Sep 14, 2022
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Traditions of Canada

Canada is the largest country in North America and the second largest country in the world (almost 10,000,000 km²). The population density in Canada is one of the lowest, it is only 4 people per square kilometer. The reason is that there are many uninhabitable territories here, and therefore the southern part and the areas bordering the United States are mainly populated. The customs and traditions of Canada are a mixture of cultures of the indigenous Indian population and peoples who immigrated to the country.

Traditions of Canada

Ethnic composition

Canada is called a country of immigrants – out of 38 million of its inhabitants, native Canadians make up only 32%. The growth of immigration is facilitated by the reputation of this country as a highly developed, non-conflict in foreign policy and not having internal national disagreements.

Canada’s largest ethnic populations are:

  • the English;
  • French people;
  • Germans;
  • Italians;
  • Ukrainians;
  • Scots;
  • Irish;
  • Chinese;
  • Poles;
  • Russians.

Residents of Canada

Holiday Traditions in Canada

There are a lot of holidays in Canada. Among them are generally accepted throughout the world, and characteristic only for this multinational country.

Canadians celebrate:

  • Christmas is both Catholic and Christian;
  • New Year, and the traditions of the New Year in Canada are somewhat different from European ones – they don’t spend much time at the table, they have more fun in city squares, listening to live music and admiring fireworks;

Fireworks in Canada

  • Valentine’s Day;
  • Fools’ day;
  • Easter (celebrated in March – April, the date is determined by the lunar calendar);
  • Halloween.

Purely Canadian holidays:

  • Canada Day (July 1). A traditional holiday treat is pancakes with maple syrup, as the maple leaf is a symbol of the country.


  • Victoria Day (May 25). Installed in honor of the birthday of the Queen of Great Britain.
  • Aboriginal Day (June 21). This is the summer solstice, which is considered a great holiday by the indigenous population.
  • Nativity of John the Baptist (June 23-24).
  • Memorial Day (November 11). Dedicated to the date of the victory of the Entente in the Great War.
  • Thanksgiving Day. It is celebrated in mid-October in honor of the end of agricultural work. A traditional festive dish is a turkey with a side dish of seasonal vegetables.
  • Labor Day. A rolling holiday, the date is the beginning of September.
  • Mothers Day. Passing holiday, date – mid-May.
  • Father’s Day (June 19).

Father's Day Gift

social traditions

The Canadian mentality is based on tolerance and mutual respect. Canadians never impose their opinion and avoid conflicts. Here it is not customary to criticize the authorities, discuss the merits and demerits of one or another religion or nationality, boast or complain about income.

When meeting with a friend, Canadians not only shake hands, but also look in the face for several seconds, demonstrating friendliness and disposition for further communication. The manifestation of familiarity in the form of claps or pats on the shoulder is regarded as bad manners.

social traditions

Family traditions

A strong marriage and a friendly family in Canada is the basis of a happy life. Divorces are rare here, as Canadians usually marry at a mature age, preferring to first find a good job and acquire housing. Family traditions in Canada have long been common to all nations living here.

Family in Canada

First of all, it is equality in the family and respect for parents. The concept of “male” and “female” work is not in trend here. Grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning and other household chores, as well as the opportunity to relax with friends from time to time, leaving the children for the “second half”, are available to both spouses. Canada loves children, there are many families with 3-4 children. Their upbringing is usually done by parents, not grandparents. Young families try to find accommodation close to their parents in order to be able to visit them more often.

Wedding traditions in Canada differ little from those in Europe. The engagement, at which the groom gives the bride a ring, takes place in the circle of relatives. After the engagement, a lot of time can pass before the wedding – from six months to several years. The wedding venue can be a church or another place, including the home of the bride or groom.

wedding celebration

A wedding banquet is held at a hotel or restaurant, usually a buffet or buffet. It is not customary to give envelopes with money for a wedding in Canada; according to tradition, newlyweds are presented with useful things – a TV, a washing machine, dishes or bed linen.

The appearance of a child in a Canadian family is a joyful event. After his birth in the house of his parents, friends and relatives gather for the bride, congratulate him on the replenishment of the family, bring gifts to the baby, and all together choose a name for him.

Baby in a stroller

The traditions and customs of Canada include the observance of funeral rituals. After death, the body of the deceased is washed and dressed in funeral clothes. Before the funeral, it is in the morgue, it is not customary to stay with the deceased in the same house. On the day of the funeral, a ceremony is organized for the deceased according to his religion. Most cemeteries in Canada are private, where many families have ancestral graves.

Culinary traditions

Canada is a country rich in fish and seafood, but they have more meat products on the table than fish.

Canadian cuisine

Traditional Canadian dishes include:

  • Poutine – french fries with semi-hard cheese and sauce, served as a side dish.
  • Bannock is an Indian national dish, something like a sandwich. It is a yeast dough cake with bacon, cheese and beans.
  • Smoked meat in Montreal style. Pork or beef brisket is marinated in spices, smoked, then steamed. This tender meat delicacy is served on rye bread with mustard.
  • Foie gras is a signature French dish made from goose liver, which is prepared in the form of pate, mousse or parfait (cream).
  • Pie Tourtiere. French-speaking Canadians’ national Christmas dish, a round shortcrust pastry pie stuffed with minced meat and onions.
  • A beavertail is an oblong fried donut topped with Nutella or peanut butter.
  • Montreal bagels are crunchy little bagels filled with poppy seeds and sesame seeds, with malt syrup and honey added to the batter.

Montreal bagels

Canadian festivals and carnivals

The culture and customs of Canada in each of the regions have been formed over the centuries. But all ten Canadian provinces have a love of entertainment.

People of Canada

Among the most popular:

  • Calgary Stampede. Rodeo festival that runs for 10 days in early July. Its program includes traditional cowboy competitions, wagon races, a fair, as well as national Indian dances and a parade of musicians.
  • Winterlude. The festival is held in early February in the capital Ottawa and the city of Gatineau. The program includes concerts, ice shows, a competition of sculptures made of snow and ice.
  • Festival of Celtic colors. Takes place in October on Cape Breton Island. Within a week and a half, you can attend numerous concerts that are held in theaters, concert halls and churches, listen to bagpipes and Celtic singing.
  • Winter carnival in Quebec. A bright, cheerful festival that lasts for half a month. The program includes skiing, skating, dog sledding, the creation of ice castles.
  • International Fireworks Festival. The largest pyrotechnic show in the world, since 1985, has been held in Montreal in the month of July. Teams from Australia, Spain, Italy, Canada, USA and France compete in the competition.
  • Maple Syrup Festival. It takes place in the spring in the province of Ontario, it attracts guests from all over the country and from abroad. The holiday resembles the Russian Maslenitsa with folk festivals.

maple syrup festival

Unusual Canadian Traditions

Canada is a large country, and the customs in its individual regions are very diverse, and some of them, based on superstitions and signs, can cause surprise. Here are some unusual and interesting Canadian traditions:

  1. In many European houses there are no floors and apartments at number 12, and in Chinese houses at number 4, but those where there is a number 8 are happy, therefore they are sold at a higher price.
  2. In Europe, when settling into a new dwelling, a cat is allowed into the room first, and among the indigenous peoples of Canada, instead, they go around all the premises with a bunch of smoldering sage, while saying prayers. It is believed that this ritual will protect the house from evil spirits.

Sage fumigation

  1. In the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, the dishes in which someone brought a treat must be returned unwashed, if you wash it, you will call trouble.
  2. In the same provinces, in the second half of October, it is dangerous to collect wild blackberries – according to popular belief, at this time the berry already belongs to the devil.

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