CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD AND HOLIDAYS OF LIGHT WITH THE PEANUTS GANG!
Take in the holidays at MSI with Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit
Chicago, Ill. (November 15, 2012)—Good Grief! The holidays are here again, and the Museum of Science and Industry’s 71st annual Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light open on November 15, 2012. This year’s colorful theme is inspired by the new temporary exhibit—Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit—which reveals the wit and wisdom of Charles Schulz and his beloved cast of Peanuts characters.
Stroll through the Museum’s Main Floor, which 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 American 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 6, 2013.
In the Rotunda, MSI’s 45-foot Grand Tree will be decked out with more than 30,000 lights hundreds of ornaments including those that incorporate Charlie Brown’s iconic yellow and black shirt design; depictions of Woodstock and his friends; and glittered dog bones fit for a dog with Snoopy’s unique style. Beneath the tree, guests will find the famed beagle’s red doghouse strewn with Christmas lights; a “Charlie Brown”-sized Christmas tree; Schroeder’s piano, ready to play some holiday tunes; and packages for the whole gang wrapped in comic strip paper.
Around the Rotunda, the Peanuts gang will gather on four giant banners that surround the tree, while guests enjoy the nostalgic jazz-infused music synonymous with the Peanuts Gang’s annual holiday specials and “snow” falling every half hour. In the Museum’s Entry Hall, a gingerbread interpretation of Snoopy’s famous doghouse, designed by chefs from Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, will delight guests.
On the weekends and select weekdays, guests can also enjoy performances of various 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 French tree is dressed with apples, ribbons and flowers—representing one of the first Christmas trees during the 14th century in Alsace, France.
Dolls wearing native dress and the national flag hang from the branches of Thailand’s tree. A predominately Buddhist country, stores in the country’s large cities display a secular holiday spirit—decorating trees and windows and taking time to give gifts in celebration of the coming new year.
The Native American tree, adorned with dream catcher ornaments, small toy dolls in traditional dress and a large feather centerpiece sitting atop, is also decked with tobacco ornaments. It was believed that tobacco was a gift from the Creator and that the exhaled tobacco smoke was capable of carrying one's thoughts and prayers to heaven.
These are just some of the interesting sights that fill the Museum this time of year.
Holidays of Light, now in its 17th 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
After exploring your animation skills in Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit, enter the Holiday Stage area to watch some joyous performances from the talented groups that represent the different cultures and countries in Christmas Around the World. Each weekend, be 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 Peanuts merchandise.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light are included in Museum general admission, as are all performances. An additional ticket is required for Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit. Visit msichicago.org 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 2012: Nov. 16 – 18; Nov. 23 – Nov. 25; Dec. 1, 2, 8, 9; Dec. 15 – 23; and Dec. 26 – Dec. 30. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving day and Christmas day.
Charlie Brown and the Great Exhibit is organized by the Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Calif. and presented by Walgreens.
Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light is presented by Walgreens and sponsored by Pepsi.
The Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) offers thousands of fun and interactive exhibits and one-of-a-kind, world-class experiences to inspire the inventive genius in everyone. Through its Center for the Advancement of Science Education, MSI also aspires to a 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 every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and regular hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 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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- MSI’s 45-foot Grand Tree is decked with more than 30,000 lights and hundreds of "Peanuts"-inspired ornaments. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- Beneath the Grand Tree, guests will find Snoopy's red doghouse strewn with Christmas lights. [J.B. Spector, Museum of Science and Industry]
- 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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