Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Canada Day Fun Facts

Someone reminded me that today is Canada Day, Canada’s equivalent to America’s Independence Day. This isn’t something most Americans know about. In fact, most Americans are in the dark about other countries’ national holidays.

Remembering our one day is apparently sufficient.

One other day Americans may know about is El Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican national holiday that is not really well-celebrated there. Their national holiday, El Grito, is celebrated over two days, actually. Starting on the evening of September 15th. El Cinco de Mayo is observed here because that gives Americans the excuse to eat Mexican food, a favorite pastime of mine, and drink Mexican beer. In fact, observation of the holiday in America is the brainchild of the Mexican brewer of the Corona brand of Mexican beer.


I wonder if Labatt or Moosehead could come up with a similar ad campaign for Canada Day and promote feasting on their beer, or as they say in Canada, beers.

Canada Day is a curious name for a holiday. Like naming Independence Day United States Day. It got that name in a very curious way.

But first, it wasn’t always Canada Day. It was first established as a national holiday known as Dominion Day celebrating the union of 4 provinces under one dominion called Canada. And like El Cinco de Mayo, it generally wasn’t observed or celebrated.

In 1982, coinciding with a final severance of ties between Canada and the UK, 12 members of the Canadian parliament, 8 less than a legal quorum, met and passed a bill having the name change in it, 5 minutes after it was submitted, and without debate.

And so now we have Canada Day.

Except for Quebec.

While in Quebec they do have the holiday, it isn’t Canada Day, it is Fête du Canada.

And in Quebec, Canada Day, or properly Fête du Canada is a shared holiday. In Quebec, Fête du Canada is observed on the same day as Moving Day.

That’s right, Moving Day.

This is the day when one’s lease is up. When your lease is up, and you don’t renew it you move.

If everyone is moving on the same day, it must be a real challenge getting a moving van or a truck rental reserved.

Happy Canada Day.

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