinking, and merrymaking, and Christmas dramas, music, literature, art, and films. It includes entries on the evolution of the Christmas tree and the Christmas

Overview

At last, a truly comprehensive look at Christmas and all of its customs with its long history around the world. The World Encyclopedia of Christmas contains articles on the history of Christmas baking, drinking, and merrymaking, and Christmas dramas, music, literature, art, and films. It includes entries on the evolution of the Christmas tree and the Christmas card, 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? Or what Freudians make of our interest in Christmas stockings and Santa’s entrance through the chimney? There are detailed accounts of Wren Boys and Star Boys, mumming and wassailing, the Feast of Fools and the origins of eggnog. And of course stories of the Nativity 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 secular history, trivia, literature, and art. This wonderful book deserves to find a home with every family that celebrates Christmas.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
If you want to know something about Christmas customs over the years as well as how the holiday is celebrated in a variety of cultures, then this book is a must. There are entries about Christmas foods, dramas, music, literature and films. Mostly black-and white illustrations are sprinkled through out, although there are two sets of colored plates that reproduce famous Christmas paintings and photographs, however, the selection criteria is not evident. Gift bringers are numerous and include La Befana, Baba Noel, Baboushka, Santa Claus, Papa Noel, Kris Kringle, and Papai Noel to name a few. It is an extensive undertaking and would probably lend itself to computer technology, since there are not many cross-references among entries. It is as the promotional copy describes, "a rich and continually surprising array of religious and secular history, trivia, literature, and art. It lends itself to browsing and will add lots of tidbits to holiday conversations. 2000, McClelland & Stewart,
Library Journal
Singing Christmas carols while reading a book? Wistfully embarking on a nostalgic trip to Christmases past? This well-written and comprehensive book will answer nearly any reference question relating to Christmas, including "What is callithumpian music?" Originally published in 2000, this improved edition includes over 1000 entries and 200 black-and-white and color illustrations for nearly half the price. Bowler's (Europe in the Sixteenth Century) special lists are particularly intriguing: How to say "Merry Christmas" in 85 languages, famous events that took place on December 25 in the last two millennia, U.S. presidents and Christmas, and favorite Christmas toys dating back to 1867. The book includes illustrations of many world Christmas stamps and the complete lyrics for 115 Christmas carols from all over the world-some in their original languages with English translations. Bottom Line This is a better choice for most libraries than Tanya Gulevich's Encyclopedia of Christmas, which contains 240 long articles and goes for $68. The meager price of Bowler's book makes it a wonderful seasonal compendium.-Gary P. Gillum, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551996073
Publisher:
McClelland & Stewart Ltd.
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
37 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Gerry Bowler received his Ph.D. in History from King’s College, London, and presently teaches at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of The World Encyclopedia of Christmas, and the co-author of Europe in the Sixteenth Century. He has published works on topics ranging from Renaissance monarchy and Bloody Mary to the Simpsons, the Spice Girls, and the history of professional hockey. Dr. Bowler was the founding director of the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Contemporary Culture at Calgary’s Nazarene University College. He lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, with his wife, Karen, and three daughters.


From the Hardcover edition.

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