Winter Holidays

Hello friends!

I’d like to include the option to celebrate a few holidays in my game. Here’s the situation:

The MC finds themselves among a group of strangers who aren’t familiar with the MC’s culture. As winter approaches, the MC becomes nostalgic and decides to teach their new company about their traditions.

Here’s what I need from you:

  1. Which, if any, winter holidays do you celebrate?
  2. How do you celebrate them?
  3. What else do you think I should know?

I will be including New Year as a secular/non-specific choice, and the game will not make assumptions about the MC’s religious beliefs based on the holiday they choose. I will perhaps allow the player to choose why they celebrate their holiday and how they feel about it. If you think I should include another secular/non-specific option, please give me suggestions.

If you think I should allow the player to opt out of the exchange altogether, let me know. I’m conflicted about this because on the one hand I don’t want to make players celebrate a holiday if they don’t want to, but on the other hand, if the player skips this, they will miss a lot of content/the opportunity to interact with the main characters.

I’ve done research on my own (and have personal knowledge of some holidays of course), but I’d love to hear from other real people. And please don’t spare the detail! Even if some of your celebrations are specific to your family, I want to hear about that extra spark of life and personality. For example, my family always puts together jigsaw puzzles at New Year, and I might include that tidbit in the game.

Thanks for your input :blush:

3 Likes

Well as someone from a significant Christian background in the UK I definitely celebrate Christmas, which happens to be my favourite time of year in both a religious and holiday aspect. I think if you want the Christian side of things you would want to have the Christmas Story/Nativity and things like Midnight Mass (a common time of gathering on Christmas Eve). I can probably think of some other things for both sides of Christmas…

2 Likes

Please do! I’d love to know everything that means Christmas to you.

1 Like

I’m not religious but we celebrate Christmas and the celebrations and decorations pretty much keep going until the 6th of January when we have Three Kings Day where kids leave water or grass underneath or near their bed for the kings’ camels and receive a gift on their bed in return.

3 Likes

As for a holiday different than Christmas (but still quite the same) : In my country almost everyone celebrates Sinterklaas.


However, it is quite controversional so I do not suggest adding it. Sadly I cannot really think of any other winter holidays.

1 Like

Is that the Netherlands version where the elves were replaced by black faced people? I heard about that from a ASMR video I think…

1 Like

Christmas celebrations in the Philippines typically begin in September (in the sense that you start hearing Christmas carols and seeing Christmas decorations both in stores and in homes). It’s generally accepted that once you reach the months ending in -ber, you can start celebrating. Christmas is one of our most celebrated holidays, so we typically pull out all the stops. There are a lot of traditions so I’m going to put each paragraph under a summary, just so it doesn’t seem to be a wall of text.

Christmas Decorations in Homes

Decorations may start as early as September. Typically the trappings in houses will include a Christmas tree, the decorations for the tree usually being colorful round baubles that may or may not match the tree. Another important Christmas decoration is a belen, a representation of the birth of Jesus in the manger. Christmas lights are also a big part of the decor, and they can be put anywhere inside or outside a house. Most decorations are taken down in January, but there is the odd establishment that leaves up Christmas decorations all year round.

Parols

Parols are also a big part of Christmas decorations and there is guaranteed to be at least one parol-making contest every year in your town/city/school/other group. Parols are star-shaped (usually star-shaped) lanterns that may have lights in them and symbolize the Star of Bethlehem. They’re traditionally made of paper and sticks, but you can make them out of anything. Some of the materials usually used in parol-making contests are soft drink bottles and caps, capiz shells (these are apparently called windowpane oysters), hemp fiber, and CDs.

Christmas Decorations in Public Places

Almost every business establishment will have some sort of Christmas decor. Christmas lights of varying colors and intensity are strewn everywhere, and many public places like parks become festooned with Christmas lights, Santas and reindeer, and parols. In schools, people will generally decorate the classrooms with these parols and Chinese pineapple decorations (I don’t exactly know why we use a symbol of Chinese New Year in Christmas decorations, but it’s also part of tradition.) The greetings “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year” are usually put up in classrooms and almost all public places. There are also large-scale belen that are put up outdoors, and there might also be a belen making competition, but it’s not as ubiquitious as parols.

Christmas Carols

Christmas caroling for very small sums of change and candy varies among neighborhoods, but there’s typically at least a few even in the larger urban areas and carolers interrupting left and right in the smaller provincial areas, especially in the weeks surrounding Christmas. Children do the bulk of Christmas caroling in small groups, although there are occasional adult carolers. One of the more notable caroling instruments consists of a coil of wire with hammered metal bottle caps (called “tansan”) strung along the length. Most people call it a tambourine, but it’s not exactly one.

