This edition of Holiday Symbols and Customs is the newest in a series of books Thompson has written in this subject area. The new edition, which explores the origins of more than 1,000 well-known symbols and customs, has been expanded to include some major annual sporting events, such as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby. The book is written to appeal to a wide audience, including students, teachers, and librarians seeking information related to a variety of holidays and celebrations.
Entries are arranged alphabetically by the name of the holiday or event. Each identifies the type of holiday; when and where it is celebrated or observed; a list of traditions, symbols, and customs; colors associated with the holiday, if any; closely related holidays; and contact information and Web sites. In addition, each entry includes a brief essay discussing the historic and folkloric origins of the holiday, followed by a section on the meanings of the symbols or customs. Each entry has a list of further reading for additional research.