Cover image for Religious holidays and calendars : an encyclopedic handbook
Religious holidays and calendars : an encyclopedic handbook
Bellenir, Karen.
Third edition.
Publication Information:
Detroit : Omnigraphics, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 406 pages : illustrations ; 29 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CE6 .K45 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

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Comprehensive source of information about the calendars and holidays of the world's religions. Provides concise information about the beliefs, practices, and history of more than 20 major religions. Additional features include bibliography, calendar index, holiday index, and master index.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Following the scope of the first two editions (1993 and 1998), the third covers holidays with a sacred component that celebrate, commemorate, or honor people, places, events, and concepts important to a specific religious community. Included are the world's major faiths and other smaller faith communities that were chosen for their historical and current cultural impact in the U.S. Religious authorities and members of various religious communities contributed to this handbook in the writing and editing of chapters. The book is divided into three parts. Part 1, The History of Calendars, is broken into four chapters that provide information on the development of calendars as well as other methods of timekeeping, such as water clocks and pendulums. Calendars and Holidays for Religious Groups comprises part 2 and is the major section of the handbook. The addition of over 100 new entries means that more than 550 religious holidays are listed, beginning with those that originated in the Middle East (Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha'i) and moving eastward around the globe. Each chapter on a religion or religious group begins with an overview of the religion. A second essay covers specific issues that relate to the religion and its sacred calendar. The last section of each chapter is a chronological listing of holidays and a brief description of each. Each chapter also contains a table that lists each holiday alphabetically. Part 3 contains appendixes and indexes. The appendixes include Internet and organizational sources for more information, a bibliography, and a five-year chronological list of holidays for 2004 to 2008 based on the Gregorian calendar. There are three indexes: a Holiday Index, a Calendar Index, and a master index of personal names, concepts, key terms, holidays, organizations, events, and other significant terms. All types of libraries would find this a good source of basic information about religions and their holidays. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

For this third edition of a library staple, Bellenir, editor of several health sourcebooks, considerably updates, expands, and refines the information from the last edition, now seven years old. Some 100 entries have been added, bringing the total number of described feasts, festivals, and holy days to about 500. Yom Kippur, St. Patrick's Day, Walpurgis Night, and the Hollyhock Festival are just a sampling of the events covered in the succinctly written entries, which are grouped into 17 religion-specific chapters. Each offers a general overview of the faith, a detailed statement about the calendar, and the key holidays celebrated by its adherents. Several black-and-white illustrations accompany the resource. Many tables, set off in gray boxes, elaborate on various rituals, practices, and customs of the ancient and evolving religious traditions. Major Eastern and Western traditions are equally represented and respectfully treated owing to the influence of an international review board of religious experts and practitioners. The book provides considerable discussion of the history of calculating time and the evolution of sacred calendars. Completing this handbook are three helpful appendixes (which suggest helpful Internet sites), a topically arranged bibliography, and a five-year (2004-08) chronological listing of the holidays described. Fully indexed for convenience and accessibility, this valuable reference is recommended for larger public and academic libraries wanting to update an aging title. John-Leonard Berg, Univ. of Wisconsin Lib., Platteville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Bellenir's helpful handbook provides an overview of the timekeeping and holiday traditions of the world's religions. Part 1 has four chapters that outline the history of calendars. Part 2 covers 24 religious groups in 17 chapters, each surveying the history of the religion, then listing it chronologically and describing the holidays it celebrates. The 28 contributors provide accurate information in readable, double-columned articles, ranging in length from 66 pages on types of Christianity to one on Scientology. Appendixes supply sources for further study, bibliography, and a five-year chronological list of holidays. Indexes of holidays and calendars and a master index are included. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic libraries. G. Holloway David Lipscomb University