Ever wondered why Christmas trees are decorated with lights and ornaments? Or maybe where the legend of Santa Claus originated? Perhaps even where the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe started?
Tarleton Science Planetarium is prepared to answer those holiday stumpers with its annual showing of “Season of Light.”
“I believe out of all the Christmas shows this one is the most culturally balanced,” Planetarium Manager Larry Barr said. “It’s an amazingly broad view of how cultures around the world celebrate this time of year.”
“Season of Light” is narrated by National Public Radio’s Noah Adams. It explains holiday customs from around the world and their warm lighting of a cold, winter season. The show researches traditions such as the burning of the Yule log to the sparkling Christmas tree lights to the lighting of the Menorah.
Historical religious and cultural rituals are also explained - including Christian, Jewish, Celtic, Roman and Pagan practices.
The show, which is appropriate for all ages, has become a yearly event for many families in Stephenville since it began in 2003.
“It’s like Miracle on 34th Street - it’s become a tradition for a lot of people,” Barr said. “As long as they want to keep seeing it, we’ll keep showing it.”
The Tarleton Planetarium is located on the northwest corner of Lillian and Vanderbilt streets. Parking is available in the lot on the north side of the building. The dome will seat 56 individuals for each showing. Admission is free and is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations for shows will not be accepted.
Showings will be held on Dec. 10 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 11 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 12 at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 17 at 2 and 7 p.m.; Dec. 18 at 2 and 7 p.m.
For more information, call the recorded information line at 254-968-0522 or the box office at 254-968-0523 or visit www.tarleton.edu/planetarium.