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Exotic tree ornaments at the Academy of Sciences.

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 admission.

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
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Date:Dec 1, 1984
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