Holiday Season on the Internet

Museum of Science and Industry’s Holiday Traditions
A companion to the annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light exhibit, with a schedule of performances, and descriptions of holiday traditions in many countries. New! Trees and Traditions podcast!
Metromix Chicago Holiday Happenings

The Chicago Tribune’s comprehensive guide to Chicago area holiday events, concerts, and exhibits.


InfoPlease Holiday Roundup
Handy overview of all the major winter holidays from this free online encyclopedia and almanac.
Recipe Source
The searchable online archive of recipes has an area devoted to Christmas and other holiday treats. For Hanukkah recipes, search the "Jewish" category.
Food Network Holiday Recipes
Includes many non-traditional recipes, as well as old favorites.

Hanukkah (sunset 12/1 - sunset 12/9)

Judaism 101 Guide to Chanukkah
An excellent overview of this popular holiday. Explains the origins, features recipes, guides to playing dreidl, lyrics and music to Hanukkah songs, and the Hebrew and English text for the blessings. Includes the How to Make Latkes video!
Virtual Chanukah
The Lubavitch movement’s guide to Chanukah with audio and video of songs and blessing, short stories, recipes, and a directory of public menorah lighting ceremonies.
My Jewish Learning Guide to Hanukkah
Animated guide to lighting candles, playing dreidel and other Hanukkah customs.
Hanukkah Music
The National Sound Archives of the Jewish National and University Library has put a collection of Hanukkah music on the Web. It features multiple versions of the candle blessings and the psalm "Maoz Tsur" and other songs. Includes Ashkenazic, Sephardic, Yiddish, and other European melodies. In English and Hebrew.
ORT Hanukkah Songs page
Has the sheet music and lyrics of Hanukkah songs
How Hanukkah Works

For the uninitiated, a succinct  explanation of how the holiday is observed.

Amazing Hanukkah Feats

From the History Channel, the tallest menorahs and biggest piles of sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts!)


Current Cost of the 12 Days of Christmas
A tongue-in-cheek financial analysis of the gifts of the popular song. Includes a table of the Price of Christmas from 1984-2010.
Merry Christmas Round the World
A great collection of links to Christmas movies, music, recipes, crafts, stories and humor.
History Channel's Guide to Christmas
A fabulous site illustrating the origins of Christmas folklore from ancient and Victorian traditions. Covers the evolution of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and popular toys and games.
Christmas How Stuff Works
Succinct explanations of Christmas traditions and folklore.
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Christmas
The site offers over two dozen Christmas legends and myths, including Jesus’ birth date, the number of wise men, the origin of the Yule log, the symbolism of candy canes, Christmas cards, and more, while discrediting some commonly accepted Christmas news stories.

Christmas Sheet Music

These sites contain printable Christmas sheet music for favorite carols:
8Notes Sheet Music
Noel, Noel, Noel
Mfiles Sheet Music

Sally Deford Music

Ashley Hall Free Choral Music


Official Kwanzaa Web Site
Organized by Dr. Maulana Karenga, the creator of Kwanzaa.
Melanet’s Kwanzaa Information page
Kwanzaa observance ideas and tips.
How Kwanzaa Works

A short history of Kwanzaa and an explanation of its rituals.

History of Kwanzaa

History Channel video recounts the origins or Kwanzaa and showcases a home celebration

New Year Celebrations

Infoplease New Year’s
Describes New Year Traditions in many countries, including a history of "Auld Lang Syne."
Chinese New Year

Happy Year of the Rabbit! Explains how the Chinese New Year’s Day is determined, the Chinese solar/lunar calendar, and the Chinese Zodiac.

History Channel Guide to Chinese New Year

Includes history, food and videos of celebrations

Infoplease Chinese New Year
New Year’s Eve and Chinese New Year
From the Government Information Office of Taiwan.
Tet: Vietnamese New Year
This site provides many details about this holiday, which falls sometime between the last ten days of January and the middle part of February: its meaning, preparation, the Vietnamese zodiac, recipes, art, legends, and spring festivals that carry on the spirit of Tet.
 Origins and customs of the Scottish celebration


The definitive Web resource about the ancient origins of the winter holiday season. Covers Yule, Saturnalia, and Winter Solstice history and celebrations.
Religious Tolerance Guide to Winter Solstice Celebrations
Well researched and documented guide to solstice origins of winter holidays in many cultures.
Winter Solstice
A how-to guide for celebrating the winter solstice, with recipes, music, decorating ideas and history.

Entries from Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of World Holidays

Access from outside the library requires an EPL library card number

Chinese New Year
New Year

Revised by Lesley Williams

December 2010

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