Christmas in Canada: Canadians have original customs to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. In what follows, we inform you of when and where they take place. In addition, we talked about the importance and characteristics of the decoration on these dates.
1. Christmas Days
On December 24, on the night before Christmas, some open gifts, while there are others who only unwrap one and leave the rest for the next day.
That same night Santa Claus arrives. To celebrate, there are various horseback rides throughout the country. However, the most popular in Toronto, which has been held since 1913.
Depending on the area, we find some customs or others. In some provinces, the Inuit Eskimo people celebrate the Sink Tuck at this time, a festival in which they dance and exchange gifts.
In the small towns of Newfoundland (Newfoundland), between December 26 and January 6, the mummers, people in disguise, go house to house making noise and asking for sweets. In Nova Scotia, we find similar characters, the Belsnicklers, who dress as Santa Claus.
Families of French descent prepare a different activity on Christmas Eve. It is a great party called Reveillon, which lasts longer than usual in the country.
One of the most listened to albums in this era is that of Michael Buble, famous singer of Canadian origin who in 2011 released an album called Christmas. he covers Christmas carols and songs. In addition, there is no lack of television on the NBA games, which many of the Canadians follow.
In 2011, the initiative of a Canadian airline: WestJet was highly commended. This decision to give their customers what they most wanted.
In Canada, two languages are spoken and each is practiced in an area of the country. Therefore, to say “Merry Christmas” it is possible to do it in English ( Merry Christmas ) or in French ( Joyeux Noel ).
2. Christmas Tree and Decoration
The natural Canadian Christmas tree crosses borders since each year almost two million copies are exported to more than 25 different countries. The provinces in which the greatest number are produced are the following:
- New Scotland
- New Brunswick
- British Columbia
In Nova Scotia, pine and fir trees stand out. The largest is sent annually to Boston, the United States, as a way of thanking for the help received in the disaster of the Halifax Explosion, in 1917.
The first time a Christmas tree was set up in North America was in 1781 in Sorel, Quebec. The first illuminated in Canada was placed in Westmount, Quebec, in 1890.
In the houses, the trees are decorated with lights, garlands, and pendants. In addition to these, you can not miss the socks hanging in the fireplace and the crafts made by children. In Quebec, figures representing the Birth of Jesus are also placed.
In Labrador City, Newfoundland, a Christmas lights contest is held among the houses in the neighborhoods. The result becomes impressive, as we can see in this photo:
Not only in the houses, but the Christmas decoration also reaches the streets, as well as some public places, such as the Botanical Garden of Vancouver, in which a light show is made.
During these days, children like to play with crackers, cardboard tubes wrapped in shiny paper. To open one, two people pull at the same time from each end. The cracker breaks and a gift comes from inside.
3. Meals and dinners
The dish par excellence in Canada is the turkey baked with vegetables and potatoes. Although this recipe takes a lot of time to make, it is the star product of the holidays.
However, this varies depending on the area. In the southwest of Nova Scotia, lobster and seafood are typical. On the other hand, in Quebec, they cook ragu of pig’s trotters.
As for the dessert, the most typical is the plum pudding and the minced meat pie. The bakeries make some sweets called Barley Candy and Chicken Bones.
It is also in Quebec where we find on January 6 the Galette des Rois or Roscón de Reyes, a cake in which they hide a bean. The person who finds it is crowned king or queen. If you want to know more recipes of French origin, we recommend reading the following article: Dishes and desserts typical of French gastronomy.
- Read More: Easy Christmas Desserts Recipes
The typical Christmas and New Year drink is eggnog or eggnog. It contains milk and beaten eggs, so it has a creamy texture. You can add an alcoholic beverage like Brandi or bourbon.
In the following image we can see how this drink is usually presented, which can not be missed at Christmas:
4. New Year
On the night of December 31, New Year’s Eve is celebrated. In the big cities parties are organized, both in clubs and in private homes. However, in some rural areas, it is typical to go with friends to fish in a pond or river.
To ward off negative energy and the evils of the past, Canadians tend to applaud and roar at midnight. At this moment, fireworks begin to shoot across the country.
When New Year’s Day arrives, the bravest bathe in the icy water. This act is called Polar Bear Swim. During this day, sports and cultural events are organized. Some people take advantage of skiing or snowboarding.
There are numerous cities where to pass this date in Canada. In the case of Vancouver, an important festival is held in which numerous events are held, both free and paid.