Exotic tree ornaments at the Academy of Sciences
Colorful paper and straw figures, curledwood ornaments, even flags
and painted eggs: different countries have their own ways of trimming
Christmas trees. Often these decorations have long histories rooted in
religion, tradition, or folklore.
From December 5 to January 1 at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, you can see classic tree decorations from 14
countries. Groups of volunteers will dress 8-foot silvertips (white
firs). Plans include trees decorated in American, Armenian, British,
Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Japanese, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian,
Swedish, Swiss, and Ukrainian styles.
Opening festivities, on December 5 from 6 to 8 P.M., will include
carolers. A free pamphlet tells about the traditions behind the
decorations. On December 8 at 1 P.M. in the academy’s Wattis Hall,
take in an ornament-making workshop. Both events are free with
The academy is on the Music Concourse in San Francisco’s
Golden Gate Park; hours are 10 to 5 daily. Admission costs $2 for
adults, 75 cents ages 5 to 17.
Photo: Holiday tree, decked by volunteers at San Francisco’s
Academy of Sciences, sports Swedish ornaments, mainly of straw. Other
trees will show off other countries’ decorations