Cityscape
3:55 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Folklorist Publishes Book On St. Louis Christmas Traditions

St. Louis folklorist John Oldani has published a new book on the region's folklore and traditions, this time about the Christmas holiday.

The book, Christmas in St. Louis, includes more than 200 iconic St. Louis Christmas photographs by Mark S. Abeln, as well as historic photos from the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Among the book's highlights are:

  • The Famous-Barr window displays
  • The story of the ribbon around the planetarium
  • Spread straw around a fruit tree, get married within the year
  • Find the pickle ornament, get extra luck
  • St. Nicholas Day

Oldani said his favorite Christmas tradition is the first-footer. The lore says that to ensure good luck in the new year, the first person walking through your front door on New Year's Day should be a tall, handsome young man with brown hair. A red-haired man should be avoided because he represents Judas and brings bad luck.

A discussion with folklorist John Oldani about his new book looking at Christmas traditions in St. Louis.

Related Event

John Oldani Book Signing
Saturday,December 14, 2013
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Missouri Botanical Garden's Garden Gate Shop
For more information, call 314-577-5100 or visit the Missouri Botanical Garden website.

For more information about the book, including other book signing events, visit the Christmas in St. Louis Facebook page.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

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