THE LORE OF BIRTHDAYS by Ralph and Adelin Linton


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A book with a sharply limited market -- a specialized reference book for public libraries. And this despite the effort to give it a general appeal by making part of it a book for recording birthdays under the proper zodiacal sign. A book that belongs under folklore and traditions, in the meticulous tracing of the sources of observance, the whys and hows of birthday cakes, of candles, of birthstones. There is some historical data here, anecdote and legend, indicating the scholar background of Ralph Linton, ethnologist and anthropologist. He goes back to Egypt, to Persian and Greek customs, to the more limited celebrating in Rome. He traces the German sources of American celebration of children's birthdays. He discusses the superstitions about days of the week, months of the year; the symbolism of some of the customs; the name day as distinguished from the birth day or the saint day or the baptismal day. More briefly, he discusses the signs of the zodiac, the horoscopes, the birthstones, though this is the one section that might give the book wider public appeal. Small market.

Publisher: Henry Schuman