Special Days Of The Year
Celebrating Traditions In Canada

Canada and British Columbia celebrates many special days of the year. These days celebrate traditions in Canada and special occasions that have been designated by the government to recognize important aspects of Canadian culture.

We'll call them this to differentiate these occasions from the public statutory holidays and the many great festivals we celebrate throughout the year.

So, the next time you need a reason for an extra day off, just check your calendar for these special days of the year. And if you're here visiting, it's a great opportunity to take in some great Canadian traditions and learn about our history and culture.

Family Day holiday, the third Monday in February, celebrates the importance of families and family life to people and their communities, and although it is observed in some Canadian provinces it is not a statutory holiday in BC, and is one of the special days of the year. Businesses, organizations, schools and post offices are open as usual and public transport services run to their normal timetables. (hmmm...I think we should change that!!)

Canada's National Aboriginal Day is held annually, on June 21, to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation's Aboriginal peoples.

Canada's governor general proclaimed the first National Aboriginal Day in 1996. This day gives us the chance to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country's development and progress. The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples including First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis, and they showcase their cultures, values, customs, languages and achievements. Though it is one of the most important special days of the year, National Aboriginal Day is not a statutory holiday in Canada.

June 27 of each year is Canadian Multiculturalism Day.

This day is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and our commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect and to appreciate the contributions of the various multicultural groups and communities to Canadian society. Canada's Multiculturalism Day is not a statutory holiday, however, there are events and festivities that take place all over the country where we can learn about the many cultures that share our country.

The Canada Heritage Day

Heritage Day was established in 1973 by the Heritage Canada Foundation, and is celebrated the 3rd Monday of February to encourage the preservation and promotion of Canada's nationally significant historic, architectural, natural and scenic heritage. The Heritage Canada Foundation, the national voice for heritage conservation, is dedicated to promoting the conservation, understanding, and appreciation of Canada's built heritage, historic places, and cultural landscapes and their importance in the life of our communities. Much effort is put into conservation, preservation and community awareness about Canadian heritage, landmarks, and historical places. For more information about one of the most important special days of the year in British Columbia and Canada visit www.heritagecanada.org.

The National Flag of Canada Day was inaugurated in Canada on February 15, 1965.

February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day in 1996. It marks the day in 1965 when our red and white maple leaf flag was first raised over Parliament Hill in Ottawa The anniversary of this date is officially called the "National Flag of Canada Day", or often shortened to "Flag Day". Flag Day is not a statutory holiday in Canada. Schools, organizations, businesses and stores are open and public transport services run to their normal schedules.

Some businesses distributed flags or decorated buildings with large versions of the red and white maple leaf flag, however there are no specific or official Flag Day celebrations.

The Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14 with much enthusiasm in British Columbia and across Canada.

On this day people express love for their spouses, children, family, friends and sweethearts and enjoy to it's fullest. Roses, chocolates, candies and cards are the most popular gifts for the traditionally romantic occasion. Although Valentine's Day is not an official holiday, most Canadians observe Valentine's Day as one of the most special days of the year.

The Mother's Day is always the second Sunday in the month of May.

Mothers Day in Canada is one of the most popular special days of the year after Christmas and Valentines Day. The history of Mother's Day is centuries old and the earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to spring celebrations of ancient Greece in honor of Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. Early Christians celebrated the Mother's festival on the fourth Sunday of Lent to honor Mary, the mother of Christ.

The first celebrations of Mother's Day in North America began in the U.S. with a movement by a U.S. schoolteacher in honor of her own mother. The special day was honored with white carnations, implying sweetness, patience and purity. The Mother's Day International Association in the U.S. was incorporated on December 12, 1912, with the purpose of furthering meaningful observations of Mother's Day. Today, Mother's Day largely commercialised, but in heart it is a day honoring our mothers contribution in our lives and paying tribute to her, often with flowers and gifts.

The Father's Day is always the third Sunday of June.

Father's Day activities typically involve gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities, and is also largely commercialized in Canada and British Columbia. Father's Day has gained amazing popularity over the years to include not just to dads but also grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers or any other person in a father figure role.

The St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17.

St. Patrick's Day, St.Paddy's Day or simply Paddy's Day is an annual feast day which celebrates Saint Patrick, the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland. As well as being a celebration of Irish culture, Saint Patrick's Day is a Christian festival celebrated in the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, and some other religious denominations. Celebrations are generally themed around all things Irish In Canada, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal since 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France. Today, Saint Patrick's Day is widely celebrated by everyone, especially those who enjoy drinking green beer, wearing green clothing. Many people, regardless of ethnic background participate in this day as it's one of the funnest special days of the year. If you're caught not wearing green are pinched, you'll likely be pinched.....usually affectionately.

Oh, and if you still need a reason for an extra day off, tell you boss you have friends or relatives in the Okanagan and you have to come here for one of our many other special occasions such as graduations, birthdays, or um... the first day of Spring and Groundhog Day!

Okanagan Monthly Event Calendar

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