Florida Guide > Miscellaneous
Christmas Traditions in the USA – Part 3
All across the 50 states of America Christmas is celebrated in a variety of different ways.
Boston is famed for its carol singers who are accompanied by hand bells, whilst in New Orleans a huge ox is paraded around the city, whose streets are decorated with ribbons and holly. Of course, in sunny California Father Christmas arrives on a surf board – what else? In Philadelphia, there is a procession called a ‘Mummers Parade’ with people in fancy dress, dancers and bands.
Many traditions are associated with food, and in Baltimore turkey is served with sauerkraut made from apples, carrots and onions, whilst the southern states of America have Whiskey Cake made with a cup of 100 proof whisky, together with Hominy Grits Souffle. Lumberjack Pie can be found in New England, and it has a topping of mashed potato over meat, onions and cinnamon, a tasty dish. Many foods are sweet, such as Moravian Love-Feast Buns from North Carolina, which are made of flour and mashed potatoes. The thin crisp sugar cookies found in Pennsylvania are of Dutch origin and are called Sand Tarts.
Louisiana has a special Christmas treat called Creole Gumbo, which contains ham, chicken, shrimp, veal, oysters and crabmeat, whilst New Mexico delights in little beef pies with apple sauce, pine nuts and raisins. These are called Empanaditas, and are very tasty. As Christmas is usually celebrated outdoors in Hawaii, their special treat is cooked over an outdoor pit, and is called Turkey Teriyaki, which has been marinated first to make is especially tasty.
Many of the Christmas traditions of Florida are much newer, and often focus on the them parks. For example, at Universal Studios Orlando theme park there is a parade every evening at sunset from early December until January 1st. This is the Macy’s Holiday Parade, and it contains huge balloons and floats from the famous Thanksgiving parade in New York. Of course, Father Christmas plays a big part in this parade and is the star of the show.
I often read the story of the Grinch to my children at school at Christmas time, and they love to act out the story of when the Grinch Stole Christmas, so imagine my delight when I found out that another Florida tradition is Grinchmas at Islands of Adventure. Seuss Landing is specially decorated, and the Grinch and the dog Max appear every day. There is a special live musical show called ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ of course.
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