Holy Holidays!: The Catholic Origins of Celebration (Paperback)

The Catholic Origins of Celebration

By Greg Tobin

Palgrave MacMillan, 9780230104877, 240pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2011



How did Sunday become the "Sabbath Day?" Why did St. Valentine become the patron saint of lovebirds? Most people happily participate in Mardi Gras, Halloween, and St. Patrick's Day with very little knowledge of the origins and meanings of those celebrations. Greg Tobin unearths the religious roots of the seemingly secular, offering historical trivia and the sometimes bizarre origins of the days throughout the year that bring people together.

In these pages, readers will discover that:
- Jesus was not born on Christmas Day.
- The Easter Bunny is a deeply pagan tradition that simply could not be suppressed by the Church. Same with Easter eggs.
- Mother's Day falls in early May, the month dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Christ and the Catholic symbol of motherhood.
- Saint Patrick is not only the patron saint of Ireland but also Nigeria.

and much more.

About the Author

Greg Tobin is the author of several books on the Catholic Church. He was the editor of The Catholic Advocate, and during the April 2005 papal transition he appeared frequently on national radio and TV programs as an expert commentator on the popes and the papal election process. His books Selecting the Pope and Holy Father were widely used as authoritative resources on the subject and were quoted in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, as well as the Associated Press. He lives in West Orange, NJ.

Praise For Holy Holidays!: The Catholic Origins of Celebration

"In Holy Holiday! Greg Tobin gives us a veritable feast for the intellect, heart, and soul. Substantial, scholarly, yet very readable, even humorous, this book delivers an incredible amount of information, and even more inspiration." Dianne Traflet, J.D., S.T.D., author of Saint Edith Stein: A Spiritual Portrait and associate dean of the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, Seton Hall University

"Both readable and entertaining, Holy Holiday! uncovers facts and information that are often unknown or overlooked. Greg Tobin provides an invaluable insight to many liturgical and festive celebrations."--Dr. Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, Stillman Professor of Roman Catholic Theological Studies, Harvard Divinity School

"You probably know that Jesus most likely wasn't born on December 25th.  But do you know why we celebrate Christmas on that date?  Or why Easter Sunday seems to bounce around every year?  Even if you do, I'll bet you don't know why Mother's Day is in May.  These and many other cultural and religious curiosities are answered in Greg Tobin's fun, frank and fascinating new book, which you will find enjoyable no matter what day it is.--James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything