Did you know the Puritans did not celebrate Christmas? Or that trick or treating on Halloween began in the late 1930s? That Kwanzaa was created in the mid-sixties by Ron Karenga, radical black nationalist and Black Panther? That Anne Marie Jarvis, the force behind making Mother's Day a national holiday, later repudiated the holiday for its crass commercialism and strove to undo her handiwork until the day she died? Every holiday has a history, and this sets out to tell it. This chronologically organized reference guide to the history of American celebratory days, past, present, and emergent will also focus on each holidays' cultural and political significance. It includes major, minor, and bygone holidays, both civic and religious. The work has a distinctive multicultural tone, with special emphasis placed on recent additions to the national holiday pantheon, such as Kwanzaa, Cinco de Mayo, Gay Pride, and Passover, among others in addition to the more traditional Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Veterans' Day. New "holidays," like The Superbowl and Mardi Gras, are included as well. Each entry tracks the changes in the celebration of the day, its origins, and its wider cultural significance. The Introduction provides an overview of the history of holidays in America, their uses and controversies. Illustrations, a robust bibliography and comprehensive index complete the work. Presented chronologically, a range of holidays are examined.