Night Mass

Night mass (“Simbang Gabi”) is held for nine days, typically in the hours of early morning. This is also usually attended with your family. The last mass is held on Christmas Eve, and is called Misa de Gallo or Misa de Aguinaldo. After night mass, many people eat rice cakes (“kakanin”), usually bibinka and puto bumbong. It’s said when you complete all the days of Simbang Gabi, you get a wish granted to you.

Nochebuena

Nochebuena is the night of Christmas eve. It’s traditional to eat dinner at midnight on Nochebuena. Some examples of traditional food is a ham (usually glazed and sweet) and queso de bola which is a ball of cheese covered with red (edible) wax. This cheese is one of the most well-known symbols of Nochebuena and has a distinctive taste. This is also the only time of the year where queso de bola is served. It’s almost unheard of to eat this cheese at any other time of the year (unless it’s New Year, where there may be some left over from Christmas).

Other Traditions

People typically visit relatives and have large-scale family reunions around this time. This includes cousins from every branch of the family tree imaginable, and grandparents and great-grandparents, and grand-aunts and grand-uncles. When you are a child/toddler/teenager/not an adult, you typically receive gifts of money (usually crisp new bank notes obtained especially for this purpose. Kids are usually very proud of these bills and might refuse to spend them because of their crispness. There may be a challenge on who can keep the bank notes crisp the longest.). These gifts are called aguinaldo. Kids can also solicit these gifts from godparents.

In schools, there will often be a Christmas party and an exchange of gifts. The person you will give a gift to is chosen randomly through draw lots, and typically schools demand that you keep silent about this. Students may have wish lists.

Christmas celebration ends with Three Kings’ Day, where everyone takes down the Christmas decor and return to normal life.

5 Likes

You could always do Yule! It’s like Wiccan Christmas. When it was celebrated largely people had bonfires and children would bring baskets of apples and oranges to pass out. It took place during the winter solstice and celebrates the “rebirth” of the sun.
Today it’s a pagan holiday that can be celebrated in lots of different ways—you can get a Yule log, do Yule-specific spells or rituals. It can be adapted to any pagan deity.
Sorry that I don’t know many specific details about it, I don’t celebrate Yule personally, have just done some research on it here :slight_smile: I’m an atheist but I personally celebrate Christmas because my family does, and also because I like gifts.
In Cuba where my parents are from they have Three Kings day on January 6th. Some families would place their shoes in front of the fireplace and fill them with straw for the three kings’ camels to eat, but my mother would put hay outside her door for Santa’s reindeer to eat. After that they would exchange some gifts from the magic three kings, and have the iconic Jesus cake (a staple in many Hispanic families), a round cake with a ceramic baby Jesus inside. Whoever gets the baby Jesus in their slice of cake will have good luck for the rest of the year.
That’s all the holidays I can think of!

2 Likes

Thanks! This is really helpful, and I think this is a good addition to make

Lots of food for thought! I’ll definitely include some of these traditions in the Christmas iteration

Perhaps a passing mention could be made to it in the Christmas iteration? Try to avoid the controversy while including various traditions

Would love to hear more about traditions (see poll below Christmas people!), especially from people who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, or other winter holidays :christmas_tree::gift::tada:

If you celebrate Christmas, do you also celebrate Three Kings Day?

  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

I always find it sad…we have alot of ‘religious’ holidays…for every religion , and ethnie and stuff .

But we don’t have some holiday , for something like ‘‘Being single’’ …or ‘‘friendship Holiday’’ . I mean , Valentine day celebrate couples . So why can’t we celebrate being single ?

and I don’t mean celebrate in a way like ‘Yeah! I’m free from emotional baggage!’’ …but more like ‘there is no shame to be single’’ . I find that some peoples make it almost like its baaaaaaad to be single . You cant do squat…if you are single lol…

And how about friendship ? well some peoples may not have friends , some peoples may have lost friends…but…I dunno . You could cherish the memories still . Not everything has to be gloom and doom .

Ohh and how about Pet Holiday ? where we smooche and cherish the pets we have ! and if you dont have a pet then…give love to the pets who are like you…and dont have anyone ?

just a though :stuck_out_tongue:

I am pretty sure that Twitter has already made holidays for every conceivable situation at this point…

was talking in real life…Twitter isn’t real…its an illusionnnnnnn :smirk:

https://www.google.com.pr/search?q=china+singles+day&oq=china+singl&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l3.5418j1j7&client=ms-android-boost-us&sourceid=chrome-mobile&ie=UTF-8

1 Like

Wow…never knew that! Now see…thats what we need to spread around !