HomeNews ❯ Belsnickel, Mummering, and Other Ways Canadians Celebrate Christmas

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How Christmas is Celebrated in Canada From Feasting to Mummering

Christmas is always upon us and as always, Canadians are going all-out to celebrate December 25th.

Everyone knows of the carolling and gift-giving but for people in Canada, Christmas is about so much more. From Montreal to Vancouver, Canadians mark the holiday in a number of different and occasionally unusual ways. Here are some of the favourites:

 Toronto Santa Claus Parade

Festive parades aren’t uncommon across the world but Toronto’s Santa Clause Parade is something special. The city first held the event in 1913 and over a century later, 500,000 come to watch it.

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For many, it’s all about the food at Christmas. The turkey, beef, or goose dinner is often one of the yearly highlights but many Canadians choose to enjoy their festive feast in the early hours after returning from midnight mass. The French tradition of Réveillon is keenly observed by many in Canada who feast on meat pies, vegetables, and sauces, sweet treats like rice pudding, pastries and biscuits. All finished off with a slice of chocolate Yule log.

Quebec’s Holiday Markets

The Christmas market is a centuries-old tradition and it is beloved in Quebec. Stalls sell everything needed this festive season from decorations to food and drink. Sleigh rides and carollers add a dash of Christmas spirit to make this tradition extra special.

Christmas in Canada

Sinck Tuck

This is celebrated by the Inuit people in Northern Canada. Communities and families band together to eat, drink, and be merry with one another over the festive period.

Belsnickels and Mummering

This is where things get a little more unusual. In Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and some other provinces, people partake in this slightly creepy Christmas tradition. Bellsnickel is a character reminiscent of Krampus in German folklore. A companion of St Nicolas, he traditionally carries socks or shoes full of candy for the good children and coal for the bad. In Nova Scotia, people often dress up as Belsnickels and travel door to door carolling in a tradition similar to Mummering.

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