Holidays in Canada

Canada holidays and events include a number of fantastic events and happenings. Some holidays in Canada are similar to those in the U.S., but holidays that are exclusively Canadian truly show the Canadian spirit. The following are some of the best examples of celebrations in Canada:

Canada Day

On July 1, 1868 Canadians were called upon by the Governor General to celebrate the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North American provinces (aka Canada). In 1879, the Canadian holiday called “Dominion Day” was established to commemorate this great event. It wasn’t until 1982 that the name “Dominion Day” was changed to “Canada Day”. Today, Canada Day is celebrated throughout Canada, most visibly in Montreal and Ottawa, with fireworks and patriotic events.

Saint Jean Baptiste Day (Quebec)

To experience one of the most significant of the culture events in Canada, come see the festivities of Saint Jean- Baptiste Day. French Canadians across Canada celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (also called La Fete Nationale) on June 24th. Nowhere is this more true than in the province of Quebec. In 1975 Quebec declared St-Jean-Baptiste Day as the official nation holiday of their province. French Canadians celebrate with parades and parties, honoring their patron saint. Along the St. Lawrence River it was a custom of those who lived there to take the first swim of the year on St. Jean Baptiste Day. Even today many pools open for the first time on this day.

Remembrance Day

On November 11 Canadians remember those who have served their country in times of war and peace. A moment of silence is observed to remember those who fell during World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Canadians wear a red poppy over their heart—a symbol taken from a poem written about the poppies that grew over the graves of the fallen soldiers of World War I. One of the more solemn holidays in Canada, Remembrance Day is an important one to peace-loving Canadians.

Great Northern Arts Festival (Inuvik, Northwest Territories)

Every summer in remote Inuvik, artists from all over Canada gather to show their work, meet each other, and learn new techniques. These artists are Inuit, Gwich’in, Inuvialuit, Dene, Metis and many other Canadian First Nations, as well as non-Native artists from the Artic Archipelago, Gjoa Haven, Fort Smith and the Yukon Territories. In its 13th year, the Great Northern Arts Festival hosted 92 artists, 14 musicians and performers. Travelers from Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada come to this, one of the great culture events in Canada, for the range and variety of artistic talent in one setting.

Caribana (Toronto)

Created in 1967, Caribana is the largest Caribbean festival in North America. This two-week festival takes place every summer in Toronto. The city comes alive with the music, food, dance and costumes of Trinidad, the Bahamas, Guyana, and Jamaica. This is one of the culture events in Canada that really celebrates the diversity and beauty of the people who make of the mosaic of the country.

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede takes place in early July and attracts visitors from all over the world. This is one of the major events in Canada worth taking several days to enjoy. The Stampede celebrates “Western Canadian heritage with dynamic contemporary entertainment”. Highlights of this event are the afternoon rodeo, chuck wagon races, grandstand show and live entertainment acts.

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