Local traditions and culture in Illinois

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Illinois

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    "Flamingo"

    by traveldave Updated Sep 22, 2012

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    Alexander Calder's Flamingo is a 53-foot-high (16-meter-high), 50-ton (45,359-kilogram) steel sculpture that is the centerpiece of the Federal Plaza in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building on South Dearborn Street. It was constructed by Calder in 1973 and was unveiled in 1974. Flamingo was painted in a shade of vermilion, which has come to be known as Calder red, in order to offset the black steel buildings surrounding the plaza.

    The artwork is a type of sculpture known as a stabile. First pioneered by Calder, a stabile is a completely stationary abstract sculpture that in form is similar to a mobile. The difference is that a mobile moves with air currents.

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    "Four Seasons"

    by traveldave Updated Sep 22, 2012

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    Marc Chagall's Four Seasons is a mosaic mural that was donated to the City of Chicago by philanthropist Frederick Prince. It was dedicated in 1974 and was restored and covered with a protective glass canopy in 1994.

    The mural covers a rectangular box 70 feet (21 meters) long, 14 feet (four meters) high, and ten feet (three meters) wide. It contains six different scenes portraying the four seasons of Chicago, and includes images of birds, fish, flowers, suns, and pairs of lovers.

    The mosaic was designed in Chagall's studio in France, and was transferred onto full-scale panels and installed in Chicago by a skilled mosaicist. It contains thousands of marble, glass, and stone chips of over 250 different colors.

    Four Seasons is located in the Bank One Plaza on South Dearborn Street.

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    "Chicago"

    by traveldave Updated Sep 22, 2012

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    Originally called The Sun, the Moon and One Star, Joan Miró's Chicago is a stylized female form that represents the City of Chicago. The 39-foot-tall (12-meter-tall) sculpture was constructed of steel wire mesh covered with concrete and decorated with bronze and ceramic-tile ornaments. It was commissioned by the city in 1979 and was unveiled in 1981.

    Chicago is located in Brunswick Plaza, an alcove on West Washington Street just across from Daley Plaza.

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    "Monument With Standing Beast"

    by traveldave Updated Sep 22, 2012

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    Monument With Standing Beast by Jean Dubuffet looms over the plaza outside the James R. Thompson Center (formerly the State of Illinois Center) on West Randolph Street. It is one of three Dubuffet monumental sculptures in the United States.

    The 29-foot-high (nine-meter-high) sculpture was constructed of ten tons (9,072 kilograms) of white fiberglass outlined in black. It was based on Dubuffet's 1960 series of paintings called Hourioupe. There is widespread disagreement as to what the sculpture represents. Interpretations range from a standing animal, to a tree, a portal, or some sort of architectural form. Whatever its meaning, many Chicagoans affectionately refer to the sculpture as "Snoopy in a blender."

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    "The Picasso Sculpture"

    by traveldave Updated Sep 18, 2012

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    Rising 50 feet (15 meters) and weighing 162 tons (146,964 kilograms), "The Picasso Sculpture" is an untitled monumental sculpture that was created by Pablo Picasso. Dedicated in 1967, it was the first major public sculpture to be erected in downtown Chicago. Since it is untitled, people refer to it as "The Picasso Sculpture" or simply as "The Picasso."

    The sculpture was commissioned by the architects of the Richard J. Daley Center in 1963. It was funded mainly by charitable donations. Picasso was offered a fee of $100,000, which he refused, saying that he wanted to make the sculpture a gift to Chicago. The steel sculpture was cast in Gary, Indiana by the American Bridge Company, a division of the United States Steel Company.

    Picasso never revealed his inspiration for the sculpture. No one therefore really knows what the work represents, and each person must decide for himself what the artist had in mind when he created this sculpture. However, Picasso's grandson, Olivier Widmaier, claims that the artist was inspired by a French woman named Sylvette David. She posed for Picasso in 1954, and he was struck by her high, flowing ponytail and long, slender neck.

