What holidays are more important in Canada than the U.S.?
Canadian holidays and festivities include many events that are not celebrated in the U.S. Such holidays are recognized and celebrated only in Canada. Although some holidays are similar to those in the U.S., there are many holidays that demonstrate Canadian spirit. Here are some examples of festive and important Canadian holidays.
Canada Day: July 1, 1868 is the birth date of Canada. The Governor General asked the Canadians to celebrate the anniversary of the forming of the British North American provinces, which became Canada. In 1879, this holiday was first called "Dominion Day," and in 1982 it was changed to "Canada Day." In recent times, all of Canada's provinces celebrate this holiday with fireworks and patriotic festivities, especially in Ottawa and Montreal.
Remembrance Day: On November 11, Canadians honor and remember the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have served the country during the wars. During this day, the Canadian flag is flown by all government buildings. There is also a two minute moment of silence at 11 a.m. The U.S. also celebrates this holiday on November 11; however, it is called Veteran's Day.
Victoria Day: In 2012, this holiday is on Monday, May 21. This is a Canadian statutory holiday honoring Queen Victoria's birthday. It always falls on the Monday before May 25.
Civic Holiday: This holiday is celebrated on the first Monday of August. Each province calls it something different. They call it Regatta Day in Newfoundland, Saskatchewan day in SK, British Columbia Day in BC, Natal Day in Nova Scotia and PEI, Simcoe Day in Toronto, Colonel By Day in Ottawa and Joseph Brant day in Burlington, ON etc. It is one of the busiest long weekends where many families go camping and create lots of traffic on the freeways.
Saint Jean Baptiste Day: French Canadians celebrate this day on June 24th in Québec. In 1975, this day was declared by Québec as the official national day of their province. The streets are full of parties and parades in honor of their patron saint.
Boxing Day: On December 26, it is the Feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. The term "boxing day" possibly comes from the opening of church boxes that poor people opened on the day after Christmas. It represents the tradition and act of giving money or gifts to the needy and those in service positions.
Lastly, Commonwealth Day and the Anniversary of the Statute of Westminster are not public holidays; however they are celebrated in Canada by having the Royal Union Flag along with the National Flag flown at federal buildings, airports, military bases, and other federal buildings all throughout sunrise to sunset.