Stettler gains Christmas traditions

Stettler is home to a diverse group of people, some of whom are far from home for Christmas this year.

Stettler resident P. Sreedharan Pillai said many of India’s Christmas celebrations take place outside.

Stettler is home to a diverse group of people, some of whom are far from home for Christmas this year.

The Independent spoke with some of those people about Christmas traditions in their homeland.

Christmas celebrations in the Philippines begin in September and don’t end until after New Year’s. Because the Philippines is a predominantly Christian country, Christmas is an important holiday, celebrated with many decorations.

“In the Philippines, you can see all the Christmas lights,” said Juliet Aquino, a Stettler resident originally from the Philippines.

Starting on Dec. 16, Filipinos have a mass every night until Dec. 25. Aquino won’t be home for Christmas this year, but will celebrate on Dec. 23 with a Filipino Christmas party.

Manny Cruz is also far from the Philippines for Christmas.

“Before Christmastime, all the families are joined together sharing food, waiting for Dec. 25,” Cruz said. “After that, when we reach Dec. 25, then we give our gifts.”

Cruz plans to spend Christmas with his brother in Edmonton.

Krishna Sarojini lives in Stettler, but is originally from India.

“According to our tradition, we first put a star in almost all the houses,” she said. “After that, we make Christmas trees.”

In some respects, Christmas in India doesn’t sound that different from a Canadian Christmas.

“On the day of Christmas … almost all the family members get together, and our friends also,” Sarojini said.

This year, Sarojini will celebrate Christmas with friends.

But there are some traditions in India that probably wouldn’t fly here, especially when it gets to -40 C.

Stettler resident P. Sreedharan Pillai said many of India’s Christmas celebrations take place outside. He said people march through the streets singing Christmas carols, and that it can sometimes last hours.

“Christmas carols are somewhat different from this place,” Pillai said. “Because of this climate condition, our celebrations (in Canada) are in a closed environment, but … ours are in the streets. People dance, but we can’t really do that here.”

This year, Pillai plans to celebrate Christmas with other Indian families in Stettler.

Some other Christmas traditions from around the world include:

— China celebrates with fireworks and acrobats, and in English Santa is called “Christmas Old Man” or “Nice Old Father.”

— On Dec. 6, German children leave their shoes outside to be filled with treats.

— In Mexico, those celebrating Christmas cut designs into paper bags and put lights inside, making a lantern called a farolito.

— In Sweden, Christmas celebrations kick off on Dec. 13, or St. Lucia’s Day. The oldest daughter in the family wears a white dress and a crown made of leaves and candles. She then goes to each bedroom and serves coffee and goodies.

 

Just Posted

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Our Town Stettler

Main Street in the early 1900s

Stettler hosting Third Annual Old Fashion Christmas Dinner

Freedom Christian Fellowship also having a free Christmas Dinner

High number of Clearview students graduate: Annual report

Clearview boasts 86.4 per cent Grade 12 completion

Stettler RCMP arrest hitchhiker

Man charged with attempting to steal truck, break and enter into another vehicle

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

New home for Calgary Flames estimated to cost up to $600 million

The city and the Flames are not yet talking on who will pay how much for a building to replace the Saddledome

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Language on Sikh extremism in report will be reviewed, Goodale says

A public-safety ministry document indicats terrorist threats to Canada included a section on Sikh extremism for the first time

Questions raised over retailers who shame shoplifters with photos

Alleged theft from a sex shop in Newfoundland led to posts on social media

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Stettler man found guilty of illegally trafficking wildlife

Hunting license suspended for three years

Most Read