In Poland Christmas traditions are similar to the customs of other Catholic countries, however each country has its own peculiar features as well. In the Art Nouveau interior of the museum Christmas atmosphere is created with the decorations characteristic to the early 20th century Poland. The most significant among them is the Christmas tree, which was traditionally decorated with home-made trimmings of straw and paper, coloured walnuts, small apples, cookies, sweets in colourful wrappings. The choice of such elements was not accidental, for example, the apples symbolized Paradise fruits, the paper chains stood for the original sin of humans etc. The Christmas tree decorations for the exhibition “Polish Christmas in Art Nouveau Style” were made by Pilsudskis’ Daugavpils State Polish Grammar School and Rezekne State Polish Grammar School and were inspired by traditional samples. The most significant decoration of the fir tree is the Star of Bethlehem on its top, which symbolizes that travellers have successfully returned home. Another common type of decorations is the figures of angels. The wealthier families often used delicate glass trimmings for decorating their Christmas trees, however it was often that the expensive glass balls were replaced by decorated eggshells.
In the exhibition, the visitors will enjoy not only the nice decorated premises, but also a thematic exhibition of the household items from the museum collection dedicated to Christmas and new Year celebration. The museum will also introduce its visitors to the early 20th century items related to the activities of the celebration season, such as cooking and laying the table, preparation for a ball along with luxurious lady accessories. The visitors will be able to enjoy the pre-Christmas mood and look for celebration symbols, such as the four-leaf clover for luck and pig for wealth etc. in the most different objects.
Families with children are welcome to participate in the creative workshops on the 9 and 16 December at 12.00 and 16.00 and create their own Christmas tree decorations.
The exhibition “Polish Christmas in Art Nouveau Style” has been created in cooperation with the Embassy of Poland in Latvia, Pilsudskis’ Daugavpils State Polish Grammar School and Rezekne State Polish Grammar School as well as artist Tamara Čudnovska. The exhibition is supplemented with related items from the museum collection.
Riga Art Nouveau Museum is very grateful to the Embassy of Poland in Latvia for cooperation and invites everybody to get inspired for Christmas in its exhibition “Polish Christmas in Art Nouveau Style”.