Five ways the Canadians celebrate Christmas…
When it comes to Christmas, no one does it better than Canada. The holiday season brings layer upon layer of thick white snow, a multitude of Christmas traditions and thanks to Canada’s northerly location, long dark evenings to show off spectacular Christmas light displays; from front yards to national light festivals.
Triptoes wishes you all a very merry Christmas and hopes you enjoy reading our best picks of Canadian Christmas traditions:
1) Canadian children post thousands of letters to Santa Claus at the North Pole every year using the postal code designation “HOH OHO”; a play on Canada’s six digit postal code.
2) A national programme called, “Christmas Lights Across Canada”, illuminates Ottawa, the national capital, and the 13 provincial and territorial capitals. The end of the ceremony if marked by the “flick of the switch”, when over 300,000 twinkling lights brighten Parliament Hill. Other highlights include; the Cavalcade of Lights Festival in Toronto or the Bright Nights event in Stanley Park, Vancouver.
3) First Nation Canadians were reported to have celebrated Christmas as early as 1641, when a Jesuit priest living with the Huron tribes of Georgian Bay in what is now northern Ontario introduced the event. In the Huron adaptation of the nativity dating from 1643, Christ is born in a lodge instead of a manger, and three chiefs took on the roles of the three wise men. “The Huron Carol” is Canada’s oldest Christmas song.
4) Different Canadian Provinces have their own celebratory time scale and manner in which to celebrate. For instance in Nova Scotia, the celebrations last for twelve days and in other provinces some children do not open their presents until New Year’s Day! Vancouver gets their Christmas off to a good start, by preceding it with two weeks of carols, sung by children’s choirs, on ships in the harbour.
5) The Christmas Fruit Cake is as fundamental to a Canadian Christmas as the Christmas Tree itself. What makes the Canadian fruit cake special however, is the Bourbon; not only is it included as part of the cake mixture but once the cake is baked, traditionalists like to wrap the cake in Bourbon soaked cheesecloth and then a week before eating they baste the cake with yet more Bourbon!
Happy Christmas from all at Triptoes! We look forward to bringing you more family holidays in Canada in 2014.