Canada is a multicultural country, where people from different backgrounds have made it their home. Christmas in Canada is a holiday; it is customary for people to exchange gifts, enjoy a special meal together and attend a church service on this day i.e. 25th of December. In provinces of Canada such as Quebec, people celebrate not only on Christmas Day, but also on Christmas Eve. Although the birth of Christ is rejoiced similarly in most parts of the world, the Canadians have incorporated and developed their own customs and traditions. For example, the Christmas Tree, Advent Calendars and the Gingerbread House have had their origin from Germany while the concept of Greeting Cards was introduced by the British. The Irish initiated decoration of lights on their windows, the United States introduced them to the popular Santa Claus and the French gave them the idea of Creche and Carols. Owing to this, a Canadian Christmas is a mixture of various cultures from all over the world.
Christmas Traditions and Customs In Canada
Christians in Canada who follow the Eastern Orthodox tradition celebrated the birth of Jesus on January 7th while the Armenian Apostolic Church marked January 6th as the birth of Jesus.
Families in Canada tell the story of the mythical figure called Santa Claus, who was believed to travel around the world on a sledge powered by a rain-deer. He entered the homes of kids through a chimney to deliver gifts and candy into Christmas stockings. During this time, people of the house exchange gifts which could range from toys, games, chocolates, music and clothes to luxury items such as watches and wine.
Celebrations In Different Provinces
In some provinces of Canada, Eskimos celebrate Sinck Tuck which is a winter festival accompanied by dance. In Nova Scotia, 'masked mummers' are known to visit the neighbourhood with loud ringing bells and sought candy and other gifts. Then, the host would try to identify the mummer, failing which the loud ringing sounds continue! On guessing right, the mummer would be revealed. In the same province, people sing carols and songs on the Christmas morning. In Quebec, creches are displayed as part of Christmas celebrations. In Labrador City in Newfoundland, houses are decorated with lights and gardens will have ice sculptures.
A traditional Christmas Day in Canada starts with ham, eggs or pancakes. Lunch typically would comprise of stuffed or dressed roast turkey, potatoes and cranberry sauce, savoury snacks such as oranges or mandarin, nuts and butter tarts and finally, the Christmas pudding or plum. Numerous sweets such as barley candy and chicken bones (creamy milk chocolate once melted) are served.
A few families in Canada like to conduct cookie baking parties. Here, a cake is baked and cookies are exchanged. At the end of the party, each guest goes home stomach- full!
La Fete du Roi
Christmas season ends on January 6th with people in Quebec celebrating an event called "La Fete du Roi. During this time, a cake is baked and a bean is placed in the middle of it. The person who is lucky enough to discover the bean is the King or Queen, as per the tradition.
Canada celebrates Christmas with a spirit of friendship, love, brotherhood and secularity. This is the reason why it is called a community festival rather than a religious one.
Read about Christmas, its traditions and customs in Canada and also the Canadian Christmas celebrations.