The Book of the Year : A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays
What is the connection between May Day and the Statue of Liberty? Between ancient solstice fires and Fourth of July fireworks? Between St. Valentine, the Groundhog, and the Virgin Mary? In The Book of the Year, Anthony Aveni offers fascinating answers to these questions and explains the many ways humans throughout time have tried to order and give meaning to time's passing. Aveni traces the origins of modern customs tied to seasonal holidays, exploring what we eat, the games we play, the rituals we perform, and the colorful cast of characters we invent to dramatize holidays. Along the way, Aveni illuminates everything from the Jack 'O Lantern and our faith in the predictive power of animals to the ways in which Labor Day reflects the great medieval "time wars," when the newly invented clock first pitted labor against management. Vividly written, filled with facts both curious and astonishing, this engrossing book allows us to hear that beat more clearly and to understand more fully the rhythms we all dance to throughout the year.
- Paperback | 224 pages
- 136.7 x 203.7 x 10.4mm | 185.98g
- 22 Apr 2004
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
Anthony Aveni never ceases to amaze me with his ability to explain in charming, intelligent prose the many ways that human societies have been shaped by the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. In The Book of the Year, he's done it again. * Steven Lagerfeld, Editor, The Wilson Quarterly * Delightful.... Aveni's book provides entertaining glimpses into the cultural evolution of holidays, and explores our human desire to make time work in our favor. * Publishers Weekly * An enchantingly readable, sophisticated yet utterly accessible tracing of major holidays and why and where they arose.... Anyone who digs into this lovely little book, I swear, will be quoting citations from it for the next generation. * Baltimore Sun *
About Anthony F. Aveni
Anthony Aveni is the Russell B. Colgate Professor of Astronomy and Anthropology at Colgate University and the author of several books, including Empires of Time and Conversing with the Planets.