Alaska may be cold and freezing (Alaskans are always guaranteed a white Christmas) but the people here are anything but. The celebration for Christmas begins much in advance starting on the Sunday next to November 26, with families out on the streets, dancing, singing, and caroling and having fun.
The festivities carry on for over a month and finally end on January 6. The feast of Epiphany marks the end of the celebrations and the Christmas Holidays.
In Alaska, the traditions and customs of the festival are similar to the rest of America and most Western countries with a few native customs and rites that lend distinction to the way Christmas is celebrated here.
A few suggestions
- Start preparing for the big day right after Thanksgiving itself.
- Send Christmas and New Year cards to all your friends and family and buy gifts for your near and dear ones to give them on Christmas day.
- Sing Christmas carols and hymns even on the days preceding Christmas so that your home resounds to the music and sound of songs. Take care to see that your hymns include Aleut words Gristuusaaq suu’uq or Christ is born. Let the whole family join in to end the songs with closing words Mnogaya leta, or God grant you many years.
- Have your children stroll from house to house carrying a colored star on a long pole, and singing carols.
- On Christmas Eve at the end of these carols, invite the carolers into your home and provide them with refreshments. See that these include maple frosted doughnuts, cookies, and candy.
- Prepare other delicacies such as piruk or fish pie and even smoked salmon.
- Go on celebrating the Christmas season till Epiphany on 6th January, a date when the normal Alaskan Christmas festivities come to an end.
- Keep things simple to keep then fun and your holiday hassle free.
- Don’t be too concerned about following rituals, just let your hair down and enjoy yourself.