CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT AND 90 YEARS OF DISNEY HISTORY!
Take in the holidays at MSI with D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
Chicago, Ill. (November 14, 2013)—The holidays are here, and the Museum of Science and Industry’s 72nd annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light open on November 14, 2013. This year’s colorful theme is inspired by the Museum’s new temporary exhibit—Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club—which celebrates the innovation of Walt Disney’s legacy with more than 300 artifacts from Disney’s 90-year history.
In the Rotunda, MSI’s 45-foot Grand Tree is decked out with more than 30,000 red, green and white twinkling lights and hundreds of ornaments and trimmings. Images of Mickey, Minnie and Pluto can even be seen helping decorate the tree! Beneath the tree, guests will find gifts addressed to their favorite Disney characters, complete with a huge sleigh. Around the Museum’s Rotunda, vintage Disney characters are featured on four giant banners that surround the tree, while guests can enjoy a mix of popular Disney hits and festive holiday tunes, and “snow” falling every half hour.
The Museum’s Main Floor displays more than 50, 12-foot trees beautifully decorated by volunteers from Chicago’s ethnic communities representing their diverse culture and holiday traditions. This custom began for local families in 1942 as a United Nations Day salute to the Allies during World War II, and in its first year, only a dozen trees lined the Museum’s halls. Now the exhibit has grown into a forest of dazzling trees and homemade displays, created by dedicated volunteers. The celebration runs through January 5, 2014.
On the weekends and select weekdays, guests can also enjoy performances of various ethnic dance and choral groups on the Holiday Stage.
Trees and Traditions
Each Christmas Around the World tree offers insight into the diverse customs that exist during the holiday season or the culture of a particular country.
The Danish tree features woven paper baskets in red and white, the colors of the flag. Traditionally, these would hold candies, nuts or Danish peppernut cookies – a beloved spiced Christmas treat in Denmark. The tree also features ornaments shaped as hand muffs, icicles and northern star, referring to the cold northern climate of the country.
The Puerto Rican tree is decorated with a number of musical instruments of all types. Guitars, maracas, tambourines and gϋiros (a wooden fish-shaped percussion instrument) all adorn the tree to symbolize the Parrandas, musicians who go door to door during the six weeks of Christmas celebrations. In addition, Poinsettias, which are indigenous to Central America, are featured across the branches. Three golden wise men statues are situated beneath the tree, paying homage to the Three Kings—Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar—who are separately celebrated on January 6 in Puerto Rico.
The Kenyan tree features large carved wooden masks and animals, like zebras, monkeys and giraffes, to represent the African culture. Colorful, intricately beaded ornaments pay homage to the traditional outfits of the Maasai people of Kenya. Also adorning the tree are maize harvest scenes, as maize is one of the country’s major crops.
Holidays of Light, now in its 18th year, is a multicultural display of holidays that celebrate light or enlightenment. The display highlights the traditions of the Chinese New Year, Diwali (a Hindu and Sikh festival), Kwanzaa (celebrated by African Americans), Ramadan (celebrated by Muslims), Hanukkah (a Jewish holiday),Visakha Puja Day (a Buddhist holiday), and St. Lucia Day (a Swedish tradition).
Festive Performances and Great Gift Ideas
The Holiday Stage offers joyous performances from the talented groups that represent the different cultures and countries showcased in Christmas Around the World. Each weekend, guests are entertained by various dance troupes and choirs spreading the joyful spirit through traditional ethnic dance, song and pageantry. In addition, choral performances from area schools will delight guests with holiday favorites during select weekdays. All performances take place on the Holiday Stage on the Museum’s Main Floor, and a full schedule is available at msichicago.org. Please note that performances are subject to change, so check the on-site schedule for up-to-date information.
Don’t forget to make a stop at the Holiday Shoppe, which is full of great gifts and trinkets for family and friends, including unique ornaments representing cultures around the world and special Disney merchandise.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are included in Museum Entry, as are all performances. An additional ticket is required for Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. Visit msichicago.org/disney for details and to purchase tickets.
The Museum is open every day, 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Museum will offer extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., on the following days in 2013: November 15 – 17; November 22 – 24; November 29, 30; December 1, 7, 8; December 14 – 23; and December 26 – 30. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, presented by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are all presented by Walgreens.
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About the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI)
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI), one of the largest science museums in the world, offers world-class and uniquely interactive science experiences that inspire inventive genius and foster curiosity. Through groundbreaking and award-winning exhibits that can’t be found anywhere else, to Live Science Experiences that make you the scientist—a visit to MSI is where fun and learning mix. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education (CASE), MSI offers a variety of student, teacher and family programs that make a difference in communities and contribute to the Museum’s larger vision: to inspire and motivate children to achieve their full potential in science, technology, medicine and engineering. Come visit and find your inspiration! MSI is open 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Extended hours, until 5:30 p.m., are offered during peak periods. The Museum is supported in part through the generosity of the people of Chicago through the Chicago Park District. For more information, find MSI online at msichicago.org or call (773) 684-1414 or (800) GO-TO-MSI outside of the Chicago area.
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- The Museum’s Ukrainian tree is decorated with spider web ornaments--relating back to an old Ukrainian legend in which a spider wove his sparkling web around the tree. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- The Museum's Bolivian tree is adorned with Cholita dolls--representing the native dress of Bolivian women. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
Images presented here are for the express use for promoting the Museum of Science and Industry. All images must be properly credited. Images may not be reproduced by third parties without express written permission from the Museum of Science and Industry.
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