June 24 is more than just a day off in Québec, it’s a ho-li-day! It’s THE day we get together with family and friends to celebrate the place we call home. Whether at the cottage, over a good meal, around a campfire or in the park with friends, Québec’s national holiday is celebrated across the province. But where exactly does this tradition come from? It’s a celebration that originated in New France, where our ancestors would celebrate the arrival of summer each year by gathering around a bonfire on the traditional feast day of Saint-Jean-Baptiste. Over time, the holiday became more political than religious, and that’s how Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day became THE national holiday for all French Canadians. So, it’s been quite some time that Quebecers have been coming together on June 24 to celebrate.
And with the Québec national holiday coinciding with the start of summer vacation, we’ve got a lot to be excited about! Plus, this year’s Saint-Jean festivities come on the heels of lifted lockdown restrictions and the Habs’ string of playoff wins, so we definitely have no shortage of reasons to celebrate (and to be proud!). Let’s just say that after more than a year of pandemic blues, good news like this is just what we need. Not to mention all of the restaurant owners and other local businesses associated with the Habs that are finally back in action, reaping the rewards of playoff madness here in Montreal. If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that things are looking up at the moment. You won’t hear us complaining!
We might be worlds away from the days when the Plains of Abraham were packed with party people, or when concerts in honour of la Saint-Jean brought together thousands upon thousands of revelers. But that doesn’t make us any less eager to get together and get this party started! Given how tightly-knit Quebecers are, now and always, it promises to be quite the celebration!
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