A solid, hefty collection of articles, mostly new, about festivals the world over, including the continents of Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. The equally hefty cover price assures that this book will appeal chiefly to an academic audience, although there are some more popular articles here by the likes of Goethe, Aldous Huxley, and Ernest Hemingway, on bullfighting. Sadly, few of the newly commissioned articles are as readable as those by the three older masters. The promising title of ""Notes on the Doo-Dah Parade in Pasadena"" turns out to be the name of a densely academic exercise, labelling the Doe-Dab as ""a liminoid experience; liminal-like but clearly belonging to the partial realm of play. . ."" Yet, despite the unabashedly academic tone in many of the pieces, there is much valuable material and the experts were evidently chosen with care and intelligence. Their prose styles may be appallingly dense, but they manage to state the important facts with an admirable sense of brevity, for the most part. And buried in these essays are some charming characteristic details, such as a portrait of an Eskimo festival where the participants gorge on the ""enormous hearts, tongues, intestines, kidneys"" of whales. While such imagery may not make the reader want to join in the fun, still it evokes a mood and scene in an entertaining way. In sum, a specialized sourcebook that manages, on occasion, to entertain and enlighten.