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The Mythology of America's Seasonal Holidays

The Dance of the Horae

Authors: George, Arthur

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  • Explores the myths that underlie Western holidays
  • Takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines insights from history, depth psychology, archaeology, art history, sociology, and anthropology
  • Reveals unexpected sources and patterns around holidays, including: New Year's, Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas
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eBook $19.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-46916-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $29.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-46915-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Every year we celebrate a cycle of seasonal holidays. The ancient Greeks called this cycle “The Dance of the Horae,” after the mythical divinities who represented the seasons. What myths sit at the foundation of our own holiday celebrations? This interdisciplinary book explores the myths and symbols that underlie our major seasonal holidays and give them their meaning. Arthur George also shows how America’s own mythmaking has shaped some holidays. This mythological approach reveals how and why holidays arose in the first place, how and why they have changed over the centuries, why they have remained important, and finally how we can celebrate them today in a more meaningful manner that can enrich our lives and better our society. George devotes particular attention to the depth psychological aspects of holidays and their corresponding myths, as well as to the insights of modern biblical scholarship for key holidays such as Easter and Christmas.

About the authors

Arthur George is a mythologist, cultural historian, and author who writes, teaches, blogs, and lectures about mythology, why it is important in our modern world, and how it can enrich our lives and better our society. He previously published the award-winning book The Mythology of Eden (2014).

Reviews

“Arthur George’s The Mythology of our Seasonal Holidays offers an impressively-researched and scholarly-yet-accessible study that details the historical, cultural, and mythological underpinnings of our most celebrated American holidays. George offers to both the interested scholar and general public a ‘hermeneutic key’ that opens one up to the mytho-poetic and symbolic dimensions of numerous traditional celebrations. In doing so, he offers his readers the gift of a deeper, more meaningful engagement – with both our seasonal rituals and our daily lives”
David M. Odorisio, Associate Core Faculty, Mythological Studies, and Director, the Retreat, Pacifica Graduate Institute, USA

 

 “Arthur George sifts through a mountain of evidence about ancient and modern myths and rituals, paying attention to both the forest and the trees. The result, meticulously researched and lucidly explained, is a treasure trove of fascinating historical, mythological, and psychological insights into the often obscure religious backgrounds of American holidays and Christian holy days.”
Robert J. Miller, Rosenberger Professor of Religious Studies and Christian Thought, Juniata College, USA

 

“A penetrating adventure to the heart of Western sacred history! Arthur George provides a spellbinding myth-critical gaze into the cultural underpinnings of our common calendric cycle, how and why such curious holiday traditions survive and transform through the ages, now ordering our contemporary lives.”
Richard C. Miller, Author of Resurrection and Reception in Early Christianity (2014)​

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Table of contents (11 chapters)
  • Introduction: Why We Have Holidays

    Pages 1-12

    George, Arthur

  • New Year’s Day: Creation Renewed and Re-lived

    Pages 13-39

    George, Arthur

  • Groundhog Day: Prophecy, Rebirth, and Renewal

    Pages 41-49

    George, Arthur

  • Valentine’s Day: How a Saint Became Eros

    Pages 51-57

    George, Arthur

  • Unmasking Carnival

    Pages 59-67

    George, Arthur

Buy this book

eBook $19.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-46916-0
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $29.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-030-46915-3
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Mythology of America's Seasonal Holidays
Book Subtitle
The Dance of the Horae
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-46916-0
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-46916-0
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-46915-3
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XX, 316
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations, 15 illustrations in colour
Topics

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