Festive seasons make the idea of community more tangible. And this tangibility comes from the local scale of celebrating a festival. Local celebrations usually happen on streets, market squares or public parks for them to be truly festive and to include as many people as they can. This is what makes them the most spontaneous forms of participation any urban planning practitioner can hope for.
No wonder, when a dynamic neighbourhood association such as Ô P'tit-Sac organizes the local variation of a Swiss version of a Christmas tradition (where Saint Nicholas comes way before Christmas eve to give goodies to children,) we wanted that tradition to be practiced in our favourite ‘public’ space, the IFRC Community park. Ô P'tit-Sac generously obliged and a section of the park, near the chalet, reverberated with Christmas spirit.
For non-Swiss residents, this little celebration was an introduction to a very particular tradition where Saint Nicholas dressed in a red gown, comes with a sack full of gifts to be given to the children of the neighbourhood. Instead of December 6th, December 17th became the chosen date – but the festive spirit remained fresh and alive. Unlike the Christmas eve gift-exchange which tends to be family-oriented and home-based, this pre-Christmas gift ceremony is a public, collective affair.
Enjoy the moments of that special day, captured on video by our documentation team.
Christmas party by the association Ô P'tit-Sac