This nocturnal meal, eaten after the Midnight Mass in France and Canada, originally consisted of a simple snack of biscuits or a piece of tourtière, along with a hot drink. With the years, this snack has been transformed little by little into a more lavish and elaborate meal. The same dishes that are served at Christmas dinner are also served at réveillon, which is essentially limited to family.

In Canada, the custom of Christmas réveillon varies depending on the family, the period and the cultural context. For Francophones living largely in rural areas, Christmas réveillon was not known until the 1930s when family festivities began to take shape with the commercialization of the holiday season.

For Anglophones and city dwellers, on the other hand, Christmas réveillon began to be part of family celebrations much earlier, around 1875. The tendency to feast on Christmas Eve became more and more pronounced with the custom of the decorated tree and the exchange of presents.

CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network
CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network
XIXth Century
© 1995, CHIN-Canadian Heritage Information Network. All Rights Reserved.

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