This annual tradition began in 1942 with a single tree, newly decorated every day for 12 days to represent the countries fighting alongside America during World War II.

The tree was a wartime tribute to the Allies, but it also symbolized hope during the uncertain times. By bringing together so many ethnic holiday customs, the display was a reminder that there is more to join us than divide us. Since its first year, the display has certainly grown but this spirit remains unchanged. It's what makes MSI the perfect place to tour a world of traditions during the holidays.


More about the exhibit

Celebrate the Season

The Museum’s 45-foot Grand Tree takes center stage in the Rotunda, surrounded by more than 50 smaller trees and displays presenting the cultures and holiday traditions from around the world. All in all, more than 3,500 community volunteers lend their time and knowledge to create this celebration of global celebrations.

Where do people fast on Christmas Eve
until they see a Golden Pig on the wall?