Christmas Beliefs and Customs

In spite of the communal aspect of the Christmas holiday, Quebec Francophone traditions remain strongly impregnated with its sacred character. Christmas proved to be a particularly good source of many beliefs in traditional popular culture. These beliefs, which were passed on from generation to generation through oral tradition, mainly focused on domestic animals, reciting one thousand Hail Marys, ways of predicting the future, kissing under the mistletoe, discovering hidden treasures, the mass for the departed and the funeral of the devil.

In France, because Christmas Eve is a "night of miracles", extraordinary things can happen.

In Brittany, the dead come back to their old houses to take their place at the "réveillon" for the time it takes the 12 strokes of midnight to sound. In Corsica, elderly people tell their children or their grandchildren the secret of the ritual prayers to guard against "l’occhio", or the evil eye. For country people, the Christmas period has also contributed to many sayings about the weather and the quality of the next harvest. Some of them are still current today.
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Mission de la recherche et de la technologie, Direction des Musées de France, Musée de la civilisation, Provincial Museum of Alberta, Musée national des arts et traditions populaires, Département de l'organisation des systèmes d'information,

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