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Merry Christmas


In Canada, Christmas traditions have come from many countries. France has given us its celebration of the Nativity with its old carols, Germany the Christmas tree and its many ornaments and England, greeting cards. Ireland has bequeathed us the ancient Gaelic custom of putting lights in windows. The United States has provided Santa Claus and Czechoslovakia and Japan have produced a flood of Christmas tree and interior home decorations of all kinds.


Family Celebrations

In Canada, from 1875 onwards, Christmas lost its essentially religious character, at least for Anglophones and the upper middle class. Little by little it became a community festival which gave rise to much family merry-making. New customs began to take root. Henceforth, the decorated Christmas tree, the crPche with its santons or plaster figures, gifts and the Christmas "réveillon" became part of family tradition.

Francophones, however, incorporated these new practices into their culture much later. After the First World War, increasing commercial advertising drew Francophones into the dizzy festive activities. During the 1930s, the working classes also joined this happy Christmas rush.

Religious Celebrations

Christmas has turned out to be one of the main religious festivals celebrated in Canada. From the beginning of New France up till the end of the XIXth century, Amerindians, Francophones and a large number of Anglophones went to church to celebrate the Nativity at Christmas. The three masses, the procession of the Christ Child and the visit to the crèche were essential elements of the traditions surrounding this great celebration.


See also
Canadian Holidays

External Links
Christmas Carols
Christmas Games
Christmas Images
Christmas Stories
Christmas Recipies

Copyright Craig I.W. Marlatt