Holiday Happenings Shares Cultural Customs

Collaboration among 3 Rockford Museums: Tinker Swiss Cottage, Erlander Home and Ethnic Heritage Museum

Tinker showcased Victorian Christmas traditions; two Christmas trees: a full green tree and a German feather tree, made of goose feathers, 2 – 3 feet high.

Erlander will showcase St. Lucia, with a crown of Lingonberry branches and candles.  The home will be festooned with traditional Swedish decorations.

The Ethnic Heritage Museum has galleries showcasing the heritage of 6 cultures: Lithuanian, Italian, African-American, Irish, Polish and Hispanic. The Lithuanian gallery includes a nativity scene hand carved from Beeswax. The Irish gallery is draped with holly and mistletoe.  The focal point in the Polish gallery is Szopki, also called a fairy castle, an elaborate Nativity scene, sometimes as high as 6 feet.  The  Italian ceppo is a tiered pyramid shaped wooden fame, also called the Tee of Light. The Hispanic gallery features a tree decorated with straw and knit ornaments.

Holiday Happenings is on Dec. 14, from noon until 4:00.

Source: Northwest Quarterly magazine, Holiday 2014, Vol. 11, No. 6. pp 217 – 221.