Resources

All of the sources listed below have inspired my celebrations to some extent. Many of the authors are Neo-pagans, at least one is Catholic and at least one other is Anglican. Only two, Anthony Aveni and Ronald Hutton, are academic historians by profession. The literature on the subject of holidays is very much a mixed bag: the most historically reliable works are often dry, tentative and dispassionate about a subject matter that ought to be full of joy and awe; the works that attempt to incorporate this sense of joy and awe by favoring imagination and whimsy over historical fact sometimes veer towards solipsism. Perhaps the book that strikes the best balance is listed last, the book of seasonal prayers by Tess Ward; she describes the holidays briefly and then offers deeply poetic prayers with which to observe them. My hope is that any books you read on this subject will inspire you to adopt some new holidays of your own and throw yourself and your family into creative forms of celebration!

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Anthony Aveni, The Book of the Year: A Brief History of Our Seasonal Holidays. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Kevin Danaher, The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs. Mercier Press, 1972.

Mara Freeman, Kindling the Celtic Spirit: Ancient Traditions to Illumine Your Life Throughout the Seasons. HarperOne, 2001.

Raven Grimassi, Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore & Celebrations. Llewellyn Publications, 2001.

Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press, 1996.

Glennie Kindred, Sacred Celebrations: A Sourcebook. Gothic Image Publications, 2001.

Caitlin Matthews, Celtic Devotional: Daily Prayers & Blessings. Harmony Books, 1996.

John Matthews, The Summer Solstice: Celebrating the Journey of the Sun from May Day to Harvest. Quest Books, 2002.

John Matthews, The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas. Quest Books, 1998.

Gertrud Mueller Nelson, To Dance with God: Family Ritual and Community Celebration. Paulist Press, 1986.

Tess Ward, The Celtic Wheel of the Year: Celtic and Christian Seasonal Prayers. O Books, 2007.