Christmas in Canada
Canada is considered by many as an ideal destination to spend Christmas. In fact, it has been ranked as one of the most exciting countries for the celebration of the nativity in 2018 by the travel website Taxi2Airport. Some Canadian cities are also internationally renowned when it comes to Christmas festivities, such as Quebec City, the capital city of the French-speaking province of Quebec.
In terms of traditions, Canada's celebrations are mainly inspired by French, British and American cultures. However, some are common to every Canadian household.
The Christmas tree is one of them. It is the main symbol of Christmas in Canada. We can find it in homes, businesses and public spaces. The tree symbolizes the persistence of leaves, life and the magic of winter.
Canadians are also known for their illuminations. Many cities and towns display an array of decorations on their monuments. Some residents even create real light shows in their gardens.
Like European cities, Canada also has its Christmas markets. These are numerous in the provincial capitals, but also in the various neighbouring cities, like in Quebec, for example.
Finally, the national capital also celebrates Christmas in December. Ottawa's Parliament puts on its best colours and even presents a spectacular multimedia projection show for the public.
Now, let us transport you to the various Canadian provinces with our audioslide. We will go from coast to coast to coast, starting with the far north.
Christmas Fairs in Bucharest
Almost all big cities across Romania boast a Christmas fair, but the best known ones are those in Bucharest and Sibiu (centre). Over November 28-December 26, the Constitution Square venues the 2019 Bucharest Christmas Fair. The former great footballer Miodrag Belodedici, one of Romania’s three EURO 2020 ambassadors has lit the Christmas lights at the Fair. The organisers have laid out Santa’s House, a merry-go-round, a skating rink and have decorated a 30m tall fir-tree. Gourmets and those in search of traditional food have 130 huts filled with delicacies to choose from. The public can sing carols alongside their beloved singers and performers in the evening. Another fair which already boasts a long tradition, “Peasant Christmas”, was hosted between December 13 and 15 by the Romanian Peasant Museum, one of the main attractions of Romania’s capital city. Another fair, a special one, was organised on December 8 by IWA (International Women's Association of Bucharest): IWA Charity Christmas Bazaar, which involved the participation of over 40 embassies in Bucharest. The funds raised at the fair will be donated to several foundations based in Romania.
Einsiedeln Christmas Market
Located in the Central Switzerland region, the Einsiedeln Christmas Market, with its impressive monastery as a background, is one of the most beautiful in the country. Every year, 70,000 people visit the market's 150 or so stalls. The monastery is the most important place of pilgrimage in Switzerland, with a history spanning 1,000 years. It is also an important stop along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, a network of pilgrimage paths that runs all over Europe and attracts several hundred thousand pilgrims every year.
Christmas in Warsaw-Poland
Warsaw is blazing with Christmas lights. As every year, the famous Trakt Królewski (Royal Tract) is illuminated by millions of lights. The Christmas route leads from the New Town, through the Old Town Square, Krakowskie Przedmieście and ends at the summer residence of King Jan III Sobieski in Wilanów. During the 13 km walk you will surely get into the merry mood, you will visit the house of Father Christmas and his helpers, smell fresh baked gingerbread, see the 30-metre high Christmas tree on Castle Square and do some ice skating pirouettes. See how beautiful the city looks!
Christmas markets in Prague
Prague’s main Christmas market on Old Town Square, which attracts crowds of foreign visitors, is traditionally rated among the best in the world. Gracing the square is a brightly decorated 22-metre tall Christmas tree, donated by the Semily municipality, north-east of Prague. Dozens of wooden stalls offer souvenirs and various local delicacies such as mulled wine, Prague ham, the popular pastry “trdelník”, roasted chestnuts, punch and tea laced with rum. The Christmas atmosphere is enhanced by live music, often a children’s choir; there is traditionally a life-size Nativity scene and a mini zoo for children.
Other Prague squares also have plenty to offer. The market near the Church of St. Ludmila sells mistletoe, candles, toys, advent calendars or a wide assortment of handicrafts. Most markets last until the Three Kings, on January 6th.