Christmas in Europe
November 16, 2019 to February 2, 2020
Across Europe, the annual celebration of Christ’s birth has formed traditions that have become part of the cultural fabric of its nations and regions. Christmas in Europe is the theme of the Knights of Columbus Museum’s 15th annual Christmas exhibition, showcasing the art and customs of the continent.
From November 16, 2019 to February 2, 2020 the museum will exhibit more than 80 Nativity scenes or crèches, icons, and religious artworks representing 30 countries across Europe, including its signature 120-square-foot Neapolitan (Italian) crèche.
European artists, from the great masters to local craftspeople, have depicted the Nativity for centuries, often integrating and showcasing regional clothing, architecture, and raw materials. The show also explores the traditions and festivities that have developed across the continent to celebrate the Christmas season.
In addition, the museum will host its annual Christmas Tree Festival, December 7, 2019 to February 2, 2020. Each year, Connecticut Catholic schoolchildren make ornaments and decorations in the theme of the museum’s Christmas show, then visit the museum to trim its two dozen trees. The handmade adornments showcase the creativity and imagination of the young learners and are a colorful complement to the Christmas exhibition.
The museum is open daily (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with free admission and onsite parking.
Special attention will be given to the customs and traditions of four European regions during the exhibition:
- November 16/17 – Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands and Switzerland
- December 14/15 – Northern Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and United Kingdom
- January 11 /12 – Southern Europe: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Vatican City, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia and Spain
- January 25/26 – Eastern Europe: Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Slovakia and Ukraine
Make a visit to the Knights of Columbus Museum a part of your family’s Christmas tradition!
Christmas Tree Festival
The Knights of Columbus Museum’s 19th annual Christmas Tree Festival is open for view through February 2, 2010. Students from two dozen Catholic schools across Connecticut handmade ornaments and trim in the theme of Christmas in Europe, then traveled to the museum to decorate a Christmas tree assigned to each school. The following schools, in order of their respective trees, participated.
- St. Mary, Milford – Most Creative Ornaments
- St. Matthew, Forestville – Best Use of Natural Materials
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Waterbury – Best Representation of a Country
- Southington Catholic School – Best Use of Popsicle Sticks
- St. Gabriel, Windsor – Best Use of Clay
- St. Lawrence, West Haven – Best Use of Paper
- St. Aloysius, New Canaan – Best Use of Beads
- Holy Trinity, Wallingford – Most Creative Use of Straw
- St. John the Evangelist, Watertown – Best Variety of Materials
- Holy Trinity Catholic Academy, Shelton – Best Depiction of Nesting Doll
- St. Joseph, Danbury – Best Depiction of Theme
- St. Rose, Newtown – Best Stained-Glass Ornaments
- St. Bernard, Enfield – Best Depiction of Mosaics
- Catholic Academy of New Haven – Best Use of Cotton Balls
- St. Bernadette, New Haven – Best Depiction of Christmas Song
- Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Meriden – Best Garland
- St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull – Most Creative Use of Metallic Paper
- St. Catherine Academy, Fairfield – Best Tree Topper
- St. James, Stratford – Best Use of Toilet Paper Rolls
- Sacred Heart, Groton – Best Use of Felt
- St. Theresa, Trumbull – Best Use of Pine Cones
- St. Martin de Porres Academy, New Haven – Best Flag Ornaments
- St. Mary/St. Michael, Derby – Most Creative Use of Cork
- St. John Paul II, Middletown – Best use of Pipe Cleaners
The 2019 Knights of Columbus Museum Christmas Tree Festival winners are:
1st place - St. Joseph School, Danbury (Tree #11)
2nd place - Sacred Heart School, Groton (Tree # 20)
3rd place - Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School, Waterbury (Tree #3)
Honorable Mention - Holy Trinity School, Wallingford (Tree #8)
Visitors are welcome to vote for the People’s Choice Tree while at the museum, to be awarded February 2, 2020.