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CHRISTMAS IN CANADA



Public parks and buildings across Canada are traditionally lit for the holidays at the same moment: 6:55 on the first Thursday in December. This tradition began in 1986 and is one uniting aspect of the country's many Christmas celebrations.

Tourtiore, a meat pie made from pork, potatoes and onions, is served on Christmas Eve in many parts of French Canada. In Vancouver, Christmas is preceded by two weeks of caroling from children's choirs on ships parading through the harbor. The waterfront is decorated with thousands of lights and becomes a festive place for the holidays.

Quebec's Christmas rituals end on January 6th with the "Fete du Roi," the Party of the King. At this party, slices of cake are handed out and family members search for the bean that has been baked into one of them as they eat. The person to find it is crowned king or queen for the day.

Nova Scotia's celebration during the 12 days of Christmas features masked people called belsnicklers who bounce through neighborhoods making rude noises, demanding treats, and ringing bells. It is only when hosts are able to identify the belsnicklers that they remove their costumes, quiet down, and distribute candy to children who claim to have been good during the year.

Santa Claus visits most Canadian homes, though some children do not open all of their presents until New Year's Day. As in many other countries, Christmas time in Canada is a time for "Good Cheer and Family".




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