Holiday Mazes: A Light-Hearted Romp through The Calendar

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Available from Amazon.

From the Introduction:

This book of mazes uses holidays and special days, some important and some quite trivial, as an organizing theme. I have attempted to include most of the major holidays of the United States, but since this is a maze book first and foremost, the criterion for including a day was whether I could find an interesting maze to attach to it. As a result some completely insignificant and obscure special days are included and some moderately important holidays are omitted. The holidays and special days are organized chronologically to the extent possible—some, especially those that originated in cultures with lunar calendars, jump around from year to year. I include a few words of explanation about the day and/or its maze.

Many people have declared a date a special day—anyone can do it. Most of these declarations are ignored. A few attract public attention, often because they are supported by commercial interests or are pushed by political or social causes. If they grow enough they may gain recognition by the government.

A culture's holidays reveal what that culture finds important. In the distant past when religion was central to social life, most holidays had a religious significance; the word "holiday" is derived from the words "holy day". When Christianity was dominant, it colonized existing holidays, connecting them to religion. The world has changed and now religious holidays have been partially or largely secularized.

I generate mazes with several computer programs I developed years ago and display them with special typefaces that I design. Because the format of these mazes, which are grids of triangles, rectangles, hexagons, or octagons, fits well with tessellation patterns and because tessellation patterns are visually interesting in and of themselves, you will see many tessellations in the following pages.

The book has 84 mazes because I wanted the book to be exactly 108 pages long. This book is published through CreateSpace, the print-on-demand division of Amazon, which charges a fixed amount for any book with a color cover, a black-and-white interior, and 108 or fewer pages. Beyond 108 the price goes up. With three pages of introductory material and a solutions section that has four solutions per page, there was room for exactly 84 pages of mazes.

The solutions at the end of the book are created by blocking up all dead-end paths, leaving only the correct path through the maze. This is the way that my maze-generating programs produce them.

The intended audience of this book is older children and adults. If you enjoy this book, you may also enjoy A Cornucopia of Mazes: Stars, Tilings and Patterns, which has the same format and level of difficulty. To make the two books distinct, I avoided using patterns from Cornucopia in this one. Visit for more information about Cornucopia, my 13 other maze books, and how I produce mazes.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed designing it. I apologize in advance for errors that remain in the book.

Robert Schenk
March 2015

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