December 31, 2012

Mummers Parade – String Bands

Since 1902, the “String Band” of the Mummers Parade has been revered by Mummers and townspeople alike.

December 28, 2012

Wassail

An ancient Anglo-Saxon tradition called “Wassail” lives on in Pennsylvania, where a group of friends celebrate this week by drinking to the health of apple trees.

December 27, 2012

Year End Fire Watch

“Be careful with fire!” is the call heard throughout Tokyo neighborhoods on the last two evenings of the year.

December 26, 2012

Kwanzaa – Traditions

This week, millions of people around the world celebrate Kwanzaa, a relatively new holiday with roots in the ancient harvest festivals of Africa.

December 25, 2012

Kalas

In Lindsborg, Kansas, folks still mark this time of year with traditions their ancestors brought from Sweden.

December 24, 2012

Christmas Bonfires – Tradition

Along the banks of the Mississippi River, a line of Bonfires lights the way for Papa Noel.

December 21, 2012

Natural Astronomy – Solstice

This week is the winter solstice. But without a calendar, would you be able to tell?

December 20, 2012

Natural Astronomy – Rock Clock

One astronomer uses a home-made version on Stonehenge to keep track of the passing seasons.

December 19, 2012

Seasonal Backyard Science – Every Tree Tells A Story

Examining a fallen tree can reveal a lot about the animals that have used it.

December 18, 2012

Seasonal Backyard Science – Insects

Even in winter, you can find springtails!

December 17, 2012

Seasonal Backyard Science – Winter Secrets

When you find grooves in the snow, or piles of pine cone chips – who has been there? Learn about the signs that animals leave behind.

December 14, 2012

Seasonal Backyard Science – Holes

Grey squirrels have two homes – winter and summer, and woodpeckers help in the renovation process of the winter dwelling.

December 13, 2012

Santa Lucia – Waking Up

Serving sweet bread and wearing a crown of candles, young Swedish girls represent Saint Lucia in an early morning ritual.

December 12, 2012

Santa Lucia – History

The ancient legends of Santa Lucia are still embraced by the Swedish culture, with rituals of light in the darkness of winter.

December 11, 2012

Bears – Slowing Down

Bears have unique mechanisms for self-preservation during their months of hibernation.

December 10, 2012

Bears – Birthing

For bears in hibernation, giving birth and nursing newborns is a slumberous activity.

December 7, 2012

Black Bears – Denning

This month, Minnesota’s Black Bears have taken to their dens to spend the long winter in hibernation.

December 6, 2012

Sinterklaas

Change Santa Claus’s team of reindeer into a single white horse, and replace his costume with a bishop’s robes, and you’ll begin to get a picture of the Netherlands’ Sinterklaas.

December 5, 2012

Klausjagen – Celebration

With bells, whips and candles, a Swiss village celebrates St. Nicholas’ Day.

December 4, 2012

Grizzly Tracking – Signs

Grizzly bear tracking usually involves splitting a few hairs.

December 3, 2012

Grizzly Tracking – Crucial Corridor

Scientists and volunteers work together to see if Grizzly bears are finally returning to the mountains of Montana.