A Season of Reveling


The magic of Revels has moved online and, like a band of jolly wassailers, we hope you’ll invite us in to share our Fall theme, Hearth & Home, from the comfort of your own home! Our “Season of Reveling” celebrates the closeness of family, the comfort of friends, and the magic of opening our doors to all as we share, laugh, sing and dance around the fire from Autumn to Winter.

This year the glow may come from our screens rather than the flaming Yule log, but the warmth is just as real.

Take hands with us in this “Season of Reveling,” a journey from the Autumnal Equinox to the Winter Solstice and beyond that winds through the Fall holidays and celebrations that brighten our lives and the lives of our friends and neighbors!

Please support “A Season of Reveling” with an online donation by clicking the button below.

See more ways to contribute here.

Fall holidays and celebrations from September 17-December 20 and beyond!

Join us for videos, activities, and events that mark holidays and celebrations from a wide variety of traditions. Our “Book of Days” begins with Rosh Hashanah, the Autumnal Equinox, and the Japanese Harvest Moon Festival, and we look forward to many more holidays in the weeks ahead.

Gather with us as Revelers open their “hearths and homes” to share family and personal traditions with our wider community!

Click below to open our “Book of Days” and join the celebration!

Mark Your Calendars!Upcoming Virtual Events (with many more on the way):

October 29 – The Prophet’s Birthday:

  • 2019 Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools” tradition bearers Karim Nagi and Elisabeth Myers join Rachid Halihal from the 2011 Andalusian Revels in a video performance honoring the birth of the prophet Muhammad.

December 20 – Winter Solstice Revels:

  • The highlight of our “Season of Reveling”! Gather the family for this special event, with traditional Revels singalongs, performances by our virtual choruses of Adults, Teens and Children, the cheerful sound of the Washington Revels Brass, and more!

Revels Book of DaysUpcoming Virtual Events (with many more on the way):

October 26 & November 2 – Dia de los Muertos:

  • Revelers share how their families prepare for the Mexican “Day of the Dead” holiday.

October 28-31 – Halloween:

  • Stay tuned for spooky surprises from the Winter Solstice Revels chorus and the Washington Revels community!

October 29 – The Prophet’s Birthday:

  • 2019 Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools” tradition bearers Karim Nagi and Elisabeth Myers join Rachid Halihal from the 2011 Andalusian Revels in a video performance honoring the birth of the prophet Muhammad.

November 1 – Maryland Emancipation Day:

November 6-7 – Shabbat & Havdalah:

  • Revelers extend a virtual invitation to visit their homes as they celebrate shabbat and havdalah to end one week and welcome in the new!

December 20 – Winter Solstice Revels:

  • The highlight of our “Season of Reveling”! Gather the family for this special event, with traditional Revels singalongs, performances by our virtual choruses of Adults, Teens and Children, the cheerful sound of the Washington Revels Brass, and more!

Please support “A Season of Reveling” and this series of videos and activities:

Scroll down to see what we’ve been celebrating this Fall!


October 17-26 – Navaratri

Garba-Raas Folk Dance

From the 2003 Christmas Revels program:
This festival of nine nights of celebration and dance is dedicated to the Mother or Divine Goddess who represents the all-powerful universal energy that destroys evil and protects the righteous. The folk dance Garba-Raas is still performed today in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Garba (from the Sanskrit garbadeep, meaning a lamp inside a pot) is a circular dance performed by women wearing colorful embroidered textiles that bring the arid landscape to life. They dance with Garba pots on their heads, symbolizing the Universe and the light of Universal Energy shining through. As the celebration progresses, the Garba gives way to a more energetic stick dance, Dandiya Raas, in which dancers join the circle holding small polished sticks or dandiyas, striking them together as they whirl to the intoxicating rhythms. The Raas has its roots in the legendary dance between Krishna, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, and the village maidens, symbolizing the joyful dance of the human soul with God.

Featured in this video:
Oran Sandel as Old Rom
Khanci Dos (stage band)
Nritya-Tarangi (Dancing Waves) Dancers

Read the full program from the 2003 Christmas Revels: Roads of the Roma


October 10-11 – Simchat Torah

From Reveler Rowyn Peel:
Simchat Torah literally means rejoicing with the Torah! The Torah is the central text of the Jewish people, hand-written by scribes on scrolls of parchment. On this day, we have reached the end of the scroll, and we must re-roll the Torah back to the beginning to start reading it again. This annual rewind reminds us to celebrate the knowledge and wisdom that has been passed down through the generations, from scroll to scribe to new scroll. Chag sameach! (Happy holiday!)”

