Canadian christmas traditions
The influence of Europe in the Christmas traditions of Canada
can be seen in the celebrations and the various customs and
traditions of the holiday. 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.
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.
The German Canadians have the Tannenbaum in the place of
honor in their homes. The children await the Christkindl,
a messenger from the Christ child while the mothers make stolen
and Xmas cookies. Xmas trees, ancient carols, gingerbread
houses, and advent calendars are part of their tradition.
The various Canadians of Indian heritage have a different set of the Christmas traditions of Canada for each Indian 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 in Christmas traditions Canada 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.