There are several things that I always look forward to each year at Disney: the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, Star Wars Weekends, Candlelight Processional, and of course, Holidays Around the World. So when I got the details of the return of one of my favorite events, the little girl in me went squee! with delight.
Yes, that’s right, we are in for another amazing holiday season at Epcot with Holidays Around the World starting November 27 and running through December 30! What is this event, you ask? It’s enjoying the holidays from different cultures around the World – whether through activities, performances, songs, dances, or food. Each country has its own festivities that are truly unique and I think it gives that extra special something to the holidays.
Here is a sampling of what you may see at this year’s celebration:
- American Adventure: Say hello to Santa and Mrs. Claus, and learn about the amazing traditions of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Don’t miss the Voices of Liberty Dickens Carolers and sing along to classic holiday songs.
- Canada: The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs take you on a musical tour that is unmistakably that of our siblings up North!
- China: Watch the amazing Chinese Lion Dance! It is truly a sight to behold, and you know what they say, the spirited dance drives away negativity and evil spirits and brings good luck and happiness to those watching!
- France: Is that Santa Claus? No, no, no – it’s Père Noël or Father Christmas! Listen to him tell you all about a letter he received from a special child.
- Germany: It’s Christmas storyteller Helga who shares the story of the first Christmas tree and her first Nutcracker. You’ll be sure to want some gluhwein to make the whole experience complete!
- Morocco: In Morocco, there are several holidays and celebrations! Your Moroccan storyteller will tell you about festivals that happen across different seasons, including the Rose Festival, the Festival of Dates, the Festival of Marriage, and of course, Ramadan.
- Italy: In Italy our storyteller is La Befana, who is a witch (a good one!) and whose name stands for gift giver. Hopefully you were a good boy or girl all year or you might get a lump of coal in your sock! Did you know that La Befana has been going down chimneys long before Santa Claus was a twinkle in your eye? She doesn’t have a sleigh, but that broomstick is an effective alternative!
- Japan: Learn about the amazing and fascinating Daruma doll and all the unique customs of the Japanese for the New Year.
- United Kingdom: Father Christmas is front and center, and he shares great stories that goes back to England in the 15th century.
- Mexico: There’s no better reason to have a fiesta than to celebrate Christmas! Get ready to break out some Feliz Navidad as mariachis and dancers celebrate the holiday season in true Mexican tradition.
- Norway: Your storyteller, Sigrid, will tell you all about Julenissen, the mischievous Christmas gnome, along with the Christmas traditions of Norway.
And brand new for this year, the a cappella group American Music Machine will also be performing. I’ve seen them perform this summer, and they are amazing! Watch them put their own spin on classic and contemporary Christmas songs, like Rudolph the Red-Nosed reindeer, White Christmas, and All I Want For Christmas Is You.
It truly is an amazing time to see the different yet similar ways each country celebrates the holidays. Whether you know him as Père Noël, Father Christmas, or Santa Claus, or whether you’re counting on La Befana to give you your gifts, or whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or something else entirely, it’s a wonderful time of year to celebrate togetherness with family and friends.
And so I turn it over to you, dear Disney Addicts. Have you ever attended Holidays Around the World? Are you attending this year? Share your stories in the comments!
Hi there, I’m Myra and I’m a huge Disney nerd and addict! I’m also an Independent Travel Agent at World of Magic Travel, the preferred agency of Chip and Co. and Disney Addicts. I’m happy to help you plan your next vacation, including helping you incorporate magical experiences like Holidays Around the World into your trip, at no cost to you! Visit my page or send me an email at email@example.com to get started!
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