North Carolina
Solstice Through the Centuries: The Evolution of Winter Holidays
Celebrate the solstice as you journey through the history and evolution of winter holidays, from Hanukkah to the Christmas traditions in Southern Appalachia.
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Program No. 20308RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
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At a Glance

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. For centuries, people worldwide have observed the darkness and celebrated the “return” of the sun. Learn how these old solstice traditions echo through current celebrations. Become acquainted with festivities of many cultures and learn about the ancient Yule and its influence on Christmas. Plus, discover Appalachian Mountain Christmas traditions as you sing and craft with locals.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Several hours sitting in a classroom.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Share stories and carols with local musicians and make wreaths together to take home to your own celebrations.
  • From the obscure to the iconoclastic, discover the many ways films have woven Christmas into their subjects.
  • Learn about an array of holiday history and traditions, from the origin of Hanukkah to the importance of greenery in ancient Yule traditions.
Featured Expert
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Lee Knight
Raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York, Lee is a folk singer, story teller and outdoor leader, performing at concerts, workshops, festivals and schools. He shares his knowledge of the natural world leading hikes, canoe trips and guiding whitewater rafts. Lee has collected and shares Cherokee legends and plays the Cherokee flute and rattle, as well as the Native American drum. He also plays the five-string banjo, guitars and the Appalachian dulcimer.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Lee Knight
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Michael McCoy
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Suggested Reading List
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