What are Some Holiday Traditions in Canada?

Canada is a country rich in cultural diversity, and this diversity is reflected in the various holiday traditions that are observed across the country. The holiday season in Canada runs from late November to early January, and during this time, there are numerous celebrations and customs that are practiced in different regions of the country. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular holiday traditions in Canada.

1. Christmas Trees

One of the most popular holiday traditions in Canada is the Christmas tree. People across Canada bring home a Christmas tree and decorate it with lights, ornaments, and tinsel. The tradition of the Christmas tree dates back to the 16th century in Germany, and it was brought to Canada by immigrants from Europe. Today, Christmas trees have become an essential element of the holiday season in Canada. Many cities and towns across the country also have their own Christmas tree lighting ceremonies where locals gather to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season.

2. Outdoor Activities

The holiday season in Canada coincides with the winter season, which means that there are numerous outdoor activities that people can enjoy during this time. Canadians love to skate, sled, ski, and snowboard during the winter months. One of the most popular outdoor holiday activities is the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa, which takes place in February. The festival celebrates winter sports and features ice sculptures, ice-skating, and other winter activities.

3. Traditional Meals

The holiday season is also a time when families and friends gather to enjoy traditional meals. In Canada, the most popular holiday meal is the Christmas feast, which typically includes turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. Other popular dishes include mincemeat pies, pumpkin pies, and fruitcakes. In Quebec, the traditional holiday meal is known as ‘reveillon’, which is a long, multi-course dinner that is served after midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

4. Gift Giving

Gift giving is an essential part of the holiday season in Canada. People exchange gifts with family and friends during the holiday season as a way to show their love and appreciation. The tradition of gift giving dates back to the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was celebrated in December. Today, gift giving is a cherished holiday tradition that is practiced across Canada.

5. Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a public holiday in Canada that is celebrated on December 26th. It is a day when people exchange gifts, visit friends and family, and enjoy holiday sales at retail stores. The origin of Boxing Day is unclear, but it is believed to have started in the UK during the Middle Ages. Today, Boxing Day is one of the most important shopping days of the year in Canada.


In conclusion, the holiday season in Canada is a time of joy, celebration, and tradition. From Christmas trees to traditional meals and outdoor activities, there are many holiday traditions that are practiced across the country. Whether you are a visitor or a local, there is something for everyone to enjoy during the Canadian holiday season. So, make sure to embrace the holiday spirit and enjoy all that Canada has to offer.

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