Christmas in Canada and How is Christmas Celebrated in Canada?


Canada is a very large country and people from different cultural backgrounds live there. Because of this, there are many different Christmas traditions in Canada.

Many of the traditions and celebrations come from French, English, Irish, Scottish, German, Norwegian, Ukrainian and native influences of the first nation. People in Canada send Christmas cards to their friends and family.


Many Canadians open their gifts on Christmas Eve. Some just open their socks on Christmas Eve. Others choose a gift to open, then keep the rest until Christmas day.

Canadians like to decorate their houses with Christmas trees, lights and other decorations. There are often Christmas stockings hanging in the fireplace, ready for Santa.

The main Christmas meal is often the roast turkey with vegetables and “all the trimmings” like mashed potatoes and vegetables. Traditional Christmas favorites include Christmas puddings / plums and mince pies. Christmas cookies are popular with many people in Canada as well. A rich Christmas fruit cake is also usually eaten at Christmas!


Meaning of The Tradition of Christmas Ornaments

However, people from different backgrounds and cultures have their own favorite foods at Christmas.

Go skiing, skating and sledding are also popular if there is snow at Christmas!

Canadian children also believe in Santa Claus. Canadians are especially proud to say that their country is home to Santa Claus. (Although I am sure that people in Finland would not agree!)

The Santa Claus Parade in Toronto is one of the oldest and largest parades of Santa Claus in the world. It began in 1913 when Santa was dragged through the streets of Toronto. The children along the route followed Santa and marched with him. It takes place for more than 100 years and now it is a great event with more than 25 animated floats and 2000 people participating! It is broadcast on television around the world.

“Sinck Tuck” is a festival initiated by the Inuit that is celebrated in some provinces of Canada. This celebration consists of dancing and exchanging gifts.

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia is known throughout the world for its fir and pine Christmas trees, so most families in Canada have a Christmas tree made of spruce or pine. A Canadian tradition is to send the largest best spruce (grown in Nova Scotia) to Boston, USA. UU., Due to the assistance provided during the disaster, known around the world, as the Halifax Explosion. This tradition has lasted for many years. Bostonians always love and appreciate the Nova Scotia Christmas tree. They place this tree in the city and then light it during a ceremony to start the holiday season.


Mummering is a tradition that takes place primarily in the province of Newfoundland, most commonly in cities and small towns rather than in large cities and towns. It is also sometimes called ‘Jannying’. People dress up in costumes and knock on someone’s door and say in a disguised tone: “Are there any Mummers in the night?” or “Is there a murmur out loud?” which means “are moms allowed in the house?” Then they sing, dance and eat Christmas cake and a nice cup of something before moving on to the next house.

Christmas in Canada - How is Christmas Celebrated in Canada?

In some places, if the host does not guess who the Mummers are, the host must join the Mummers in their fun. Going Mummering is a fun activity for the holiday season for adults. The mimes usually leave between December 26 and January 6 (the 12 days of Christmas). However, some leave only before Christmas Day. In some places, Mummering is now banned because people used it as an excuse to beg. You can find more information about the history of Mummering in Newfoundland in the blog Live Rural Newfoundland and Labrador (goes to another site).

On the south coast of Nova Scotia, during Christmas, there is the tradition of Belsnickeling, where people dress up in fun Santa costumes and go from house to house until the owners guess who you were. It was especially popular at West & East Green Harbor. The Belsnicklers often brought musical instruments and sang. They were served Christmas cake or cookies. This tradition was brought to Nova Scotia by the German immigrants of 1751 who settled in Lunenburg and on the south coast.

In northern Canada, some people plan a Taffy Pull. This takes place in honor of Santa Catalina, the patron saint of single women. This party offers an opportunity for single women to meet eligible single men!
Labrador City in Newfoundland celebrates a Christmas lighting contest every year. People wear the outside of their houses with lights and, often, they have large ice sculptures in their front gardens! They have no problem finding enough snow or ice, since Labrador City has about 12-14 feet of snow every year.

Many Canadian families have parties to bake cookies. They bring a recipe for Christmas cookies, bake them and then exchange them with their family members. People and gingerbread houses are favorites, along with the straws of cheese. At the end of the party, each family goes home with a variety of different cookies to enjoy during the holiday season.

Many families of French descent celebrate a great holiday / party on Christmas Eve called “Réveillon” that lasts until the early hours of Christmas morning after participating in the Christmas Eve mass. ‘(Santa) will visit your home and leave gifts for the children under the tree. The traditional Christmas food for people in Quebec, is a stew called ‘ragoût aux pattes de cochons’ which is made with pork legs. However, many people now have a ‘Tortière’, a meat pie made of venison (or pork or veal).

At the end of the Christmas season, on January 6, people in the province of Quebec celebrate a celebration called “La Fete du Roi” They make a cake and place a bean in the center. Whoever is the lucky discoverer of beans, becomes the king or queen, according to tradition. This is similar to a tradition in Spain.

In southwest Nova Scotia, many families eat lobster, a seafood caught on the shores of Nova Scotia in the North Atlantic Ocean, on Christmas Eve.

At Christmas Canadians eat sweets called Barley Candy and Chicken Bones! They are really sweet made by local candy companies. Barley Candy is usually on a stick and has the shape of Santa Claus, reindeer, snowmen, a tree and other symbols of Christmas. Chicken bones are pink candies that taste like cinnamon. You melt them in your mouth and once they melt, they reveal a creamy center of milk chocolate.


There is a large Ukrainian community in Canada (the third largest in the world after Ukraine and Russia). Canadian Ukrainian families will have 12 traditional Christmas dishes.

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