Christmas in Canada: Facts About Canadian Christmas Traditions

Here are some facts about Canadian Christmas celebrations, customs and traditions.

  • Christmas in Canada has many different customs and traditions because of the country’s diverse population. Most people celebrate on December 25th.

  • The Santa Claus parade has been held every Christmas in Toronto since 1905. Almost 1,800 people take part in the parade, and about 500,000 people line the parade route.
  • Every Christmas, homes in Labrador City in Newfoundland have a Christmas lights competition. Homeowners also try to outdo each other with huge ice sculptures and light displays in their gardens.
  • Also popular is the festival of lights at Niagara Falls. The waterfalls are decorated with over 2 million lights, and visitors can also enjoy concerts and fireworks over the falls.
  • Turkey or ham is the traditional Christmas meal for most English speaking Canadians. Other popular seasonal foods include mince pies, plum pudding and a rich Christmas fruit cake.
  • Attending midnight mass is customary among French speaking Canadians, as well as attending feasts on Christmas Eve. A stew made from pigs’ feet is a traditional Christmas meal in parts of Quebec.
  • Every year, the Canadian province of Nova Scotia gives a Christmas tree to the US city of Boston. The tree is in appreciation for help given by Boston residents after a ship exploded in Halifax in 1917.
  • Mummering is a popular tradition at Christmas in Canada, in parts of Newfoundland. Children go from door to door, sing and dance, and are given snacks and a drink.
  • Cookie, or biscuit baking parties are very popular in Canada around Christmas. Cookies are baked and recipes are exchanged, and each person at the party leaves with a selection of cookies.
  • In Quebec, people celebrate Epiphany on January 6th. One tradition is baking a cake with a bean in it, and whoever finds the bean is named the┬áking or queen of the feast.

What next? Visit our Christmas Around the World section to discover how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

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