Seasons and Celebrations

“To understand the calendar is to grasp in a new way the huge significance of the Christian faith, and to understand the role it continues to play in our common life.”

Every December I reread A Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations because the Liturgical (Church) Year begins with Advent, the four-week season before Christmas.

British journalist and author Joanna Bogle’s A Yearbook of Seasons and Celebrations is my fifth book for Rose City Reader’s 2017 European Reading Challenge. Her book is a descriptive compilation of traditions associated with Christian feast days, as they have been celebrated particularly in England. She presents recipes, songs, games, crafts, and customs for each feast day or season of the year. Many of them are centuries old, and their origins are fascinating.

In November, the year seems to die around us, trees shedding their leaves, daylight fading early, cold weather arriving, prayers for the dead in Church and scarlet poppy wreaths on war memorials. But Christmas with its message of new life and new hope is ahead of us, and we will recall Christ’s birth and the ever-present reality of our redemption.

…Celebrating feasts and seasons is not just something that is fun to do–it helps us to stay rooted in the truths that established our civilisation, truths that remain good news for us all and must be passed on to each new generation.

Advertisers present seasonal experiences that are “on trend,” as they say. It’s calming, grounding, and revitalizing to seek holiday ideas that have stories behind them and some staying power–perhaps even 2000 years of it.

After all, like Advent at the waning of the year, what is old is new.

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