It’s almost Christmas! And to celebrate, we’ve decided to gather up some fun facts about Christmas and the history of the traditions some practice. Some of them might surprise you and some will definitely make you feel proud to be Canadian.
Our top 10 Canadian Christmas facts:
1) Canada exports Christmas trees to over 25 countries
Every year, between 3 and 6 million Christmas trees are produced in Canada and 1.9.million of those come from Quebec. A lot of these end up adorning Canadian homes, but they also travel all over the world, spreading their Christmas cheer!
2) Rudolph was Canadian
Although the Rankin-Bass company that produced children’s classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” were American, Rudolph was voiced by Billie Mae Richards, from Toronto. In fact, nearly all the actors were Canadian and the sound was recorded in Toronto, giving this American film a Canadian twist.
3) People in Quebec party on till January 6th
While many people wind down the celebrations on Boxing Day, the celebrations in Quebec aren’t over until Ephiphany. Then they celebrate the French tradition of La Fête des Rois, or “the Feast of the Kings”. They bake a cake with a bean inside and whoever finds the bean is destined to become King or Queen!
4) Michael Buble sold more records in a month than most people sell in a lifetime.
In 2011, Michael Bublé made it to number 2 on the US charts for the year with his Christmas album, having sold 2,452,000 copies. Why is that unusual? Well, it was only released in November, meaning he sold more in the run-up to Christmas than anyone else, bar Adele, sold in the entire year. Impressive stuff!
5) Ontarians spend the most on Christmas presents
According to a 2013 survey, the residents of Ontario are the most generous when it comes to Christmas spending with an average of $873 per person! That’s a lot of gifts under the tree. Atlantic provinces were runner up at $759, Alberta $703, Manitoba and Saskatchewan at $635.
6) “Jingle Bells” was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas
“Jingle Bells” is a classic song sung at Christmas time, but it didn’t start out that way. First published in 1857, it was written by James Lord Pierpont, to be sung on Thanksgiving — not Christmas. There is some question as to where it was written — Massachusetts and Georgia both are plausible.
7) A Christmas Story was filmed in Canada
Another American movie with a Canadian connection. It may have been set in Indiana, but the school was Victoria School, in St Catharines, Ontario. Cherry Street in Toronto also features, as does the Chop Suey Palace in the same city. The 2008 documentary “Road Trip for Ralphie” documents two Canadian fans as they try and visit all the locations in the film and even finding all the old costumes and props!
8) French Canadians feast at midnight
Most people have their big Christmas meal at lunchtime, but for people of French origin, the feast comes after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. Traditionally, everyone would share a giant pie but nowadays it’s more likely to be a turkey.
9)The first artificial Christmas Tree wasn’t a tree at all.
It was created out of goose feathers that were dyed green. The first artificial Christmas trees were developed in Germany in the 19th century, due to major continuous deforestation. The feather trees became increasingly popular during the early 20th century and finally made their way to us in Canada.
10) You’ll never be short of a festive place name in Canada
Choose from Christmas Island, Snowflake or Reindeer Island – Canada might just be the most festively named place in the world!
Until next time,
Peace, love and vitamin C!