A tradition common to most Roman Catholic and Protestant countries to celebrate a joyful event near the date of the winter solstice. Christmas in Canada is celebrated on December 25th. This is a statutory day off throughout the country. If it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the working day immediately preceding Christmas or coming immediately after it becomes a legal holiday.
Although Christmas, as in most Christian countries, is the most important holiday of the year in the church calendar in Canada, it has actually lost its original, extremely religious character a long time ago. From about the mid-1870s, first for Anglophones and representatives of the upper and middle classes, and then for all other strata of society, Christmas began to gradually become a secular holiday. The transfer of most celebratory activities from the church to the houses and the streets has led to the emergence of a new tradition – to celebrate Christmas as a family holiday with its inherent large amount of joyful fun. From the same time, people have been counting the time of the remarkable tradition of congratulating each other with colorful Christmas cards.
Christmas tree – so called in Canada a festively decorated Christmas tree or pine, which today is probably the most important and most beloved attribute of a merry winter holiday, has not always been an integral part of it in the past. The earliest pioneers who arrived in Canada from Europe were of English, Scottish and Irish descent. Their traditions of celebrating Christmas were markedly different from those adopted now. They did not install decorated Christmas trees in their homes, as this was not a tradition in their countries. Christmas trees arrived in Canada with immigrants from Pennsylvania, who themselves were from Germany – the country that gave rise to a beautiful ceremony in the Middle Ages. Over time, the German tradition of decorating houses with holiday trees was taken over by immigrants from other countries and very quickly began to take root everywhere in Canada.
Once upon a time a holiday tree was made to be installed in a house only on Christmas Eve – on the day before Christmas. Now, in connection with the commercialization of all areas of life and life, Christmas trees, first in most shops, and then in many Canadian homes, were sometimes installed several weeks before the holiday. They dress up with decorations representing Christmas: stars, angels, Santa Clauses, deers, snowflakes, balls with appropriate symbols. A necessary decoration is considered to be garlands or candles: the Christmas tree should glow and sparkle.
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Under the decorated Christmas tree, beautifully packaged gifts are pre-packed. And this is a funny intrigue of Christmas – gifts can not be unwrapped until the morning. It is considered a make-believe, and children sometimes believe in it seriously that Santa Claus brings gifts at night. After midnight dinner, he goes down the chimney and arranges presents under a Christmas tree. Then he gets out through the chimney back out and flies to the next house in his sleigh, drawn by nine reindeer, rushing them straight through the air. From the analysis of the Christmas tree and the opening of all the gifts, Christmas Day traditionally begins.
Christmas in Canada is a favorite holiday, preparation for which begins as early as November, when shop windows are already trying to lure customers with sparkling Christmas decorations, branches of street trees are decorated with cheerful lights, ice palaces sprout in squares, and traditional Christmas wreaths are hung on the doors of houses. Not a single person is left unattended for Christmas: even those who live far away receive gifts or congratulations by mail. And when the long-awaited guest finally comes to the house, he is really welcome.