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Burt Wolf: Taste of Freedom

Carnival (#108)

Explore the Reveler's Ball in New Orleans, which marks the beginning of the Carnival season. [28 minutes] TV-G Closed Captioning

PBS Video

Series Description: BURT WOLF: TASTE OF FREEDOM is an exploration of 13 major American holidays and gatherings — and the history, folklore and rituals that have become central to those occasions. The series pays special attention to different ethnic groups and how they have brought their own traditions to the events. Taped on-location throughout the United States, Europe, Mexico and Asia, BURT WOLF: TASTE OF FREEDOM spotlights holidays and celebrations including, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, the end of Ramadan, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's, Orthodox Christmas, Chinese New Year, Valentine's Day, Carnival, Passover, Easter and Independence Day. Burt Wolf's straightforward style and slightly irreverent humor have made him a viewer favorite for many years. An award-winning journalist and author, Burt's previous series have included Gatherings and Celebrations, Local Flavors, Food for Thought, What We Eat and four seasons of Travels & Traditions.

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  • Thanksgiving (#101)

    Discover why it took until 1941 to be a holiday and how the bald eagle became the national bird. [25 minutes]

  • Hanukkah (#102)

    Uncover the holiday's history, learn why certain treats are served and the secret of the dreidel. [25 minutes]

  • Christmas (#103)

    Learn how Christmas tree got indoors, find out the First Lady's holiday plans and hear from Santa. [27 minutes]

  • Kwanzaa (#104)

    Uncover the epicenter of African American culture in the United States and take a tour of Harlem. [25 minutes]

  • New Year's (#105)

    Learn why we celebrate New Year on January 1st, what makes a champagne cork go pop and much more. [25 minutes]

  • Chinese New Year (#106)

    Burt explores how Chinese Americans celebrate this holiday and learns the art of making dumplings. [26 minutes]

  • Valentine's Day (#107)

    Find out if there really was a St. Valentine and learn the best spots for finding a Valentine. [26 minutes]

  • Passover (#109)

    Tour a Hassidic community in Brooklyn, meet a master scribe at work and learn how matzah is made. [25 minutes]

  • Easter (#110)

    Take a walk down Fifth Avenue on Easter Sunday and learn about intricate Ukrainian egg decorating. [26 minutes]

  • Independence Day (#111)

    Take a trip to Boston where the American Revolution began and enjoy a great firework show. [25 minutes]

  • End of Ramadan (#112)

    The most important holiday in the Islamic calendar is the end of Ramadan, which celebrates the time when god revealed the first verses of the holy book of the Koran to the Prophet Mohammad. It is a time of fasting and contemplation. Take an inside look into America's fastest growing religion, hear why the moon controls when Ramadan begins and ends, learn why Muslims break the daily fast by eating three dates, experience the art of henna designs, and take a tour of one of the most extraordinary mosques in the country. [26 minutes]

  • The Importance of Ritual (#113)

    Explore the evolution of holidays that occurred when America got its first taste of freedom. [25 minutes]

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