In summer we calmed ourselves and rested. Now, at the beginning of winter and the end of the calendar year, many people restore their souls and refresh their spirits in another way: with joyous and raucous celebration – tastefully done, of course.
Some values and practices seem to fit well with certain seasons: renewal as spring begins and values that are reminiscent of harvest in autumn. Yet none of them is limited to a time of year. Each of them is an item in the toolbox of soul and spirit. Retrieve it and use it when you need it.
I have been celebrating since before I can remember. Probably you have, too.
- Rough Guides, World Party: The Rough Guide to the World's Best Festivals (Rough Guides, 2006).
- Michael Guerriero, Party Across America: 101 of the Greatest Festivals, Sporting Events, and Celebrations Across the U.S. (Adams Media, 2008).
- Gail Johnson, African and Caribbean Celebrations (Hawthorn Press, 2008).
- Helene Henderson and Sue Ellen Thompson, eds., Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary (Omnigraphics, 2002).
- Tanya Gulevich, ed., World Holiday, Festival, and Calendar Books: An Annotated Bibliography of More Than 1,000 Books on Contemporary and Historic Religious, Folk, Ethnic, and National Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations (Omnigraphics, 1998).
- Nancy Luenn, Celebrations of Light: A Year of Holidays Around the World (Atheneum, 1998).
- links to lists of festivals
- Kathlyn Gay, African-American Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations (Omnigraphics, 2006).
- Jack Santino, Halloween and Other Festivals of Life and Death (University of Tennessee Press, 1994).
- W. W. Fowler, The Roman Festivals of the Period of the Republic: An Introduction to the Study of the Religion of the Romans (Gorgias Press, 2004).
- Stephen F. Teiser, The Ghost Festival in Medieval China (Princeton University Press, 1988).
- Olga Nájera-Ramirez, La Fiesta de los Tastoanes: Critical Encounters in Mexican Festival Performance (University of New Mexico Press, 1997).
- Uma Vasudev, Incredible India: Fairs and Festivals (Wisdom Tree, 2007).
- Henri Schindler, Mardi Gras New Orleans (Flammarion, 1997).
- Helmut Teissl, Carnival in Rio (Abbeville Press, 2000).
- Crispin Aubrey and John Shearlaw, Glastonbury Festival Tales (Ebury Press, 2004).
- Laurie C. Hillstrom, The Thanksgiving Book: A Companion to the Holiday Covering Its Lore, Traditions, Foods, and Symbols (Omnigraphics, 2007).
- Tanya Gulevich, Encyclopedia of Christmas & New Year's Celebrations: Over 240 Alphabetically Arranged Entries Covering Christmas, New Year's, and Related Days of Observance (Omnigraphics 2003).
- Nuba Harvest Celebration
- Winchester Cathedral harvest festival bells
- Culto a baba egum
- Ethiopian millennium celebration
- Carnaval, Rio de Janiero, Brazil
I do not know what a prairie dog feels but cannot help noticing the similarity between their behavior when a predator leaves their territory and a human celebration. The prairie dog will stand on its hind legs, jump and let out a high-pitched squeak, called a jump-yip. You can see one at the end of this video.
- Marc Chagall, Celebration (1982)
- Boris Kostudiev, Holiday in the Countryside (1917)
- Salvador Dali, Fiesta in Figueres (1914)
- Claude Monet, Rue Montergeuil, Paris, Festival of June 30, 1878 (1878)
- Karl Bryullov, Grape Harvest Celebration (1827)
- Diego Velázquez, Triumph of Bacchus (1628)
- Peter Brueghel the Elder, The Wedding Dance in the Open Air (c. 1566)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Jambalaya (performances by Sonnier, Domino, Williams and CCR)
- Bob Dylan, Nashville Skyline Rag
- Boyer, Celebration Overture
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- George Frideric Händel, Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749)
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, Op. 71, TH 14, (1892) (approx. 80-90 minutes): “The story begins somewhere in Germany during Christmas eve when godfather Drosselmeyer arrives with Christmas presents for his godchildren, Clara and Fritz. Clara, the heroine of the story, receives a nutcracker, a traditional doll believed to bring good luck, according to German legends. A jealous Fritz, who is Clara’s brother, breaks the doll much to Clara’s dismay. Godfather Drosselmeyer magically repairs the doll, and Clara falls asleep with it under the Christmas tree. This sets into motion the magical events of the ballet.” “The ballet is free of theology, steers clear of baby Jesus and celebrates festivities to which many families, regardless of religious persuasion, can relate at this time of year. Here is a magical world of young children, parents, toys, Christmas trees, snowflakes and candy, all set to Tchaikovsky’s ‘abundant and perfect’ score . . .” “We hear new melodies almost every minute for two hours, which is beyond what even the greatest film composers do sometimes. We hear Tchaikovsky’s skill as a craftsman and his incredible ability to create different colors in the orchestra. Immediately, his music evokes a place more magical than our own.” Performances with video are by New York City Ballet, Astrakhan Ballet & Opera Theatre, and National Ballet and Opera Theatre of Mari El. Top audio performances are conducted by Rodzinski in 1956, Ansermet in 1958, Doráti in 1962, Lanchbery in 1982, Ozawa in 1990, Dutoit in 1992, Maninov in 1995, Gergiev in 1998 ***, and Neeme Järvi in 2014.
- Bach, Cantata #202, BWV 202, "Weichet Nur, Betrübte Schatten" (Wedding Cantata) (1718)
- Goldmark, Symphony No. 1 in E-flat Major, "Rustic Wedding," Op. 26 (1875)
- Simpson, A., A Crown of Stars, wedding oratorio in three parts (2010)
- Fry, “Santa Claus”, Christmas Symphony
- Bax, London Pageant (1937)
- Dvořák, Carnival Overture, Op. 92, B169 (1891)
- Ignác František Mára, Cello Concerto in C Major
- John Coltrane, “My Favorite Things”
- JPP, “Devil’s Polska”
- Bob Brookmeyer (New Art Orchestra), “New Works”
- “Aurita Castillo y su conjunto (Festival con Aurita), Volume 2”
- Fernando García, “Behique” (2023) (50’)
New Year’s Day concerts in Vienna: 1974, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
Piping down the valleys wild / Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a could I saw a child. / And he laughing said to me.
Pipe a song about a Lamb; / So I piped with merry chear,
Piper pipe that song again - / So I piped, he wept to hear.
Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe / Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again / While he wept with joy to hear
Piper sit thee down and write / In a book that all may read -
So he vanish=d from my sight. / And I pluck'd a hollow reed.
And I made a rural pen, / And I stain'd the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs / Every child may joy to hear.