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Speakers focus on Moravian and Pennsylvania Dutch holiday traditions

11/18/2009 —

Senior Adults Gaining Enrichment (SAGE), an outreach program of Penn State Lehigh Valley, will host Richard Miller, retired professor of German, and Wendy Weida, executive director of the Moravian Historical Society in Nazareth, on Friday, December 4, at the Corporate Learning Center in Bethlehem, PA. Miller and Wieda will present information about Pennsylvania Dutch and Moravian holiday traditions, respectively. Each SAGE session begins with coffee at 10:30 a.m. The featured speaker begins at 11 a.m., and lunch follows at noon. The cost of the lecture is $15.


Miller will present "The Belsnickel and Belsnickeling: Ghosts of Pennsylvania German Christmas Past," an overview of two centuries old Pennsylvania German Christmas customs.


"Although they no longer have any relevance to today's holiday celebrations, they are still significant to us as students of history," said Miller, who served as professor of German at Kutztown University for 15 years. Miller currently serves as a volunteer instructor of Pennsylvania German Culture and Dialect for the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Cedar Crest College.


Weida will present a talk on the sights and sounds of Moravian Christmas customs including the putz, cookies, and candles. Prior to her position at the Moravian Historical Society, Weida worked in Historic Bethlehem. She holds a master's degree in museum studies from Penn State University.


The event is open to adults age 55 and over, but reservations are required.  To reserve a space, contact Carol Buddock at (610)285-5058 or email cab5@psu.edu. The Penn State Lehigh Valley Corporate Learning Center is located at 100 Brodhead Road, Suite 120, Bethlehem, PA, 18017.

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