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"...one of those rare events that delight
people of all ages!"
—The Washington Post

About the Christmas Revels

Dragon in the 2010 Christmas RevelsWashington Revels’ flagship production, The Christmas Revels, is a colorful pageant of music, dance and drama that celebrates the Winter Solstice and the return of sun and light after the “shortest day,” radiating hope and joy in the renewal of life and the circle of the seasons. It draws on traditions and rituals from many lands and peoples—Celtic, English, French, Russian, Gypsy, African-American, Scandinavian, American Appalachian, Native American, Italian Renaissance, Québécois, Andalusian (Jewish, Arabic and Spanish), and more—and from different eras.

Professionally staged and directed, each production creates an on-stage community combining local adults, teens and children together with professional actors and musicians as well as “tradition-bearers” from the culture(s) being celebrated that year. Audience participation is a hallmark: whether singing carols and rounds, joining hands in a rousing line dance through the aisles and into the lobbies just before intermission, or becoming part of the drama, the audience is always an integral part of the Revels community.

The Christmas Revels crosses religious and ethnic boundaries, appealing to young and old alike—a unique seasonal celebration that is inclusive and meaningful to the community at large, regardless of background. This December, tens of thousands of people around the country will attend Christmas Revels performances in ten cities—over 10,000 in the Washington, D.C. area alone—satisfying a deep human need to come together in communal celebration of the turning of the year and the rebirth of light out of darkness.