It’s that time of year, where people around the world gather with their families and friends to celebrate special holidays. From Christmas to the New Year and everything in between, our Daktronics family around the world wishes your family “Happy Holidays!”
Like any company, Daktronics has several recognized holidays for employees, giving them time off to celebrate with their family and friends. In the United States, Christmas is the recognized holiday and the traditions, both secular and sacred, are as varied as our people, spread out across the country.
Let’s look at some of the Daktronics holidays celebrated around the world!
Boxing Day is a statutory holiday in Canada celebrated on 26 December each year. Canada shares the observation of this holiday with the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth counties around the world, like Australia, which has been noted for centuries.
The exact definition of Boxing Day can be traced back to British servants who helped their lords and ladies prepare for the holidays and, most importantly, Christmas dinner on 25 December. To show gratitude for their help, employers would give each of their staff a box of treats and the day of 26 December off from work to enjoy the holiday season and the contents of their box.
For French Canadians in the Québec province, the traditional Christmas supper is the night before Christmas (Christmas Eve). There will still be a Christmas meal, but it’s not considered the main holiday meal. Traditionally, Christmas gifts are opened after the midnight mass, but many families have moved this to Christmas Day.
You’ll notice a major difference between Anglophone and Francophone families–particularly in Québec–in the food served at Christmas.
The ragoût de boulettes (meatball stew) is served, but so are three or four other dishes, which all together constitute the four or five main dishes (makes for quite a diverse supper to say the least).
The other main dishes include:
- Tourtière (pork meat pie): Most families have their own recipes, but the recipes from the Lac-St-Jean region of Québec are the most famous and are considered to be the most delicious.
- Turkey: Turkey is often served as one of the main dishes in many Québécois family meals.
- Ragoûtde pattes de cochon (pig hocks stew): This dish is more popular in some regions than others.
- Desserts: Tarte àsucre/ à l’érable / à la crême are traditional (Sugar / maple / maple cream pies), but each family seems to have their own favorite dessert. La bûche de Noël (a Christmas log) is also a choice desert.
You’ll find Christmas markets (almost like Christmas-themed farmers markets and arts and crafts markets) in Québec and throughout rural regions across Canada.
In France, most families celebrate Christmas the day before with a family dinner lasting until at least midnight. Then Christmas Father, dressed always in red with a white beard, drops gifts for everyone, especially children, in the slippers left under every Christmas tree.
The youngest children write letters to Christmas Father, listing all their expectations, pretending they all have been nice and loving to their parents. They all receive an official answer as France is well organized with assisting Christmas Father’s administration. On Christmas Day, everyone gathers for lunch to share what Christmas Father delivered to them.
One tradition in Belgium is Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas visits in the night of 5 December and leaves presents for the children. He arrives by boat around the end of November and brings along his helpers and his horse, Slecht Weer Vandaag. Upon his arrival, children sing songs to celebrate him. This arrival is also televised. On the evening of 5 December, small children leave out one of their shoes, usually accompanied by a carrot or some sugar cubes (for the horse). In return, they receive some gifts—chocolates, candy, marzipan and/or mandarins. The presents are then found in the morning of 6 December, which is Sinterklaas’ birthday. Much like Santa Claus, Sinterklaas can also be visited at most malls.
In Germany, the German-speaking region typically celebrates Christmas Eve on 24 December. This is the time for families to get together under the Christmas tree for lunch or dinner. At this time the gifts are given, magically placed under the tree by Santa. Quite a few people will also join the Christmas sermon at churches prior to the get-together. The 25th and 26th are still celebration days to get together with family and friends.
In Japan, New Year’s Day is a very important day for the Japanese people. In Japanese, New Year is called oshougatsu, and the very first day of the year is called gantan.
There are many events and customs to celebrate New Year’s Day. Some people climb up the mountain before dawn to see the first sunrise of the year.
People decorate their houses with special decorations. Kadomatsu, two groups of bamboo to place in front of the entrance; shimenawa, a sacred straw rope to protect the door; and kagamimochi, round, piled up mochi (rice cakes) to appreciate and eat as a token of well-being.
Adults put money in a special envelope and give it to children. This is called otoshidama and many children look forward to it very much!
People send each other New Year’s cards called nengajyo. This is usually designed with symbols of good luck or the animal of the year (out of the 12 animals in the Chinese astrological calendar). Families with young children often send New Year’s cards with a family photo or a picture of their children. These days, the young generation prefer to send their New Year’s greetings on SNS.
Many people go to shrines to make wishes for the coming year. This event is called hatsumoude.
Special thanks to Nancy Sell (Canada – ADFLOW), Marc Gilbert (Canada), Alain Castelbou (France), Rolf Bauer (Germany), Carolien Bouwen (Belgium), and Mariko Osaka (Japan) for sharing the holiday traditions of their countries.
The world is full of diversity and holidays and traditions unique to everyone. In the end, we all come together to celebrate, reflect on our past year, and share our hopes for the future. From all of us at Daktronics, we wish you all a happy holiday…wherever you are.
This article is by Christianne Beringer
in Employee Communications.
Employee Community presents the Daktronics 2019 Holiday Video
Directed and produced by Christianne Beringer and Carter Schmidt
Brookings, South Dakota: Inventory and Facilities
Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Manufacturing and the Repair Center
Redwood Falls, Minnesota: Manufacturing
Canada – ADFLOW: Karl Kallio, Nancy Sell, Mike Crook, Mike Abbott, Shamus Van Riezen, Parneeta Meadows, Rela Foltin, Alex Fan, Tim Timar, Melanie Evans, Mateen Masoomy, Steve Farrow, Anhvu Ho, Russell Reed, Chris Verduyn, Cale Logan, Darien Klapka, and Sharon Henry
Daktronics Canada, Inc: Mouloud Azizi, Emilie Bergeron, Nathalie Godin, and Marc Gilbert.
Daktronics France SARL: Alain Castelbou and Karine Chaumont
Daktronics Belgium NV: Johan Van de Moortel, Liesbeth Cools, Mary Galvin, Marian Verhaert, Aline Oeyen, Dirk Bols, Guillaume Chatreix, Larry Rice, Santa (aka Jon Minor), David Tierney, and Carolien Bouwen
Daktronics GmBH (Germany): Rolf and Sabine Bauer, Stefan Saalfeld, Paul and Antje De Lorenzi, Eric and Heather Graber, and Pete Egart
Daktronics Dubai: Gilbert Encinares (Filipino), Chaker Joanne (Arabic), Mathieu Verbraken (Dutch), Abees Ali (Malayalam – India)
Daktronics Japan, Inc: Kazari Fukue, Mariko Osaka, Erik Kikuno, Tom Hoshi
Daktronics Australia Pty Ltd: Brett Montgomery, Rohit Shirodkar, Jonathan Wilkins, John Mette, Han Liu, Desi Mitova, Justice Richards, Rebecca Thatcher, Blair Robertson, Claire Willis, and Kati Jacobs.
Florida, U.S.: Osvaldo Toshimitsu (Portuguese)
Brookings, South Dakota: Karina Huska (Spanish), Serhiy Potapenko (Russian), and the Executive team.