If you are going to travel to the glorious land of Quebec, Canada, you may wonder, when is St. Jean Baptiste Day in 2017. It is a major national holiday there, compared, perhaps, only to Mardi Gras or Saint Patrick’s day. The name is written in the French way because French-speaking Quebec is the place where people love it the most. The date is June, 24. The air is filled with freedom, music, and smell of booze. The streets are full of people in white and blue closes and everyone is happy. What was once a religious holiday, now is an expression of national pride.
The traditions of different cultures: not only “National pride” parade
To see on what day St. Jean Baptiste Day is in 2017, we should look at the calendar. It’s Saturday, so the celebrations are going to be especially grand. The streets (or rues, as French people call them) of Montreal are going to be full of people with flags of Quebec.
Interestingly enough, the symbol of this holiday is the fleur–de–lis – it’s a lily, standing for the virginity of the Saint Mary. It is the very lily, which was adopted by Quebec to be represented on the flag. And on this day many people are dressed in blue and white clothing in honor of the Quebec’s history.
The gay canton of Montreal will also organize a “pride parade”. It’s unknown how is it connected to the idea of independence of Quebec or to the Saint Jean, but they take an active part in the celebrations.
Canada is a homeland for different nations, so we should know how Saint John’s day is celebrated by the Ukrainian people who make a grand part of the country’s population. A variation of this holiday popular among Slav people – Ivana Kupala – is held two weeks later. The date is shifted because the Orthodox Church uses Julian calendar for holidays. It is a strange merge of the day of John (Ivan) the Baptist and ancient pagan deity Kupala. This summer holiday is celebrated with mass dancing near the bonfire, singing, and fortune telling rituals (mostly conducted by girls). The tradition of swimming at night was the reason the church connected these two celebrations together as it is similar to the process of baptise.
The day is also connected with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, that symbolizes the beginning of summer. So, for this reason, St. Jean Baptiste Day can be called as one of the longest celebration.
On this day, Christian people celebrate the birth of Saint John. He played the major role in the Bible as the one who baptized Jesus. His birth date was announced to Mary when the Angel told her that she has a child coming. John is Mary’s nephew – his mother was Mary’s cousin and his father was a well-known priest. The Baptist is one of the most important saints in Christianity.
It is the oldest known Christian holiday – when St. Jean Baptiste Day will be in 2017, it would be more than 1500 years, according to the recorded history.
The holiday has always been loved by French people. In the New World, they have been celebrating it for four hundred years, since the first year they set foot to the North America.
In the second quarter of XIX century, the patriotic founders of the La Minerve newspaper decided to give this day a national meaning, same as St. Patrick’s Day to the Irish. They organized parades and feasts and composed a song which later became the national anthem.
However, St. Jean Baptiste Day was announced a national holiday only in 1925 by Quebec authority. Thus, it came through the centuries to finally became recognized as a pagan feast.
Nowadays the holiday is not concentrated only in Quebec, it is becoming spread across Canada and is recognizing by more and more people every year.
Expectations from the day
This holiday belongs to the greatest holidays in Canada, and logically it is considered to be an official day-off. So if you live in Canada and you urgently need, for example, to send a to send a parcel or make a banking transaction on 24th of June – sorry, it will be impossible, since all the establishments are closed, of course, with the exception of cafes, restaurants and other entertaining places, in which the crowds of people are running to celebrate this holiday, enjoying their company and national food.
Moreover, you can hardly board your regular bus, because this holiday provides a day out of work for everyone, particularly for bus drivers, that’s why they work on a reduced schedule. Besides public catering places, hotels are as well open on Quebec Day and are ready to give a shelter for a lot of tourists, who come to share the joy with the citizens.
Since it’s known what is the date of St. Jean Baptiste Day 2017, the holiday is supposed to be an unforgettable spectacle. Annually this day is accompanied with various activities and enchanting shows to bewitch the eyes of the viewers. This year the show could be the most worth seeing due to the great number of events, which are going to be organized on St. Jean Baptiste Day. Among them, we can hear about wide-ranging celebrations like jazz and rock festival, sports competition, parades, dancing, street shows, parties and, of course, terrific fireworks. This day is also marked by the activity of churches, which welcome people to visit their fairs, and their bells are ringing all day long.
Furthermore, while roaming along Quebeс streets on St. Jean Baptiste Day, you may feel a tasty and alluring smell of sausages being fried on the grill… Quite tempting, isn’t it? The source of such a delicious meal comes from the tradition to arrange family outings like picnics and barbecues. Many people even organize the so-called yard sales to get rid of the things which are lying at loose end and collect dust in a garage or an attic.
Quebec people are looking forward when is St. Jean Baptiste Day 2017 and encourage volunteers to take part and support the celebration and assist in holding the different forms of entertainment.
Quebeс Day is a significant date for French-speaking community in Canada to glorify their unity and their pride of the people and heritage. And they always celebrate their La Fete Nationale with brilliance, showing all the devotion and love for their nation.