America's Favorite Holidays: Candid Histories

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Univ of California Press, Oct 27, 2015 - History - 222 pages
America’s Favorite Holidays explores how five of America’s culturally important holidays—Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving—came to be what they are today, seasonal and religious celebrations heavily influenced by modern popular culture. Deftly distilling information from a wide range of sources, Bruce David Forbes reveals often-surprising answers to questions about each holiday’s traditions. Was Christmas always as commercialized as it is today? Is Thanksgiving a religious or secular holiday? When did we begin trick-or-treating on Halloween? Appealing and insightful, America’s Favorite Holidays satisfies our curiosity about the origins of our holidays and the fascinating ways in which religion and culture mix.
 

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Contents

Christmas
13
Valentines Day
45
Easter
79
Halloween
115
Thanksgiving
153
Afterword
191
List of Illustrations and Credits
205
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Bruce David Forbes is Professor of Religious Studies at Morningside College, author of Christmas: A Candid History, and coeditor of Religion and Popular Culture in America.

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