Photographs of white snowflakes on a dark blue background.

Winter Holidays

Celebrate with some seasonal scholarship from JSTOR Daily for the winter holidays.
An illustration of a thanksgiving table

Thanksgiving Stories

Turkey or Tofurkey? Stuffing or dressing? Whatever the controversy, these Thanksgiving stories will slake your appetite!
Three costumed girls, Pauline, Barbara and Dorothy Luck surrounding Halloween pumpkin, 1940

Halloween: A Mystic and Eerie Significance

Despite the prevalence of tricks and spooky spirits in earlier years, the American commercial holiday didn’t develop until the middle of the twentieth century.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%22A_Thrilling_Hallowe%27en.%22_(Three_black_cats_flying_through_the_air_with_Jack-o-lanterns).jpg

Halloween Stories

Why are Victorians the default haunted house, what do ghosts have to do with the imagination, and why do we like to be scared?
An Easter card from Sweden

The Easter Witches of Sweden

Today's lighthearted Easter tradition traces its roots to the witch trials and conspiracy theories of the 16th and 17th centuries.
Close up of illustration of prisoners from La Roca

St. Patrick’s Day in Prison

Offhand references to St. Patrick’s Day showcase broader humor, humanity, and history in the American Prison Newspapers collection.
New Year / Felt tip pen

Happy New Year!

Why do we celebrate on the 1st of January? Do financial incentives help you stick to resolutions? And other burning questions.
A Happy Christmastide

Share These Victorian Holiday Cards

It's all birds and flowers and kittens in these greeting cards. May they, as one of the cards says, keep winter from your heart.
A troupe of "Masqueraders" carry whips and perform a parody of Irish dance steps, a tradition started by african slaves who were mocking their Irish slave masters.

Montserrat’s St. Patrick’s Day Commemorates a Rebellion

On March 17, 1768, the enslaved people of a Caribbean island planned a revolt, assuming the Irish slave owners would be drunk and distracted.
A woman in Ireland makes a 'wren' from ribbons.

Wren Folklore and St. Stephen’s Day

The tiny winter songbirds are clever kings to the Irish. They're also fodder (literally) for post-Christmas ritual.