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    State Flower – Purple Violet

    by grayfo Written Aug 6, 2009

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    Viola sororia

    In 1907, Illinois schoolchildren voted to select the state flower and selected the Violet. The General Assembly approved a bill to make this selection official in 1908.

    The Purple Violet (also known as Common Blue Violet) is a native perennial plant that flowers from mid- to late spring, and lasts about 1-1½ months.

    �� Jon Tulloch

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    State Bird – Northern Cardinal

    by grayfo Written Aug 3, 2009

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    Cardinalis cardinalis

    The Northern Cardinal is a medium-sized songbird with a short, very thick bill and a prominent crest. Cardinals often sit with a hunched-over posture and with the tail pointed straight down.

    Male cardinals are bright red all over, with a reddish bill and black mask on their faces immediately around the bill. Females are light brown with reddish highlights without the black mask.

    Males are 22.2 to 23.5 cm long whereas females are 20.9 to 21.6 cm long. The average weight of adult cardinals is 42 to 48 grams. Immature cardinals are similar in appearance to females, but have a grey-black rather than orange-red bill.

    Webshot
    Related to:
    • Birdwatching

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    Head west to the Midwest

    by dlandt Updated Feb 1, 2006

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    If you were to draw an imaginary line from the suburbs of Chicago to Champaign, then to Springfield and on to St. Louis, and if you then stayed on the northwestern side of that line, I would say you are probably culturally in the Midwest.

    The Midwest isn't the most exciting part of the US, but it is kind of fun and quirky in its own way. People tend to be individualistic, even if they are conservative at heart. They generally do their own thing, like to talk to people, and pursue their own interests. They do tend to be a bit isolated form the world at large. Don't expect them to speak two or three languages like people in Chicago, and avoid talking religion and politics, and you'll find them a warm and welcoming folk.

    This picture was taken in Prairie du Rocher

    He drives it to work every day!
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    Head south to the South

    by dlandt Written Oct 18, 2005

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    As you drive southwards in Illinois out of Chicago, the presumed starting point for most people, you gradually move from one cultural region to another. You transition from a city, through suburbs, to the Midwest, to the South. Somewhere around an imaginary line between Springfield and Effingham you begin the change from the midwest to the South. This cross seemed to almost announce it, "You are entering the lands of the Christian fundamentalists", which is one aspect of a deeper change about to occur incrementally. Service in restaurants becomes more informal and slower, accents become drawls, the food changes (fried), the music changes to country, buildings sit closer to the ground, and in any regard that matters, you begin the slow, gradual, entry to the cultural entity called Dixie. This change takes place gradually, but by the time you cross into the counties below the forests, you are there.

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    Big Green Flood Gates in Galena

    by deecat Updated Nov 24, 2004

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    I did not know where else to put this interesting information about the solution to the floods in Galena.

    While in Galena, we took a tour and were most interested in the big Green flood gates.
    To look at the Galena River as it is today, it seemed unlikely to us that it would be the cause of flooding. Yet, we were told that Galena had created a levy and changed the way the river was used as well as adding the flood gates. Why? Because of all the many floods they had experienced through the years. In 1937 a town committee prepared a report to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers urging support to build a levy.
    You have to know a little history to understand. Most of the people in the early days arrived at Galena by keelboats and steamboats. At that time, the Galena River was navigable for all Mississippi River steamers, even a low tide. Later, Galena became the most important steam port on the Mississippi between Rock Island & St. Paul. Once the farmers began to plw the uplands, there was a continual problem with silt and the river had to be dredged. In 1890 a lock and dam near the mouth of the Galena River was built to maintain a navigable stage up the stream to Galena. It was not constructed correctly so a dam at Aiken in Harris Slough was built. This forced the Galena river to flow up stream for two miles from its mouth and this caused more sediment. By 1921, the dam was abandoned and the stream bed was filled (this resulted in less rainfall causing floods at Galena). Early floods began in 1826 and continued regularly. One of the worst was in 1937 when the highest stage ever recorded (27.67) devasted the town due to the heavy ice flow after the rains. After this horrid flood and the flood commissions plea, the levy along the Galena River was constructed, and the gates which are still used today were installed.

