It’s the time of the year we all have been waiting for, it’s time for Christmas. A time of the year where the winter snow adorns the street and the ugly sweaters comes out of the closet. It’s a time to bond and indulge in family traditions. Enjoy the comfort of family and friends while sipping on warm wine and eggnogs.
However, does tradition vary based on countries or is Santa a common belief all around the world? For example in Austria instead of Santa people believe in “Krisken” and instead of Santa’s loyal elves, they believe in “Krampus” to ward off evil. So how is it going to be like in other countries where Christmas is the main celebration?
Today, we decided to put together the highlights of Christmas in Canada. Are they similar to their border brother America or do they practice a completely different Christmas?
1. Santa Is The Same Everywhere
Santa: it’s a child’s wish to watch his thick belly slide down with ease bellow their chimneys and leave presents. That Santa is Ho Ho Ho-ing with his reindeer and leaving trails of cookie crumbs behind has been the belief of people all around the world. It’s not much different in Canada either. Canadians pride upon telling their children that Canada is the home of Santa, although the Finnish may disagree but Canadians celebrate Santa with a more personal relationship.
Have you heard of the Santa Parade?
If you haven’t, then you’ll be excited to know Toronto has been the oldest organizer of the Santa parade. Happening in the week of Christmas, the streets of Toronto are filled with Santas and their fans. It started in the midst of 1913 where a huge Santa was paraded around the streets and children followed his trail. Now it’s an international event, with live broadcasts all around the world where 25 floats and more than 2000 people can be seen participating.
However, in the South Shore of Nova Scotia, Santa brings a laugh among the people. In a celebration called Belsnickeling, people take pride in dressing up in funny Santa costumes and creating a trail of laughter.
Pleasantly, we are not surprised that Canada has managed to embrace diversity even with Santa.
2. ‘Réveillon’, A French History
We are all aware of the two main influences in Canada. The English and the French. The French cities of Canada such as Quebec are some of the prettiest cities of this century. With it being part of the UNESCO Culture Heritage program, Quebec is deemed a prestigious and unique city.
However, that isn’t the only point that stands out with the French community in Canada. ‘Réveillon’ is an event celebrated by the French community on the eve of Christmas. This celebration starts with the Midnight Mass and ends in the early hours of Christmas morning. A beautiful tradition where they pray to ‘Père Noel’ (A Version of Santa) to pay a visit and leave gifts for the children.
A traditional meal for Christmas in the cultural Quebec is ‘ragoût aux pattes de cochons’ which is made from pigs feet however over the years many have opted for an easier alternative which is called ‘Tortière’, a form of meat pie which is usually made out of venison however sometimes using pig or beef meat .
Are you excited to be part of the ‘Réveillon’?
3. The Old Skool Goodies Of Canadian Christmas Treats
The best part about Christmas is the fact that we can enjoy the beautiful delicacies that are blessed onto us once every year. The tiny gingerbread, the chocolate shaped Santa and the cinnamon cookies are a tradition. The rock hard fruit cake and the delicious hot chocolate to go with it is a tradition in all Christmas countries.
However, Canadians await their own unique candy, homemade in their motherland . At first, the names may throw you off, however, we have all learned not to judge a book by its cover. Barley Candy, similar to our chocolate Santa’s these are formed in various shapes that represent Christmas. If you’ve enjoyed gummy bears than their appearance might not be that drastic however it definitely is sweet.
“Chicken Bones” is another of Canada’s wonderful candies. It’s not made out of chicken bones or shaped like one, however, it has a soft and fluffy exterior with a milk chocolate filling. Once the exterior melts in your mouth, you’ll then be able to enjoy the juicy and soft center.
For Canadians, these candies are definitely a treat.
4. All Kinds Of Meat
Meat mania is a common thing in every household during Christmas, for vegetarians, it becomes a challenge to adapt and enjoy meat. In Canada however, the multiculturalism has created a diverse array of food, where not only meat is the main delicacy but several other food groups as well.
For example, Canada’s Ukrainian community which is the largest Ukranian community in the world after in Ukraine and in Russia, enjoy themselves with a platter of 12 different kinds of meat while the community in Nova Scotia starts Christmas with an array of seafood. Usually for the main course lobster is the popular dish, since Nova Scotia is located near the shore, their produce’s come directly from the sea.
Through the food, you can identify the cultural background and the type of natural produce that’s located in that region. Bring them all together then you’ve got Canada.
If you’re planning on staying in Canada this Christmas then you should definitely check these things out. It will be an amazing experience for you .