Is Christmas Eve a Public Holiday In Canada?
Christmas Eve In Canada is not a federal or national holiday. Businesses, stores, and shops open as usual, but may close early to allow their employees to spend time with their families on the festival. Most schools and universities around the country remain closed on this day as the Winter Break has already started. Public transportations also tend to reduce their services or even close down by the time evening approaches.
Public Life On Christmas Eve In Canada
Christmas Eve 2023 in Canada, the day before Christmas, i.e., 24 December is a magic-filled day. People can be seen doing their last-minute shopping, buying and exchanging gifts, either putting up their decorations and Christmas tree or some special embellishments like stockings, and more. Many areas usually set up Nativity scenes on Christmas Eve in Canada, often even including live animals and actors. Most regular church-goers will also go to the midnight service on this day. Quebec especially holds a session, complete with a feast afterwards including the traditional pie, tourtiere. Many families would enjoy both and exchange gifts with their friends and neighbours now.
On the other hand, those with children would use this time to put up stockings for the kids, and milk and cookies for Santa Claus. If they are to have a traditional Christmas feast, then many would also make some preparations for the next day. Tracking Santa through NORAD is another fun activity that many engage in on this day, and they usually finish writing their Christmas list by this day. The holiday season puts everyone in a jolly mood.
Christmas Eve In Canada: Facts, Traditions, & More
Christmas Eve in Canada is always a winter wonderland with snow covering every inch of the land. Snowmen, big ice sculptures, and lights adorning them are a common sight in the country. Christmas trees, wreaths, stockings, decoration, carolling, etc. are some of the typical Christmas traditions in Canada, which are similar to those around the world. However, let us take a look at the customs, some history, and Christmas Eve facts indigenous to Canada:
- Mumming is a well-known Christmas Eve tradition in Canada. People would put on masks and go about annoying their neighbours. If the residents of a home can guess the person behind the costume, the mummer would stop irritating them. It is called Belsnicklers in Nova Scotia and is a German custom.
- In some cases, these mummers would ask the children of the house, whether they have been good throughout the year. If they have, then the adults would give gifts to the kids.
- Inuits celebrate Sincktuck, which is their native celebration of the winter solstice.
- People in Labrador and Newfoundland fish during the Christmas week, and bring their catch to sell at the local parish.
- During the service on Christmas Eve in Canada (especially the provinces mentioned above), small candles in turnip would be given to children. The vegetables are especially saved from harvest for this reason.
- Many families would open one gift on Christmas Eve in Canada, which is usually pyjamas.
- The Santa Claus Parade of Toronto and the Light Show at Niagara Falls are some of the top events for Christmas Eve.
- The biggest and best fir tree from Nova Scotia is sent to Boston, USA, to acknowledge and appreciate their help in the Halifax Explosion.
- Families of French descent, usually in Quebec, celebrate Réveillon on Christmas Eve in Canada. They hold feasts after the Midnight Mass, and the merrymaking continues well into the morning.
- Many people believe that the dead rise on Christmas Eve in Canada. They rise from their graves and kneel at the cemetery cross. Here, the previous priest of the parish, dressed in a white surplice and golden stole, would read out the Nativity prayers. The souls would reply with all due respect, rise once the mass is finished, and go back to their coffins, after taking a longing look at their previous homes.
Christmas Eve Observances
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1. What do Canadians do on Christmas Eve?
Most people exchange gifts on Christmas Eve in Canada. Many open all their gifts, while some open only specific ones. Where some would decorate their home and put up the Christmas tree now; others keep certain embellishments only for 24 December, setting up the rest at the beginning of December.
2. Is 24 December a holiday in Canada?
No, Christmas Eve in Canada is not a holiday and businesses open as usual. However, they may close early.
3. When did Canada start celebrating Christmas eve?
The celebration of Christmas Eve in Canada arrived with European settlers, in the early 1600s. They brought their own customs and traditions with them, which mixed up with the local celebrations slowly.
Christmas Eve Celebrations In Other Countries
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