Thu
22Dec
UTC
7:30pm
Online

Why do lights connect winter traditions across cultures?

Pardis Mahdavi

What images do you conjure up in your mind when you think of winter? What is it about wintertime that brings people, rituals and remembrance together?

Learn about this Garden Talk

What images do you conjure up in your mind when you think of winter? What is it about wintertime that brings people, rituals and remembrance together?

In the months surrounding this time November, December, and January—people around the world gather to celebrate many festivals. For many of us wintertime evokes thoughts of celebrations and togetherness.

Records of wintertime ceremonies go as far back as 3000 BCE. The Romans celebrated Saturnalia, a holiday in honour of the god Saturn in wintertime. Celebrated for the longest night of the year, Yalda has been observed by Persians around the world for many centuries. By the time Christianity began spreading through Europe, there was a long-standing pagan holiday known as the Yule festival.

While all the customs and rituals are different, wintertime unites these celebrations with a message of new beginnings.

Pardis Mahadev Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Montana, leading anthropologist and storyteller, examines the festivals and celebrations at wintertime which shape us and the world around us.

Talk outline

Duration

50 minutes

What to expect

30 minute talk

20 minute Member Q&A

Pardis Mahdavi

Pardis Mahdavi, PhD is the Provost and Executive Vice President at the University of Montana. She has published six single authored books and one edited volume in addition to numerous journal and news articles.

Life's rhythms & rituals Collection

Rituals are one of the oldest threads in the history of human culture but we can’t always explain why they are so important. Traditions can stir up feelings of nostalgia but have you ever wondered where these traditions and rituals came from?

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