Canadians have unique customs to celebrate Christmas and the New Year. In what follows, we inform you when and where they take place. In addition, we talk about the importance and characteristics of the decoration on these dates.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Article Index

Christmas traditions in Canada: What is celebrated? What is the tree like?

Christmas days

On December 24, the night before Christmas, some open their gifts, while others just unwrap one and leave the rest for the next day.



That same night Santa Claus arrives. To celebrate it, various horseback rides are made throughout the country. However, the most popular is that of Toronto, which has been held since 1913.

Depending on the area, we find some customs or others. In some provinces, the Eskimo people Inuit celebrates around these dates the Sinck tuck, a festival where people dance and exchange gifts.

In the small towns of Newfoundland (Newfoundland), between December 26 and January 6, the mummersPeople in costumes go house to house making noise and asking for sweets. In Nova Scotia we find similar characters, the belsnicklers, who are dressed as Santa Claus.

The families of French descent prepare a different activity on Christmas Eve. This is a great party called New Year's Eve, which lasts longer than is usual in the country.

One of the most listened to records at this time is that of Michael Bublé, a famous singer of Canadian origin who in 2011 released an album called Christmas. In it he covers carols and Christmas songs. In addition, there is no shortage of NBA games on television, which are followed by a large part of Canadians.

In 2011, the initiative of a Canadian airline: WestKet was much talked about. This one decided give their clients what they most wanted. You can see it in the following subtitled video:

Two languages ​​are spoken in Canada and each one is practiced in one area of ​​the country. Therefore, to say "Merry Christmas" it is possible to do it in English (Merry Christmas) or in French (Merry Christmas).

Christmas tree and decoration

The natural Canadian Christmas tree crosses borders, since each year almost two million of specimens to more than 25 different countries. The provinces in which the greatest number occurs are the following:

  • Quebec
  • New Scotland
  • New Brunswick
  • Ontario
  • British Columbia

In Nova Scotia, pine and fir trees stand out. The largest is sent each year to Boston, United States, as a form of gratitude for the help received in the disaster of the Halifax Explosion, in 1917.

The first time a Christmas tree was erected 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 cannot miss the socks hanging in the fireplace and the crafts made by children. Figures representing the Birth of Jesus are also placed in Quebec.

In Labrador City, Newfoundland, between the houses of the neighborhoods a competition of Christmas lights. The result becomes impressive, as we can see in this photo:



Not only in the houses, but the Christmas decorations also reach the streets, as well as some public places, such as the Vancouver Botanical Garden, where a light show is put on.

During these days, children like to play with crackers, some cardboard tubes wrapped in glossy paper. To open one, two people pull at each end at the same time. He cracker it breaks and a gift comes out of it.

Meals and dinners

The quintessential dish in Canada is the baked turkey accompanied by vegetables and potatoes. Despite the fact that this recipe takes a long time to prepare, it is the star product of the holidays.

However, this varies depending on the area. Lobster and shellfish are typical in southwestern Nova Scotia. On the other hand, in Quebec they cook pork trotter ragout.

As for dessert, the most typical are plum pudding and the mince pie. Pastry shops make sweets called Barley candy y Chicken bones.

It is also in Quebec where we found 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 you read the following article: Typical dishes and desserts of French gastronomy.

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 drink such as brandy or bourbon.

In the following image we can see how this drink is usually presented, which cannot be absent at Christmas:

New Year

On the night of December 31, New Year's Eve is celebrated. In 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 to a pond or river.

To ward off negative energy and the evils of the past, Canadians often clap and roar in the middle of the night. At this moment, fireworks begin to go off 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, sporting and cultural events are organized. Some people take the opportunity to ski or snowboard.

There are many cities to spend this date in Canada. In the case of Vancouver, a major festival is held in which numerous events are held, both free and paid.

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