Simchat Torah Concert with Seth Kibel

Sunday, October 11, 3 PM

“Traditionally we would dance around the synagogue together with the Torah. This year, we invite you to dance along at home to a klezmer concert by Seth Kibel, a tradition bearer in our 2019 Christmas Revels: ‘Celestial Fools’!”

Support Programs Like This!

Click below to give online, or click the Facebook icon in the video above to donate to our Facebook fundraiser.


Download a Simchat Torah Coloring Sheet

To learn more about Simchat Torah, click here.


October 2-9 – Harvest Bounty and Sukkot

From Reveler Rowyn Peel:
Sukkot is a holiday of joy and bounty! We give thanks for the Fall harvest, and we build sukkah, temporary huts. These are based on the huts our ancestors built in the fields during harvest time, but they can also symbolize spiritual protection and support. It is customary to eat meals in the sukkah during the week-long holiday, and to invite friends and neighbors to join us in rejoicing.

We invite you to celebrate with us by watching a sukkah being built, making decorations, learning about the symbolism of the lulav and the etrog, and more! Chag sameach! (Happy holiday!)”

Symbols of Sukkot

Watch, Learn & Celebrate

Kreplach-Making Tutorial

Tune In to the Tutorial

3-D Apple Craft

Learn to Make

Building a Sukkah

Time Lapse Video

Learn more about Sukkot here. For more children’s activities and crafts, click here.


October 1 – Celebrating Tsukimi

Poetry for the Moon

Shizumi Shigeto Manale, the “Moon” Fool in our 2019 Christmas Revels: “Celestial Fools,” performs two poems in honor of Tsukimi — the Japanese Harvest Moon Festival.

Watch & Listen to Shizumi

Preparing for the Harvest Moon

In these two videos, Reveler Mari Parker shares the Tsukimi traditions she learned as a child in Tokyo, and has now passed on to her son and grandson! Learn how they honor the Harvest Moon with food and crafts, and try your hand at making beautiful origami rabbits, in the videos below.

Tsukimi Traditions

How to Prepare

Making Origami Rabbits

Watch the Tutorial


September 22 – Welcoming the Autumnal Equinox

Our “Season of Reveling” continues with a musical celebration of the start of Autumn and the arrival of crisp Fall weather. Enjoy this beautiful video performance of “Emerald Stream” by composer Seth Houston, featuring singers from the Washington Revels Chorus led by Revels Music Director Betsy Fulford. Inspired by the New England shape-note tradition, “Emerald Stream” was featured in our 2006 “Early American” Christmas Revels and appears on our 2013 CD “Sing and Rejoice.”

 

Please support “A Season of Reveling” and productions like this!

You can give online by clicking the button below. See more ways to contribute here.

Learn more about our “Sing & Rejoice” CD and order a copy:


September 17-28 – Preparing for the High Holidays

From the Revels Community:

Shanah Tovah! (Happy New Year!) Our group of Revelers has been meeting to share family traditions, recipes, songs, and stories for the Jewish Holidays. We start with Rosh Hashanah, this Saturday, September 19.

Rosh Hashanah, literally “head of the year,” is the Jewish New Year. We blow the shofar (ram’s horn) in the morning to gather everyone together to celebrate, and we eat sweets, like apples and honey, to bring in a sweet new year. Rosh Hashanah is also the first of the ten Days of Awe, a time of reflection leading to Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

We invite you to celebrate with us in a singalong, a challah-braiding tutorial, a guided meditation, activities for kids, and more, coming here and on Facebook.”

Marking Yom Kippur:

Learn More & Kids' Activity

Baking a Honey Cake:

Watch the Video

Teglach-Making Tutorial:

Make a Tasty Treat

Tashlikh Meditation

Meditate, Learn & Reflect

Shofar Interview & Demonstration

Hear the Shofar & Kids' Activity

Apples & Honey Singalong Video

Sing Along & Kids' Activity

Challah-Braiding Tutorial:

Watch the Tutorial

More About Jewish Holidays:

The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar, so the common calendar dates for the Jewish holidays change every year. Jewish calendar dates begin at sundown of the night beforehand. Thus holiday observances begin the night before. Jewish calendar dates conclude at nightfall. Learn more about Jewish Holidays here, and at this article for kids.