Canada - Christmas


This year: Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Boston Christmas Tree And Christmas In Canada

The way that Canadians celebrate Christmas is essentially the same it is celebrated by Americans. A decorated pine tree, gifts under the tree, singing Christmas carols, going to church for the celebration of the nativity, and a roast turkey dinner to complete the holiday. But Canada has some very interesting stories that go with Christmas - tales about heroes and masquerading visitors' stories.

In the Canadian province of Quebec the big celebration is usually on Christmas Eve. Families come together to attend the celebration service in church and in the evening gather around the table for a copious dinner. Some of the traditional food for this season includes small meatballs called "boulettes" and a Yule Log for desert - a chocolate cake in the shape of a fire log to symbolize the wood burned in Quebec before the French arrived.

The nativity scene is very popular in Quebec as well, and many families like to display Christmas village decorations in their homes. The last day of Christmas is celebrated in Quebec on the 6th of January. This day is universally celebrated as the day when the three wise men visited the manger where Jesus was. This holiday is also very popular in France, such that the French brought this tradition with them to Quebec.

The province of Newfoundland traditionally celebrates Christmas with a Mummers Parade. Mummers are masqueraders disguised in elaborate costumes walking through the neighborhood and knocking on doors, ringing doorbells and normally making a lot of noise while asking for candy and other treats. Like Christmas carols singers, the masked mummers usually walk in groups and act their sceneries during all 12 days of Christmas celebration. When doors are open to them, they usually go inside to sing and dance for the hosts and for that are rewarded with Christmas candies. The others have to guess who is behind the mask and if they cannot tell then they must join in the singing and dancing. Masked mummers also approach the children in the streets and ask them if they behaved well this year. If the children answer that they have been indeed, then the mummers will give them a treat.

In Canada, one of the most told Christmas stories is that of the Boston Christmas Tree. On December 9, 1917 two ships collided in the sea out shore Halifax, Nova Scotia. One of the ships was carrying military munitions so the resulting explosion was devastating. The gigantic wave resulting from this explosion wiped out a part of the city of Nova Scotia and killed over 1,900 people, injuring another 9,000. Within the next 24 hours trains with doctors, nurses, and other first aide arrived from the city of Boston, MA. The people of Halifax never forgot the kindness shown to them, and every year since 1971 the city of Halifax sends the city of Boston a Christmas tree as a way of saying thank you.

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