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December 04, 2023

5 Fun Facts of Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World has returned for the holiday season at Fernbank! Here are a few highlights from the many cultural celebrations, events and traditions displayed in this special exhibit. 

 #1: The people of the Czech Republic traditionally decorate their trees on Christmas Eve.

In the Czech Republic, it is tradition to decorate the tree on the morning of Christmas Eve, and leave it decorated until Three Kings Day on Jan. 6. Though modern ornaments may be used, many people  are returning to the traditional decorations made from natural materials, such as the straw and wool ones you see in the photo above.

#2: India is known as the “Land of Spices”

Spices play an important role in Indian culture and traditions, including religious ceremonies and festivals. A rich collection of spices is on display, representing some of the coveted flavors and medicinal qualities they are used for.

#3: Japan celebrates the New Year with origami and kites

The New Year is important to the Japanese culture. It is celebrated with activities and visits to the temple for yearly fortunes. Featured on this tree are intricate origami cranes, traditional hand-painted washi kites, and an ornament on the top of the tree called shimekazari, which is traditionally displayed in the home for the first week of the year to bring good luck.

 #4: Kente cloth is unique, and each pattern has its own name, meaning and story

Displayed on Ghana’s tree are ornaments featuring the fabrics and artifacts that celebrate the rich traditions of their people. Kente cloth, known globally for its use by royalty and for special occasions, is hand-woven with unique patterns. These patterns each have a name, meaning and story. Even everyday cotton fabrics can have its own names and meanings.

 #5: Some familiar mythical creatures are featured on Scotland’s tree

Can you spot Nessie, the famous mythical serpent-like creature of old Scottish folklore, on this tree? The Loch Ness monster is said to inhabit the waters of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. Hint: Look up near the top. Among the many other Scottish traditions and icons displayed on this tree, including sheep, Scottish Terriers and highland cows, are the national animal of Scotland – unicorns! 

Be sure to visit Winter Wonderland before it closes on Jan. 7, 2024 to learn more about these highlights as well as other countries and the rich traditions that make our world so diverse. Also grab an activity guide located on the entry level to help you while you explore!  

Planning to visit? Click here: Winter Wonderland