How to celebrate an Alaskan Christmas

Alaska mooseChristmas is celebrated in Alaska on the 25th of December like in most of the Christian world but in Alaska Santa arrives for a pre-Christmas visit.

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

  1. Start preparing for the big day right after Thanksgiving itself.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Have your children stroll from house to house carrying a colored star on a long pole, and singing carols.
  5. 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.
  6. Prepare other delicacies such as piruk or fish pie and even smoked salmon.
  7. 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.

8 Comments about “How to celebrate an Alaskan Christmas”

  1. Margarita Zapiain Says:

    Hi. I’m an English teacher in Aguascalientes, Mexico and I’m looking for some traditional Christmas music from Alaska for my Christmas festival. Could you help me?

  2. Diane Says:

    Hi I am a primary school Teacher who has chosen to do Alaskan Traditions for our Hall Christmas decorations ( We are doing Christmas around the world)
    I would love to see pictures of going round with the star…what kind of star do the children make ?
    Can you possibly help?


  3. admin Says:

    Great Project Diane!

    You can find a lot of pictures/photo on

    And you can find also christmas graphics on:

    Good luck!

  4. Nolan Smith Says:

    Hi, I am a 5th grader with the assignment of learning about an Alaskan Christmas. We need to talk about how Santa is different and what kind of transportation he used, and the traditions. My grandmother has an Alaskan Santa she bought while visiting your state. Any info you could give me would be appreciated.
    Nolan Smith, 5th grade student at Bloomfield Elementary School, Bloomfield, Ky.

  5. ashley Says:

    we are doing a report on alaska and we need some examples of music and there artists.can anyone tell me where to find it?

  6. deysi Says:

    i need information about alaska if some body can help me i will apreciate …..thanks

  7. Jay Says:

    i have to do a presentation about christmas in another contry and i picked alaska.I need xmas traditions can any 1 help me?

  8. jewel Says:

    Wow they love christmas and they dont stop celebrating until for a month. wow! I love the ice culters

RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Comment

XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>