Now on the news they call it so but it’s the “old” and not good Covid, just like last year.
We had so many cases and we started a sort of Lockdown again and I couldn’t travel back to Italy as it was too risky and complicated.
Nevertheless, Canadians tried to be cheerful over the holidays and the centre of Ottawa was lit up with lights for the occasion and quite a few markets offered local crafts and Christmas decorations.
There were the usual charity fundraising events (yet with precautions) and Santa Claus did not give up on visits although the Covid threat was everywhere and life got harder even for the bearded magical man.
Santa Claus here in Ottawa got ready to greet children in total safety and in the shopping centre where I went shopping for my Christmas presents he was sitting behind a plexiglass barrier placed in compliance with the anti-Covid-19 regulations.
Photographs and big smiles were still on his agenda to keep the atmosphere of Christmas alive but he had to be “caged”, poor thing!
He was behind Plexiglass with his helpers at the market too and he had a little show for the kids who gathered around his Plexiglass house.
Even if Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau introduced mandatory vaccination for all Canadian public workers and for those traveling by train, plane or ship who are over 12 years old, starting from the end of October with one of the vaccination policies most restrictive in the world, Covid has been a big problem over the Christmas holidays.
For those who decided to travel from one province to another, a negative test was no longer enough and vaccination certification became mandatory.
The government said the new rules will be reconfirmed every six months until they are no longer needed…let’s hope soon!
In Canada, more than eighty percent of the adult population is vaccinated. Trudeau is part of the Liberal Party and has recently won the political elections focusing heavily on the coronavirus vaccination campaign. He encounters a lot of contrast by the anti-vax groups, which organized several protests during the election campaign.
Back to Christmas celebrations: this year in downtown Ottawa there was the usual main Christmas market with street food and a small funfair for the little ones.
One of the novelties of this year was a special room where children could scream out loud their emotions, vent, yell out their dreams, express their joy or just get rid of what they have kept inside during this period of restrictions.
I thought it was something simple but very effective and definitely a novelty.
I celebrated Christmas with my housemate and the Canadian Christmas meal is very similar to the Thanksgiving lunch menu in the United States, in fact it is usually based on stuffed turkey (or duck or goose) and various accompanying side dishes such as potatoes, Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.
We had chicken because turkey and goose are too big for just two people.
Other typical Christmas dishes in Canada include the Christmas log cake, originally imported from France and the Rappie pie, an Acadian potato and meat pie.
For me it was a first to try this meat pie which my housemate prepared and I think it can be good eaten year round because it’s a layered savoury pie very similar to a meat pie with a crunchy crust on top and many layers of baked sliced potatoes.
We had mulled wine with our meal, a hot spiced wine with raisins and it wasn’t a bad combination!