Holiday shows featured at Rowan's Edelman Planetarium

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The Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University will host the show “Season of Light” through mid-December. The program 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 lighting of the Hanukkah menorah.

The Edelman Planetarium at Rowan University will host the show “Season of Light” through mid-December. The program 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 lighting 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 all drop by as well.

Finally, “Season of Light” looks at the brightest lights of the winter sky, a selection of Northern Hemisphere winter constellations, and uncovers why there are seasons. And the program explores some 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 on Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sundays at 3 p.m. through December 19. Admission fees are $5 for adults, $3 for children 12 and younger, $3 for seniors older than 60, and $3 for Rowan students. 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/.

Also playing on the same days is the laser show “Holiday Magic,” which includes holiday music performed by Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Mannheim Steamroller and the Spice Girls. “Holiday Magic” plays on Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Admission fees are the same as for the star shows. Tickets for both shows go on sale at 6:30 p.m. Saturday nights.

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

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