Acadian Christmas Traditions
Based on written sources and interviews with Acadians throughout the Maritimes, Acadian Christmas Traditions offers a fascinating look at the evolution of Christmas. This very readable book shows how customs, both spiritual and secular, take hold in families, in villages, and in a culture as a whole. Georges Arsenault, the well-known historian and folklorist, examines all the aspects of the feast of Christmas, from midnight mass to holiday foods. As he chronicles the cultural changes that have taken place over the centuries, he proves that Acadian Christmas today is the result of a wonderful blending of old, new, and borrowed traditions.
Georges Arsenault is a prominent Acadian historian and folklorist who has been writing about the Acadians of Prince Edward Island since the early 1980s. His landmark book, Les Acadiens de l’Île, 1720-1980, won both the Champlain and France-Acadie prizes. In 2002, he wrote Acadian Legends, Folktales and Songs from Prince Edward Island, and with the publication of Acadian Christmas Traditions in 2007, he expanded his research to include Acadian traditions throughout Eastern Canada. The original French version of this book, La Mi-Carême en Acadie (published by La Grand Marée), received the 2008 Prince Edward Island Book Award. Sally Ross is an historian and translator from Nova Scotia. She has translated three other books by Georges Arsenault: The Island Acadians, 1720-1980 (Ragweed Press, 1989); Acadian Legends, Folktales, and Songs from Prince Edward Island (Acorn Press, 2002); and Acadian Christmas Traditions (Acorn Press, 2007).