’At Our Table: Christmas in the Tropics’ is the fascinating interactive exhibition which opens at Cairns Museum on December 5 and runs until January 2.
Suzanne Gibson, manager of Cairns Museum, said Christmas stories from current Cairns residents featured alongside historic Christmas menus from the Museum’s collection, tropical Christmas ephemera and free recipes from Christmas celebrations of days gone by in the tropical north.
“At Our Table explores the different ways people celebrate a tropical Christmas and enjoy food during holidays, drawing on themes of family, celebration and food,” Ms Gibson said.
The featured Cairns residents include Luis Carvajal, Head Chef of Ochre restaurant, Kirsty Mulley, co-owner and operator of local gift shop Makin’ Whoopee, and several international students from Student Hub, next door to the Museum.
In their stories, the exhibition participants reflect on their childhood Christmases, their current traditions, their favourite Christmas foods and what Christmas means to them.
“Those involved have also shared their favourite Christmas recipes. These and some historic recipes from the Museum’s collection, including a 1938 menu from Cairns’ famous Strand Hotel, will be available for visitors to take with them,” she said.
“Christmas and the year’s end is generally a time for each of us to reflect on the year that was and to give thanks for friends and loved ones and the blessings of a shared, (hopefully) joyous meal together.”
Exhibition visitors are also encouraged to reflect on their year and contribute to the exhibition by writing their own Christmas or 2020 message that will become a part of the exhibition.
Christmas is especially important for children and the exhibition features an Advent Calendar-like activity, with 12 interactive doors placed throughout the space, for kids to explore.
“The Advent Calendar is the main activity aimed at kids within the exhibition and ties in with the current kids’ program at Cairns Museum.
“Cairns Museum invites you to bring your Christmas visitors and share the memories and trimmings of a tropical Christmas exhibition in air-conditioned comfort.
Cairns Museum is located in the School of Arts Building on the corner of Lake and Shields streets in the city. Social distancing, sanitizing and other Covid-safe requirements will be in place.
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