[from the back cover] "Heart shapes, cupids with bows and arrows, flowers, love birds and lace. What are the meanings behind the symbols of our most romantic holiday? In a festively illustrated account, Edna Barth explores the legends and symbols of Valentine's Day and traces them to their early beginnings in various countries. But no matter what changes have taken place with the passage of time, the essential meaning of the holiday has remained the same throughout history. Valentine's Day is a day of love." Contains several valentine verses, a list for further reading, a list of sources and a convenient index. Bookshare offers other fascinating books about the holidays by Edna Barth including Easter, Christmas, and St. Patrick's Day. Search under the author's name, Edna Barth.
"Holly and Reindeer, angels and stars, trees sparkling with colored lights. Weeks before Christmas, these and other holiday symbols appear all around us. Each of the symbols has a story. Many of them go back to the first Christmas or long before. And each of them has a special meaning for us today." Contains suggested reading and an index. Traces the origins of our favorite holiday customs and symbols, many of which antedate the first Christmas. Find out more about your favorite holidays. There are four more fascinating books by Edna Barth in the Bookshare collection. Try, Witches, Pumpkins, and Grinning Ghosts: The Story of the Halloween Symbols,Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn: The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols, Hearts, Cupids, and Red Roses: The Story of the Valentine Symbols, Shamrocks, Harps and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day, Lilies, Rabbits, and Painted Eggs: The Story of the Easter Symbols
From the dust jacket, "Painted eggs, newborn chicks, white lilies, new clothes, a lighted candle. All these stand for Easter just as angels and reindeer stand for Christmas, or witches and pumpkins for Halloween. From place to place, the symbols of Easter may vary. But no matter where they are found, each has a story that reaches back hundreds, even thousands of years. Edna Barth traces the histories of these symbols in a clear, direct way, and shows how many of them were incorporated into Christianity from early pagan rites, then handed down to us as the colorful Easter customs we enjoy today. Whether the unique Easter rabbit of Fredericksburg, Texas, or exploding firecrackers in Florence, Italy, every Easter symbol expresses hope, joy in living, and wonder at the miracle of new life--feelings shared by people everywhere. Warmly written, this is a book to be discovered and read with pleasure by young readers of all faiths." Includes a list of other books of Easter customs and stories and an index.
St. Patrick's Day is one of exuberant, merry, traditions. Barth explains the religious, social and political beliefs being commemorated on St. Patrick's Day by explaining the source of the symbols incorporated in the celebrations from dawn till dark. She points out how the holiday observance varies in Ireland from The United States where the population with Irish ancestry is larger than the population of Ireland itself. Concisely she traces the origins and importance of shamrocks harps, and Shillelaghs and goes on to summarize St. Patrick's life and the 30 to 40 years he spent first as a slave and eventually as a Bishop in Ireland. She traces the emergence and meaning of the orange, white and green Irish flag, summarizing Ireland's opposition to English occupation, the deprivations suffered by the Irish and their struggle to preserve their language and heritage. She describes parades, holiday foods, Leprechauns, Fairies, dance and the high value placed on song, poetry and storytelling both in pubs and in world renowned literature. Includes lists of Stories for St. Patrick's day, resources and an index.
The story of the most truly American holiday and the development of its symbols and legends. Each of our holidays has its own familiar traditions: Trick-or-treating on Halloween, eating turkey on Thanksgiving, waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas, exchanging cards on Valentine"s Day. But where do these customs come from, when did they begin, and why do we continue to observe them? In the engaging blend of careful research and lively prose that has earned her books a lasting place on the holiday bookshelf, Edna Barth explores the multicultural origins and evolution of the familiar and not-so-familiar symbols and legends associated with our favorite holidays. Full of fascinating historical details and little-known stories, these books are both informative and engaging. Festively illustrated by Ursula Arndt, they are now available again in hardcover as well as paperback editions, featuring new, eye-catching jacket designs, and fun holiday activities inside the paperback covers. Each book includes an annotated list of holiday stories and poems and an index.
[from the back cover] "What were jack-o'-lanterns carved from before Europeans discovered pumpkins growing in the New World? Where did we get the idea that witches can fly on broomsticks? The amazing stories behind these and other familiar Halloween symbols can be found far back in history...and in the pages of this entertaining book." If you enjoyed this book and are curious to know about other holidays, the great news is that the rest of the books in this series are all in the Bookshare collection. They're easily accessible resources for ideas to satisfy curiosity, provide background you didn't know, plan parties, and start new or revive old customs. Look for: Hearts, Cupids, and Red Roses The Story of the Valentine Symbols, Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols, Lilies, Rabbits, and Painted Eggs The Story of the Easter Symbols, Turkeys, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn The Story of the Thanksgiving Symbols, Holly, Reindeer and Colored Lights, The Story of the Christmas Symbols and Fireworks, Picnics and Flags, The Story of the Fourth of July Symbols.
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