Festival Folk: An Atlas of Carnival Customs and Costumes

All around the world there are festivals that reach back through the sands of time to medieval carnival traditions, and beyond. The festivals in this book are often little known outside their locale and they are all characterised by spectacular costumes and compellingly bizarre rituals. The Jarramplas of Piornal, Spain is a spooky devil character dressed in rags, who is pelted by two tons of turnips every year. In Japan, the Kasedori wear a suit of straw and run barefoot through the snow as villagers douse them in freezing water to protect their houses from fire. The Courir de Mardi Gras is a lesser known cousin of the New Orleans carnival, in which members of rural Louisiana communities dress in Medieval French jester costumes and chase down chickens thrown from the roofs of local farmsteads.

After Life

Why do we die? Why can’t we live forever? What happens to us after death? Moving between science and culture, After Life: Ways We Think About Death takes a straightforward look at these and other questions long taboo in our society. By showing the fascinating, diverse ways in which we understand death, both today and throughout our history, the book also shines a light on what it is to be human. Each chapter includes a brief telling of a death legend, myth or history from a different culture or tradition, from Adam and Eve to Wolf and Coyote, and ends with a section on a common theme in our thinking about death, such as rivers and birds in the afterlife, the colors that different cultures use to symbolize death, and, of course, ghosts. The final chapter is about grief, which is both a universal human experience and unique to each person. The text offers suggestions for ways to think about our grief, when to ask for help and how to talk to friends who are grieving.

Tea Ceremony

The “Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids series is the first series aimed at readers ages 7-12 that provides a fun and educational introduction to Asian culture and art. Readers can explore new crafts through hands-on projects that will give them a greater appreciation of Asian culture. “Tea Ceremony is an exciting and fun way to introduce Asian culture to kids. Readers will learn all the steps for performing a tea ceremony at home through easy-to-follow instruction plus all the elements of an authentic Japanese tea ceremony. This book is designed as an introduction to the Japanese art of tea; a wonderful way to explore Japanese culture and art.