Epcot's Holidays Around the World
One of the most enchanting parts of the Holidays at Walt Disney World to me is the magical expression of Holidays Around the World at Epcot. Each and every World Showcase pavilion is painstakingly decorated in it's unique cultural style to celebrate the joys of season. While taking a stroll along the 1.2 mile promenade you can immerse yourself in each country's traditions surrounding the winter holidays and listen to the marvelous storytellers.
The countries all offer a unique perspective and wonderful lesson in the history of the season. Cultural diversity is highlighted as guest visit the nations of World Showcase. In Japan you learn about the holiday O-Shogatsu, China introduces you to the Monkey King, and in Morocco you it's the celebration of Ashoora.
Traditional European elegance is also showcased, in France Pere Noel arrives and tells the story of a letter sent to him by a young girl. His story is woven in a child's perspective that highlights the the wonders of the season.
Father Christmas merrily greets visitors in the United Kingdom. The story of father Christmas dates back to 15th Century England and embodies the ancestral origins of the American Santa Claus.
A wide variety of holiday storytellers weave their magical tales to invoke the spirit of the season. Italian stories flow from La Befana, the Good Christmas Witch, as she remembers the holiday as it was 2000 years in the past. In the German Pavilion it's a woman named Helga who spins the legend of the Tannenbaum, as she remembers Christmas time traditions from her childhood.
The Canadian lumberjack, Nowell recounts the story of his holiday customs. While he speaks and weaves his expert tale we see Nowell transform from Lumberjack to Santa Claus.
At the American Adventure Santa and Mrs. Claus are only part of the show celebrating America's diverse roots and melting pot of traditions. A woman bedecked in high cultural fashion explains the Holiday called Kwanzaa that celebrates family, community and culture for those of African heritage.
Taking the time to listen to the stories and tales of the winter holidays is a fantastic way to spend the day at Epcot. A historical journey that's both thrilling and sentimental the performers share the roots of what goes into the making of so many American secular Christmas traditions that we are familiar with, and some very special traditions that you may want to make your own. Holidays Around the World captures some of the Holiday spirit and shares it with you piece by piece.
Have you stopped to watch the performs spinning their yarns and celebrating the holidays? Which is your favorite to listen to? Have you incorporated any of the multi-cultural ideas into your own holiday traditions? Leave me a comment and share your Holiday Cheer! Thanks so much to the photographers that have shared their pictures for this piece on Creative Commons.