Why do we make New Year's resolutions? Why do we engage in rituals like bobbing for apples on Halloween, watching football on Thanksgiving, and giving chocolate on Valentine's Day? What is the connection between May Day and the Statue of Liberty? Between ancient solstice fires and Fourth of July fireworks? In The Book of the Year, Anthony Aveni offers fascinating answers to these questions and explains the many ways humans throughout time have tried to order and give meaning to time's passing. Aveni traces the origins of modern customs tied to seasonal holidays, exploring what we eat (chocolate on St. Valentine's Day), the games we play (bobbing for apples on Halloween, football on Thanksgiving), the rituals we perform (dancing around the Maypole, making New Year's resolutions), and the colorful cast of characters we invent to dramatize holidays (Santa Claus, the witches and goblins of Halloween). Vividly written, filled with facts both curious and astonishing, this engrossing book allows us to hear that beat more clearly and to understand more fully the rhythms we all dance to throughout the year.