Winter Wonder: Exploring the History of Wintertime Traditions - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Winter Wonder: Exploring the History of Wintertime Traditions

Members Only
1 hour
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What We’ll Do

In this 3-part lecture series, we’ll explore the oft-forgotten histories and mythologies at the core of several wintertime traditions.

Course Description

Join us for a spin through the wonders, joys, and oddities of winter, unearthing the secret histories behind some of the season’s most popular traditions. Alongside Kelly Reidy, host of Accidental Discoveries, we’ll traverse the icy landscape of winter culture, activities, and lore, from probing the history of ice fishing to tracing the life of the iconic snowman back to its humble beginnings (and nope, we don’t mean a snowball!). Grab some hot cocoa and cozy up to a surprising and delightful look at the many ways we’ve found warmth, joy, and meaning in the coldest season of the year. 

Syllabus At A Glance

This course includes three total sessions, each lasting 1 hour on three consecutive days beginning December 18.

Session 1 (Monday, 12/18, 7–8:00 PM ET) | History & Culture of Winter Pastimes With Dr. Kelly Reidy

Session 2 (Tuesday, 12/19, 7–8:00 PM ET) | History of the Snowman With Bob Eckstein

Session 3 (Wednesday, 12/20, 7–8:00 PM ET) | Winter Mythologies & Legends With Dr. John Bucher

Your Instructors

Dr. Kelly Reidy 

Dr. Kelly Reidy is a storyteller, performer, and rogue physicist currently based in Chapel Hill, NC. She teaches Science & Storytelling at Pratt Institute and has traveled the world as a tour guide and creative consultant with Museum Hack. In her spare time, she fronts a rock 'n' roll band (Entrez Vous) and hangs out with a very funny chihuahua (Bootsy). Find her on instagram: @drunkascheese

Bob Eckstein

Bob Eckstein is an award-winning NY Times bestseller, New Yorker cartoonist and the world’s leading snowman expert. His work has appeared in The NY Times, The New Yorker, Writer’s Digest, SPY magazine, MAD magazine, McSweeney’s, Reader’s Digest, and many others. His work has been exhibited around the world and he has spoke in over a 150 TV and radio shows from the annual Writer's Digest Humor Conference to Yonsei University in South Korea. Bob Eckstein’s books include The Illustrated History of the Snowman, currently in film production.

Dr. John Bucher

Dr. John Bucher is a mythologist and storyteller based out of Hollywood, California. He serves as Creative Director for the Joseph Campbell Foundation and is also an author, podcaster, speaker, teacher, and consultant. He has worked with companies including HBO, DC Comics, The History Channel, A24 Films, and has served as a consultant and writer for numerous film, television, and Virtual Reality projects. He co-hosts the Skeleton Keys podcast, which examines mythology and history in pop culture, with Historian Torri Yates-Orr. John holds a PhD in Mythology and Depth Psychology and has spoken on 6 continents about myth, story, rituals, symbols, and cults.

What Else You Should Know

Access to this online experience is free for Atlas Obscura Members. Unlock more wonder by becoming a member today!

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account. Atlas Obscura online experiences are recommended for attendees age 13+.

This online experience will be recorded. A temporary link to the recording will be provided in a follow-up email to all ticket holders within 72 hours after the event. Access to this recording will be available for seven days.

We provide closed captioning for all of our online Member Experiences, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

This event is one of Atlas Obscura’s Membership Experiences. At Atlas Obscura, our mission has always been to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share.

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