Season of Light

Ages 9 - Adult

The Season of Light examines origin of the bright and festive traditions still celebrated today. Since pre-history the darkest season of long nights and cold weather have prompted people to look for warmth and hope in the lights of the sky and fires that repel the cold. On the domed sky the reason for the seasons is unveiled and scenes of early cultures show solstice celebrations.

Have you wondered how Hanukkah became a holiday of candlelight? How did Romans treat themselves to a mood lift at the winter solstice? What was the famous “star” seen over Bethlehem?

For more information on the subject, click on one of the links below. Find out the names of each constellation and the stories behind those names. A constellation information page compiled by Chris Dolan at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Astronomy. The traditions of Christmas. Christmas customs around the world. Customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" which are actually linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. The history and traditions of Hanukkah. All things Hanukkah. Sponsored by The U.S. Department of Education's National Library of Education and ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, this site offers lesson plans for all subjects and all grades. Explore Web sites and lesson plans about the four seasons. National Geographic’s Activities website. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory web site. A site about our solar system maintained by the Solar System Dynamics Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. A web site about astronomy, designed for kids, with tons of information. Learn what’s going on TODAY in astronomy on the “Star Date” web page, maintained by the University of Texas’ McDonald Observatory.

Contact | Star Shows | Public Shows | Field Trips | UMaine | Observatory

Maynard F. Jordan Planetarium, 5781 Wingate Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5781
Phone: (207) 581-1341