    1939 Flood in Galena:  Old Newspaper Account
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Variety is the "Spice" of Illinois

    by deecat Updated Oct 7, 2004

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    Click photo because it is a PANORAMIC

    The variety of life in Illinois results from the state's special geographic position and geologic history. Along its north-south axis, Illinois is one of the longest states in the Midwest. Thus, the north has cooler summers and colder winters; the south has mild winters and hot summers. These mixed temperatures and moistures attribute to a rich diversity of wildlife year-round.
    Illinois has woodlands along the moist river valleys; grasslands in the plains; the coastal plains of the southern part of the state resemble forest & swamps of Mississippi!
    Because of our rich soils, mineral deposits, varied plants and animals, Illinois has always attracted the following:
    Farmers (Illinois is known as an Agricultural State), Miners & Oil Speculators (Illinois has coal mines & oil rigs in Southern Illinois), Construction Workers (Chicago is famous for its varied and innovative skyscrapers), Forest Rangers (We need them to work at Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park, Garden of the Gods, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Crab Orchard National Fish & Wildlife Refuge, Chain o' Lakes State Park, and National Tallgrass Prairie), Scientists and Teachers (thousands of Public Schools, Private Schools, Junior Colleges, State Universities, and such outstanding universities as: Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and University of Illinois).

    Definitely, Illinois has a variety of natural areas as well as a diversity of cultures, and a need for a wide-range of jobs--Thus, Variety is the "Spice" of Illinois!

    Eon Building, One of Chicago's Great Skyscrapers
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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • Arts and Culture

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    Our State Symbols & What They Mean

    by deecat Updated Oct 7, 2004

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    You can tell a great deal about a state by its choice of Symbols, its Famous People, & its Reputation as a 'body of People.

    First, & most importantly, the "body of people" in the State of Illinois are known for being friendly & helpful. That Midwestern, downhome attitude is refreshing.

    It is the children of Illinois who have chosen the State Symbols:
    White Oak Tree (tree) which represents the strength of the state.
    Violet (flower) points out the beauty of Illinois.
    Cardinal (bird) signifies the state's bright determination & inventiveness.
    Monarch Butterfly (insect) represents the state's ability to change.
    Bluegill indicates the state's reputation for fighting for what it wants.
    White-tailed Deer (animal) shows the state's gentle, nurturing nature.
    Big Bluestem Prairie Grass represents the state's size & flexibility.
    Wise choices for a State of "Superior Men"!

    When it comes to famous people, I see their fame as Outcomes of the values engrained in them while growing up in Illinois:

    A State That Backs the Arts:
    Ray Bradbury (author), Gower Champion (Dance), Benny Goodman (musician), Ernest Hemingway (author), Charlton Heston (actor), Rock Hudson (actor), Quincy Jones (composer), Carl Sandburg (poet), Gloria Swanson (actress).

    A State With Compassion:
    Jane Addams (social worker)

    An Inventive State:
    John Deere (inventor)

    A State Filled With Laughter:
    John Balushi, Jack Benny, Bill Murray, Bob Newhart, Richard Pryor (comedians)

    A State That Values Sports/Fitness:
    Jimmy Connors (Tennis)
    Dorothy Hamill (ice skating)

    A State That Values Beauty:
    Cindy Crawford (model)
    Raquel Welch (Beauty & actress).

    A State That Values Leadership:
    Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Regan (Presidents)
    Black Hawk (Sauk Indian Chief)

    Yes, choices tell a great deal about people & their state!

