What Is Canada Day? — By Jennifer Shipp
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What Is Canada Day? — By Jennifer Shipp

When we traveled from Nebraska to Alaska, we knew we would miss the fourth of July celebrations in the U.S., but we figured that Canada Day on July 1st would make up for it. We were in Vancouver, BC on July 1st and visited Wreck Beach as our commemorative outing. This is a “clothing optional” beach near the University campus.

Canada Day is a sort of Canada independence day that celebrates the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867. This was an act that united the three colonies that became known as Canada. It is essentially Canada’s “birthday”. On July 1st when we passed into Canada, the officers who searched our car at the border crossing were rather irritable, but when we got to Wreck Beach, it was fully of jovial nudists flaunting their stuff.

History of Canada Day

On Canada Day, people get together and celebrate in a manner similar to the fourth of July in the United States, but with fewer fireworks, unless the holiday falls on a Sunday and then people do their obligatory celebration on July 2nd. The celebrations are a fairly new development actually. There were no official celebrations of the nation’s birthday until 1917 and then it was another ten years before celebrations were held a second time.  The term “Canada Day” didn’t even become popular, apparently, until the 1980’s after televised broadcasts of the nation’s celebratory activities made the idea of a national birthday celebration mainstream. Originally, people called it “Dominion Day”, but the label didn’t quite fit.

Canada Day vs. Fourth of July

Canada Day is similar in many ways to the Fourth of July. There are outdoor public events and activities including fireworks (without the symbolism, of course), maritime shows, live music, barbeques, and carnivals. Citizenship ceremonies for new citizens of Canada are also commonly held at this time. Apparently, Ottawa is the place to be on July 1st in Canada though there are celebrations going on throughout the country.

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01 Comment

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    August 29, 2017 Reply


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