Christmas in Canada Traditions
The influence of Europe can be seen in Christmas in Canada in the celebrations and the various customs and traditions of the holiday. Many different cultures come together to form the traditional Christmas in Canada festivities. It can vary quite a bit from family to family, depending on their particular heritage.
The midnight mass is the central celebration of French Canadians on Xmas eve, where they display a nativity scene beneath a Xmas tree. After the mass, the family has a huge banquet as part of the Christmas traditions of Canada. Gift-giving occurs on New Year’s Day.
Traditionally, for the English Canadians, the Christmas traditions of Canada feasts usually include a roast goose or beef and plum pudding. The homes are decorated with pine bough and kissing balls. They also sing the ancient carols during the period. They also enjoy mince pies, Christmas Crakers, and other traditionally British Christmas icons.
While most people have a ‘Christmas Tree’, German Canadians have the ‘Tannenbaum’ in the place of honor in their homes. Some families still tell their children the stories of await the Christkindl, a messenger from the Christ child. Some traditional Canadian/German foods at Christmas are Stolen and cookies. Trees, ancient carols, gingerbread houses, and advent calendars are major parts of the traditions as they celebrate Christmas in Canada.
Did you know that many famous Canadian Singer have recorded Christmas Albums?
The various Canadians of Native heritage have a different set of the Christmas traditions of Canada for each indigenous nation, including gift-giving, feasts, singing, dancing, drumming and games, which were part of their ancient winter celebrations. The Cree children visit the homes of their relatives to collect their gifts. The Inuit hold feasts of caribou, seal, raw fish, and turkey.
Ukrainian immigrants celebrate the feast of Saint Philip by cleaning their homes, bodies and souls. The Eastern Orthodox religious influences their traditions with a blend with pagan agrarian customs. They hold a day of fasting that ends on Xmas Eve when the hold the Holy Supper with twelve dishes. The astrological symbolism is evident in the combination Christian motifs and agrarian practice which are shown in the twelve dishes representing the twelve lunar cycles of the year and the twelve Disciples of Christ. No meat and milk is served with the dishes because emphasis is placed on the field, garden, and orchard during the celebration.
Just as each culture has it’s own unique traditions, so too does each family. No two households are exactly alike, but pride in our multiculturalism is the basis of the traditions we hold dear when we celebrate Christmas in Canada.