Review: The Big Book of Festivals

Festivals, celebrations and religious Holy Days have always been part of the world’s history. Some go back thousands of years. 

The Big Book of Festivals encompasses a great range of these from around the globe.

The most popular, original and sometime out-there festivals make interesting reading for those who love to expand their knowledge. 

Symbols, motifs and emblems that mark each event, plus plants, music, instruments and dancing, accentuate the essence of each entry.

Over time, each custom has evolved to some degree with change, and movement of people around the globe.

I have chosen the most unusual ones to represent this magnificent collection. They will whet your curiosity to discover what else this amazing book holds.

Everyone has heard about Valencia’s tomato festival. To throw thousands of kilos of tomatoes at one another seems such a waste but to the people who take part, it is fun!

Fire-walking rituals that take part in Northern Greece named Anastenaria, are celebrated by the Greek-Macedonians to honour St Helen and St Constantine in May.

Diwali, India’s festival of light lasts five days. New Delhi has the grandest festival, being the ancient capital. Food and gifts are shared and exchanged.

Konaki Sumo is the crying baby festival, a 400 year-old Shinto tradition, is between two Sumo wrestlers holding a baby. It’s to see who can make the baby cry first.

There are Whirling Dervishes, and Halloween. Seasonal festivals and rituals are guided by the phases of the Moon, depending on the individual calendars that are followed.

The Big Book of Festivals records the where and when each of these celebrations is held. Included are stories, folklore and mythology handed down through generations.

Brilliantly coloured, intricately detailed illustrations fill the pages with movement, song and dance. Strange and unusual some may be, but they are all diverse and educational.

Can you find the children from the opening page in the illustrations? The challenge is to discover them and see to which country they belong.

Title: The Big Book of Festivals
Author: Marita Bullock & Joan-Marie Hargreaves
Illustrator: Liz Roland
Publisher: Hachette, $ 29.99
Publication Date: 31 March 2021
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780734419972
For ages: 8+
Type:  Junior Non Fiction

August 3, 2021 at 12:36PM Anastasia Gonis