HALIFAX — How do Canadians with different traditions celebrate the holiday season?
With dancing, rigatoni and wiener roasts, according to a display at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.
In some households, pyjamas play a major role in the festivities.
The Halifax museum is inviting visitors to provide details about their holiday customs, and displaying their notes in its Hall of Tribute.
The entries run the gamut from dining to dancing and cover Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali and the lunar new year, said Ann-Marie Begin, a heritage interpreter at the museum.
“One family says that on New Year’s Day they’ve had a wiener roast in the provincial park at Goldstream (near Victoria, on Vancouver Island) every year for 35 years, rain or snow,” Begin said.
Several people have mentioned wearing pyjamas while unwrapping gifts, or receiving pyjamas as a gift, “and that being the one gift they’re allowed to open on Christmas Eve.”
Besides adding to the display, some visitors appear to be picking up ideas to adopt in their own homes. A case in point is one family’s Christmas tradition that involves everyone wearing matching onesies on which their names are embroidered.
“And I actually had someone come up to me and say, ‘Do you know where I can get matching onesies for my whole family that I can get embroidered?”’ Begin recalled.
“She liked that tradition so much that she wanted to start it with her own family. It’s been neat to see that kind of sharing of traditions.”
So what do Canadians do during the holiday season? Here’s a sampling from the display:
— “Mummering or ‘Jannying’ between Christmas and New Years. A Newfoundland tradition! And lots of fun!”
— “Tortiere after midnight on Christmas Eve and open one present!” a Quebecer wrote.
— “At New Year’s, me and my family throw money and coins at midnight. It’s something we’ve always done and it brings the family together.” Written by a 23-year-old from Brampton, Ont.
— “New Year’s Eve. Polenta. Yum.”
— “Chrismukkah! We decorate the house w/ a Hanukkah bush and xmas tree! We have a big holiday dinner w/ traditional Jewish dishes like latkes, roast beef and potatoes, brisket, chopped liver, etc. On xmas we have rigattoni w/ homemade sauce and meatballs.” The multi-coloured note concludes with a smiley face.