Thursday, December 8, 2016

TLBPH recommends titles for the holiday season...

December is a month filled with celebrations for people all over the world.

The Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) has books related to several holiday celebrations, available in audio, braille and large print formats.

Buddhists celebrated Bodhi Day today. It's a commemoration of the day when the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, is said to have achieved enlightenment. The holiday is observed with meditation and performance of kind acts for others. Some Buddhists celebrate with tea, cake and special readings as well.

Mawlid, the birthday of Muhammed, prophet of the Islamic religion, is celebrated in 2016 on Dec. 12 by the Sunni sect, and on Dec. 17 by the Shia sect. Other Islamic sects, most notably the Wahhabi and Salafi sects, do not approve of Mawlid celebrations.

Hanukkah (or Chanukah, a more traditional spelling), the eight-day Jewish festival of lights commemorating the rededication of the second Holy Temple in Jerusalem, starts at sundown on Dec. 24 and ends at sundown on Jan. 1.

Christmas, the most well-known of the holidays, commemorates the birth of Christ for Christians all over the world. It is celebrated on Dec. 25 by most Christians, although, in some areas, people of Orthodox faith still follow the Gregorian calendar and celebrate Christ's birth on Jan. 7. While this holiday has also become secular holiday with Santa bringing gifts, many people of Orthodox faith practice several days of fasting before the holiday.

Kwanzaa, a celebration of African heritage, unity and culture is held each year from Dec, 26 through Jan. 1. The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the Swahili phrase, matuna ya kwanza, meaning “first fruits.” Central to the celebration is a candelabra with seven candles dedicated to the seven principles of Kwanzaa: unity; self-determination; collective work and responsibility; cooperative economics and purpose; creativity; and faith.

Whichever holidays you choose to celebrate in December, the Tennessee Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (TLBPH) has books related to these celebrations in audio, braille and large print formats. Here are a few selections:

  • The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, by the Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler, available in braille and audio formats
  • Islam: A Short History, by Karen Armstrong, available in audio, braille and large print formats
  • Hanukkah in America: A History, by Dianne Ashton, available in audio format
  • Once Upon a Christmas, by Pearl S. Buck, available in audio format
  • Kwanzaa: An African-American Holiday That is Progressive and Uplifting, by Haki R. Madhubuti, available in braille and audio formats.

TLBPH is a division of the Tennessee State Library and Archives, which is part of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett. For more information on eligibility to borrow books from TLBPH and what is available, please visit:

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Tennessee Department of State and Tre Hargett, Secretary of State

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