Writer, historian, consultant, trainer
Christmas Traditions: Some pre-Christian?
Many of the customs that we commonly associate with Christmas come from previous pagan or pre-Christian European backgrounds. Let’s look at some of these familiar traditions and some connections to other folklore elements with which we may be unfamiliar.
History of the Liberation of Auschwitz
January 27, 1945, was the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, one of the most notorious camps of World War II, by the Soviet Red Army. This date is now known by the United Nations and the European Union as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
History of Australia Day
Did you know that the history of European Australia has ties to the American Revolutionary War? When the 13 American Colonies were part of the British Commonwealth, it was convenient for England to transport its convicts to the Colonies. Indeed, it was considered more humane to “transport” prisoners than to execute them, and there were getting to be so many convicts.
History of Epiphany and Twelfth Night
Twelfth Night is on January 5, the eve of Epiphany. Epiphany occurs in the Christian calendar on January 6, signifying the event of the Magi, or Wise Men, visiting the baby Jesus. It is known in some Latin cultures as the Feast of the Three Kings or Three Kings Day.
History of New Year’s Ev
New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year, according to the Gregorian Calendar, and is known as Old Year’s Day or St. Sylvester’s Day. You may remember reading that Emperor Constantine was considered the first “Christian” Roman Emperor. St. Sylvester is responsible for Constantine’s conversion in the 4th century.
History of Auld Lang Syne
Why do we sing “Auld Lang Syne” each New Year’s Eve, but do we know what it means? The song contains words from a language that few are familiar with, in a syntax that is confusing to most, and is from a poem about friends recalling adventures they had long ago but had nothing to do with New Year’s Eve.
Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?
Scholars and historians have debated for centuries the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help them resolve this dilemma.