Holidays and Festivals in Canada
Holidays are occasions set aside by tradition or by government regulation where normal daily activities, particularly work or school hours are halted or reduced for that day. In general, holidays are meant to let people to celebrate or commemorate some historical event or tradition of religious or cultural importance. Holidays have now become a way of life and are celebrated with great zeal around the world. Different countries celebrate their holidays in different ways but the basic idea remains the same.
A common practice of many countries is to observe certain days throughout the year as ‘happy holidays’. The word holiday means “a short period of time.” While the duration of a holiday may be three days, it could be five hundred days or a thousand years. Holidays have become a way for people to spend quality time with friends and family and to feel happy.
The most popular holidays in the United Kingdom are Christmas, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Thanksgiving. All these holidays revolve around the story of the miraculous rising of Jesus Christ. A public holiday in the United Kingdom may be scheduled for any of the following times: the morning, afternoon, evening, or night. Some public holidays are also scheduled on the same day each year. For example, if the fourth Sunday of January happens to fall on a Saturday, the holiday would be a public holiday on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday.
Each state has its own set of public holidays. Although not all states observe all federal holidays, those that do mark most of them regularly include Christmas and New Year’s. The names of these national holidays in the United Kingdom often coincide with names of states. This means that the term “Easter” in the UK, and “july” in the state of Massachusetts, would be considered two distinctly different occasions, despite their synonyms.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Canada observes some major federal holidays, such as Canada day and July fourth. The first Monday in January is known as Canada day, and the fourth Monday in March is known as Remembrance Day. Both of these names bear names of historical figures who played an important role in Canada’s history. States generally have their own state holiday names, while the government in Canada designated them as ” Canadians’ Day”. In addition to namesakes, many communities across Canada have their own version of “Red Hat Society”, “LCBO” or “IBREDS” – indicating a maple leaf, and the names of communities with which they are associated.
The traditional start of the year is marked by Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Each one of these holidays has different customs and traditions. In general, however, most people observe a holiday in December, as it is the only time of the year when most of Canada is free from extreme cold. Some communities have Christmas trees, and decorate them with decorations such as wreaths, lights, tinsel, and gift boxes. Many homes even have a Christmas tree to decorate inside – perhaps a handmade wreath decorated with pinecones and dried fruits or a small table covered with potted plants representing the evergreen pine tree – the source of the modern Christmas tree.