The holidays are a great time to visit Epcot. With cultures represented from around the world, World Showcase is the perfect place to learn how the holidays are celebrated in each of the 11 World Showcase countries. At each country’s pavilion, you will find a Storyteller sharing tales of their holiday traditions. These storytellers are phenomenal! In addition to the Candlelight Processional, the World Showcase Storytellers are one of the highlights of visiting Epcot at Christmastime. Let’s take a look at which storytellers you can expect to find at each of the World Showcase pavilions.
- Mexico – Here you will find my favorite storytellers, Los Tres Reyes Magos (The Three Kings). They share the story of their journey to see baby Jesus. They also tell of the Mexican tradition in which children leave their shoes outside to be filled for Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day).
- Norway – Julenissen, a mischievous gnome, and Sigrid tell stories of the three day Christmas celebrations in Norway. Children leave bowls of porridge out for Julenissen to enjoy as he visits each home.
- China – The majority of the Chinese people are Buddhist, so the new year is the focus at this pavilion. The Monkey King, pictured above, tells stories of love, hope, and good will for the next year.
- Germany – The Christmas tree tradition originated from Germany. You will learn about this and many other German Christmas traditions as you listen to Helga.
- The American Adventure – Because the United States is home to people of many cultures, you can actually learn about three winter holidays at this pavilion! Celebrate Christmas as you spend some time with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Another storyteller will share with you the traditions of Kwanzaa, a holiday to celebrate the African-America culture. This was another one of my favorite storytellers at World Showcase! A third storyteller shares the Jewish traditions of Hannukah. You will learn about the menorah and other traditions of this eight day celebration.
- Italy – In this pavilion, you will hear La Befana tell of Italy’s traditions in celebrating the Epiphany. La Befana is a witch who visits children on the eve of the Epiphany, leaving a present for each child.
- Japan – This country’s focus is also on the new year. Here a Daruma doll merchant shares the story of these dolls which bring good luck for the new year. The left eye of the doll is painted when a wish is made at the beginning of the year. When the wish comes true, the other eye is then painted as well.
- Morocco – Drummer and storyteller Taarji shares the story of the Muslim holiday Ramadan, as well as, Ashura, the Muslim new year celebration.
- France – Père Noël (Santa Claus) shares a letter he received from a little girl. He also explains the crèche (a French Nativity set), and other various French Christmas traditions.
- United Kingdom – Father Christmas shares about Christmas traditions in the United Kingdom. Many of these traditions have found their way to the United States as well.
- Canada – In this pavilion, you will meet Canadian lumberjack Nowell. He shares stories of many Canadian traditions which are similar to those in the United States and Europe. Nowell also tells of other traditions unique to Canada such as belsnickles and Boxing Day. And if you notice Nowell looks similar to a certain jolly old man, be sure to hang around a while. Santa Claus just might show up!
Have you seen any of the World Showcase Storytellers at Epcot? Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below!