    Carl Sandburg, Illinois Poet
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Music
    • Arts and Culture

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    Dumb Illinois LawsYou may be...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Dumb Illinois Laws
    You may be arrested for vagrancy if you do not have at least one dollar bill on your person.
    You may be convicted of a Class 4 felony offense, punishable by up to three years in state prison, for the crime of 'eavesdropping' on your own conversation. -720 ILCS 5/14-2.
    You must contact the police before entering the city in an automobile.
    The English language is not to be spoken.
    Chicago
    Law forbids eating in a place that is on fire.
    It is illegal to give a dog whiskey.
    Kites may not be flown within the city limits.
    Spitting is forbidden.
    In the Pullman area, it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb.
    It is forbidden to fish while sitting on a giraffe's neck.
    It is legal to protest naked in front of city hall as long as you are under seventeen years of age and have legal permits.
    Champaign
    One may not pee in his neighbor's mouth.
    Cicero
    Humming on public streets is prohibited on Sundays.
    Crete
    Cars may not be driven through the town.

    Des Plaines
    Wheelbarrows with For-Sale signs may not be chained to trees.
    Eureka
    A man with a moustache may not kiss a woman.
    Evanston
    Bowling is forbidden.
    It is illegal to go trick-or-treating on Halloween.
    It is unlawful to change clothes in an automobile with the curtains drawn, except in case of fire.
    Fairfield
    It is unlawful for 'negroes' to be within county boundries from sundown to sunrise.
    Freeport
    It is illegal to expectorate from any second-story window.
    Galesburg
    There is a $1,000 dollar fine for beating rats with baseball bats.
    Homer
    It is against the law to use a slingshot unless your are a law enforcement officer.
    Joliet
    Town fathers, reflecting the pet peeve of hearing their town's name mispronounced 'Jolly-ETTE' when all local folk know it's pronounced 'Joe-lee-ETTE', made pronouncing it Jolly-ette a misdemeanor, punishable by a $5 fine.
    Kenilworth
    A rooster must step back three hundred feet from any residence if he wishes to crow. Hens that wish to cackle must step two hundred feet back from any residence.
    Kirkland
    Bees are not allowed to fly over the village or through any of Kriland's streets.
    Moline
    Ice skating at the Riverside pond during the months of June and August is prohibited.
    There is a ban on unnecessary repetitive driving on 23rd Avenue.
    Morton Grove
    You may not own a handgun.
    Normal
    It is against the law to make faces at dogs.
    Orland Park
    No pool tables are allowed in a public establishment, because it supports gambling.
    Ottawa
    Spitting on the sidewalk is a criminal offense.
    Park Ridge
    Trucks may only park inside closed garages.
    Peoria
    Basketball hoops may not be instaled on a driveway.
    Zion
    It is illegal for anyone to give lighted cigars to dogs, cats, or any other domesticated animals.

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    Chicago is a great American...

    by slawekjb Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Chicago is a great American melting pot. One can meet a person from virtually every corner of the globe.
    If you like human and cultural variety, you will love Chicago's athmosphere.
    Dont be surprised to interact with wild animals - they are a part of this city too:}:}:}

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    one way not to greet people in...

    by russ45 Written Aug 24, 2002

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    one way not to greet people in illinois is with the bird or your middle finger pointing up
    in some parts of the state people carry guns they wiil shoot it off your hand
    and watch when driving on the roads people are not very polite on road manners they wiil go
    through red lites, pass when should not and tailgate on you.

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Illinois Hotels

See all 1641 Hotels in Illinois
  • The Peninsula Chicago

    The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago is an absolutely wonderful hotel! Every detail is thought through and...

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  • Hilton Springfield

    The Hilton Springfield Hotel can be seen for miles. We were never lost because we could always cage...

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  • Hotel Arista

    2139 CityGate Lane, Naperville, Illinois, 60563, United States

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Families

    Hotel Class 4 out of 5 stars

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Illinois Local Customs

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