Describing more than 1,400 holidays, festivals, celebrations, commemorations, holy days, feasts and fasts, and other observances around the world, this volume is the most comprehensive compilation available on the subject. Entries cover more than 100 countries, including the U.S. The criteria used by the compilers were any event for which people gather for one or more days, or an event that has a story to tell
The book opens with lists of legal holidays by state and by country; words relating to periods of time (e.g., "nocturnal--nightly"); calendar systems around the world, with brief explanations of each; and a comparative table of calendar systems. The brief bibliography of sources consulted includes reference books, tourist bureaus, and travel associations
Entries are arranged from "Abbey Fair" to "Zulu Festival", with the name in English or an alternate spelling in parentheses, when appropriate ("Oshogatsu--New Year's Eve"), followed by the date of the event. The length of each entry varies from one paragraph to one-half page, describing the event and its history. Internal cross-references are noted by small-capital letters. Following the main entries are several indexes: by date, major religious group, and special subject--"Ancient/Pagan," "Calendar," "Folkloric," "Historic," "Promotional," and "Sporting." Finally, a keyword index lists all people, places, institutions, and other important items appearing within the text of annotations
Gale's "Holidays and Anniversaries of the World" (2d. ed, 1990) is arranged by date and emphasizes people born on a particular day, with only a few important national holidays listed, with no description. Its "Folklore of American Holidays" (2d. ed., 1991) and "Folklore of World Holidays" ["RBB" Ap 15 92] are more similar to the book under review, with detailed entries on more than 400 holidays, arranged by date. Sources for further reading are provided for each holiday, a feature not found in this new book
"Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary" is an excellent reference for teachers, students of all ages, and those just interested in learning more about a particular event. A worthwhile purchase for school and public libraries, especially those that don't own the two Gale "Folklore" volumes.
A reference guide in some 1,400 alphabetical entries that describe a wide range of popular, ethnic, civic, historical, sports, and religious festivals and holidays in countries around the world. National holidays of the US are covered along with regional and state festivals, events, and celebrations. Special features include state-by- state lists of recognized American holidays, and public holidays worldwide listed by country. In addition to a general index, there is a chronological index, an index by major religious groups, and six special indexes that categorize holidays by ancient/pagan, calendar type, folklore, historic, promotional, and sporting. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)