It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World!

If you are a frequent visitor to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, one of the things that we hope that you’ll observe is that we are striving to be “Always Growing, Always Beautiful and Always New…” Over the past few weeks, our staff and volunteers have been busy making the transition from our fall Chrysanthemums & More! exhibition over to our winter exhibition, Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. This magical display features over 40 international trees and displays, the enchanting Railway Garden and so much more!

Lena Meijer helps decorate the German tree.

Lena Meijer helps decorate the German tree.

This year’s exhibition jump-starts the 20th anniversary celebrations here at Meijer Gardens and focuses on Asian cultures that celebrate the New Year. A central theme to these celebrations is the way that the past is honored, gathering to show respect and love to their ancestors and remembering those who are no longer with us. In Korea and Vietnam, that respect is shown via alters that are adorned with symbolic objects. Other customs include burning incense in memory of relatives and loved ones who have passed, and preparing ritual foods while dressed in traditional garb. The Japanese New Year, called Shogatsu, is marked with beautiful decorative gate pines known as kadomatsu which welcome ancestral spirits and guard against evil spirits.

Kadomatsu or Gate Pine

Kadomatsu or Gate Pine

A new addition to Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World this year is a display from Ghana, home of our African Sister City, the Ga District. Authentic, brilliantly woven kente and printed adinkra will be on display, handmade cloths that mark the symbolic significance of the Ghanaian people’s colorful history, customs and religion.

The much-loved Railway Garden returns for another year, meandering through four lush indoor garden spaces and bringing together colorful plantings with storybook scenes of West Michigan. The unique horticultural artistry complements the model trolleys, trains and handcrafted buildings replicating over 30 Grand Rapids landmarks that were designed by Paul Busse of Applied Imagination. Visitors will recognize favorites such as the Fifth Third Ballpark created with willow light posts and elm bark seating, the Ada Covered Bridge with a cedar roof and willow trusses and the Meyer May House with oak bark siding and red ruscus leaves.

The crew from Applied Imagination installs the Railway Garden

The crew from Applied Imagination installs the Railway Garden

As you are making your holiday plans, we hope that you can experience our most joyous exhibition! Click HERE for a full listing of events, outings and special activities happening during Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World. 

This exhibition is made possible by Consumers Energy and the Meijer Foundation along with 36 sponsors including: Botanic and Sculpture Societies of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and Henry Mast Greenhouses, Inc. The Railway Garden is made possible by Warner Norcross & Judd, LLP.

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