This Week in New Haven (December 21 – 27)

L ike the trees in many of our homes, a precious and beautiful “star” tops this Christmas week.

Monday, December 21
The winter solstice today meets an extremely uncommon celestial event. As NASA puts it, “What has become known popularly as the ‘Christmas Star’ is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next two weeks as the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn come together, culminating on the night of Dec. 21.” But here’s the crazy part: “It’s been nearly 400 years since the planets passed this close to each other in the sky, and nearly 800 years since the alignment of Saturn and Jupiter occurred at night, as it will for 2020, allowing nearly everyone around the world to witness this ‘great conjunction.’” To join them, find some open space and do this: “An hour after sunset, look to the southwestern sky. Jupiter will look like a bright star and be easily visible. Saturn will be slightly fainter and will appear slightly above and to the left of Jupiter until December 21, when Jupiter will overtake it and they will reverse positions in the sky.”

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Tuesday, December 22
Streaming from the Yale School of Music’s Morse Recital Hall, faculty bassoonist Frank Morelli and his students present Bassoonarama, an annual event whose subtitle this time is “Holiday Traditions, Old and New.” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., the program includes a rendition of José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” to an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker “inspired by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn’s reimagination of the ballet score.” Free.

Wednesday, December 23
East Rock Brewing Company (285 Nicoll St, New Haven; 475-234-6176) gets into the spirit with an evening of Christmas movie team trivia. Free; registration required.

At 7 p.m., the night before the night before Christmas, RJ Julia (768 Boston Post Rd, Madison; 203-245-3959) hosts a virtual, family-oriented “pajama story time” reading of Clement C. Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas.” Free; registration required.

Friday, December 25 – Christmas
However you spend it, and whether or not you observe or celebrate, have a great holiday.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. Readers are encouraged to verify times, locations and prices before attending events.

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Dan has worked for a couple of major media companies, but he likes Daily Nutmeg best. As DN’s editor, he writes, photographs, edits and otherwise shepherds ideas into fully realized feature stories.

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