Holiday shows set at the Edelman Planetarium

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he Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University will host "Season of Light," its December star show, on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. from December 6 through 20.

The Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University will host "Season of Light," its December star show, on Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. from December 6 through 20.

"Season of Light" traces the history and development of many of the world's most endearing holiday customs, all of which involve lighting up the winter season - from the burning Yule log, sparkling Christmas tree lights and candles in windows, to the lighting of luminarias in the American Southwest and the traditional ritual of the Hanukkah menorah.

The show also recounts the historical religious and cultural rituals practiced during the time of winter solstice. It takes a look at some of the more light-hearted seasonal traditions: from gift-giving and kissing under the mistletoe to songs about lords a-leaping and ladies dancing.  Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle and other ancestors of Santa Claus appear as well.

Finally, "Season of Light" looks at the brightest lights of the winter sky, showing a selection of northern hemisphere winter constellations and explaining the existence of seasons. And the program explores the possible astronomical explanations for the "Star over Bethlehem." The show is narrated by Noah Adams of public radio fame, with music by Geodesium.

"Season of Light" is open to the public. Admission fees are $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and under, $3 for seniors over 60 and $3 for Rowan students.

Also playing the same Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. is the laser show "Holiday Magic." Not your typical hard-rock show, this includes holiday music performed by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Mannheim Steamroller and the Spice Girls. Admission fees are the same as for the star shows. Tickets for both shows go on sale at 6:30 p.m. on Saturdays.

These shows can be enjoyed by people 10 years and older, and are watchable by those six years and older. The planetarium does not encourage attendance at these public shows by pre-schoolers.

The planetarium is located in the Science Hall at Rowan University; campus maps are available at www.rowan.edu/maps/. More information about the planetarium and its activities can be found at www.rowan.edu/planetarium/.

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