Once again this holiday season, two Atlanta landmarks have their halls decked with Christmas trees representing the city’s global diversity.
At Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Global Winter Wonderland has led to festive firs being placed throughout Concourse F for the enjoyment of travelers passing through the international terminal.
Consular staff from 12 countries added ornaments reflecting the character of their home countries, marking the third year consulates have taken part in what airport leaders are building into an annual tradition.
Costa Rica’s tree is draped with a sparkling ornament that says,“Pura Vida,” the slogan that Ticos aim to live by and impart to tourists visiting their country. The tree is topped with a toucan.
Turkey’s is hung with orbs that bring to mind the country’s colorful pottery. It’s also festooned with a flag from Turkish Airlines, which has now been flying to Atlanta from Istanbul for more than a year.
Other trees are more subtle, like Guyana’s, which features shimmering spherical ornaments arrayed from top to bottom in a pattern reminiscent of the country’s flag. Canada’s is also somewhat muted, favoring a snowflake motif in the red and white of the Canadian flag.
Other countries participating include Argentina, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Nigeria and Sweden. The program was inaugurated Nov. 29 along with the Hartsfield-Jackson tree-lighting and the unveiling of the live music and seasonal decor that will greet travelers throughout December.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which started its own Winter Wonderland program many years ago, has retained its tradition, tying each tree’s decor to an educational lesson about the country it represents.
Mexico’s tree focuses on Lotería, a game of chance brought over by Spanish settlers in the 15th century. Similar to bingo, the game includes 54 cards depicting characters, animals and natural scenes. Dried beans are used to cover cards that have been called out until all are occupied. The winner calls out “Loteria!”
Taiwan‘s tree, meanwhile, focuses on its tradition of manufacturing bicycles, while Puerto Rico’s looks at the coqui frog, an important contributor to the U.S. territory’s biodiversity. Switzerland‘s focuses on alpine athletics, and Peru‘s calls out a traditional art form: wooden boxes called retablos.
The full list of Fernbank trees (and the organizations that decorated them) is as follows:
- The Arab World – Alif Institute/Arab American Fund of Georgia and Arab American Women’s Society of Georgia
- Canada – Consulate General of Canada in Atlanta
- Denmark – Danish American Chamber of Commerce
- Georgia – Atlanta-Tbilisi Sister City Committee and
- Georgia to Georgia Foundation
- Germany – German Consulate General and the Goethe-Zentrum
- Ghana – Ghanaian Women Association of Georgia
- Guatemala – Consulate General of Guatemala
- Haiti – Consulate General of Haiti in Atlanta
- Hungary – Honorary Consulate General of the Republic of Hungary and the Hungarian Club of Georgia
- India – BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
- Ireland – Consulate General of Ireland
- Israel – The Weber School
- Italy – La Societa Italia
- Japan – Consulate General of Japan
- Kenya – Association of Kenyans in America, StoryMoja Africa and JENJONS LLC
- Mexico – Consulate General of Mexico and the Mexico Tourism Board
- Peru – Consulate General of Peru
- Philippines – Philippine Honorary Consulate, Your Flowers By Isabel, Galing Foundation and Friends
- Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico Tourism Company
- Switzerland – Consulate General of Switzerland and Swiss American Society Atlanta
- Taiwan – TECO Atlanta and Global Federation of Chinese Business Women Atlanta Chapter
- Thailand – Thai Association of Georgia
- Trinidad and Tobago – Atlanta Port-of-Spain Sister City Committee,
- Turkey – Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Turkey, American Turkish Friendship Council and Kennesaw State University
- Venezuela – Por Venezuela
Winter Wonderland is included in the museum’s ticket price. Certain special days will include cultural performances, hands-on crafts and, of course, photo opps with Fernbank’s “Santa-saurus.”
Or watch a video below. More tree photos will be added as they’re received.