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Christmas Traditions in Canada


Generally speaking, the majority of Christmas traditions in Canada are similar to Christmas traditions in the rest of the world. However, there are some interesting Christmas traditions which have their roots in the Christmas traditions of the French, Irish, Scottish, English, Germans and Aboriginals.

One Christmas tradition in Canada is that the biggest, best fir tree is selected and sent to Boston, U.S.A. as a token of appreciation for help given during a Canadian disaster known as the Halifax Explosion.

Another Christmas tradition in Canada, due to its French influence, is to call the Christmas banquet a reveillon.

A very unique Christmas tradition in Canada is Mummering. This tradition occurs mostly in the small towns and villages of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, The tradition involves people disguising themselves by dressing up and knocking on someone's door and saying in a disguised voice, "Any mummers 'loud in?'" – this means “are mummers allowed into the house”? Tradition has it that if the answer is yes, the mummers entertain the people in the household by singing and dancing and are rewarded with Christmas fare such as Christmas cake and a Christmas drink. If the host does not identify the mummers, then the tradition demands that he or she join them as they continue on their rounds.


Labrador City has its own Christmas tradition called “Christmas Light-up Contest”. The exteriors of houses are decorated with Christmas lights and the tradition also involves having a big ice sculptures in front gardens. This Christmas tradition is extremely popular as twelve feet of snow or ice is normal at Christmas time and the tradition allows creative skills to be brought to the fore in the selection and quality of the figure chosen to be so sculpted! Another Christmas tradition in Labrador, is to save turnips from the previous summer’s crop, hollow out the centre, insert a light and give to children to carry around.

A Christmas tradition enjoyed by families of French descent involves a huge feast after mass on Christmas Eve. This feast usually lasts well into the early hours of Christmas morning.

A plentiful supply of lobster around the shores of southern Nova Scotia has given birth to a Christmas tradition there, whereby many people eat lobster for their Christmas dinner instead of the more worldwide tradition of turkey or ham.


Another Christmas tradition in Canada is for people to have sweets called Barley Candy and Chicken Bones. They are usually made locally and have a cinnamon taste with soft chocolate centres. They tend to be shaped in the Christmas traditional figures of Santa Claus, snowmen, Christmas trees or reindeer.


A Christmas tradition in Eskimo areas is to hold a winter festival called Sinck Tuck. The festival revolves around gift –giving and dancing.

British Columbia is unique in that its individual Christmas traditions include the Christmas turkey being joined by salmon.

Quebec has a Christmas tradition called La Fete du Roi. It takes place on 6th January and is a little like the Halloween tradition of a ring in a barm brack – a Christmas cake is made with a bean inside it, the recipient of which becomes the king of queen for the day.


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