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Canada Day

From Academic Kids

Canada Day is Canada's national holiday. It is celebrated on July 1.

It celebrates the creation of the Dominion of Canada through the British North America Act 1867, which came into effect on July 1, 1867, uniting three British territories — the Province of Canada (southern Ontario and southern Quebec), Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick — into a federation. (See Canadian Confederation.)

The holiday itself was formally established in 1879 and was originally called Dominion Day, making reference to the Canadian-originated term 'dominion' to describe the political union, at a time when the Fathers of Confederation were hesitant to use a name such as the Kingdom of Canada. The name was changed to Canada Day on October 27, 1982.

It is a mandatory holiday across Canada for all federal institutions. It is also celebrated by all provincial governments and businesses across Canada. Quebec provincial governments under the Parti Qu颩cois refused to recognize the celebration. In Newfoundland and Labrador, July 1 is also recognised as Memorial Day and commemorates Newfoundland's heavy losses during World War I in the Battle of Beaumont Hamel as part of the Battle of the Somme.

Activities

With the exceptions noted above, Canada Day is generally marked by patriotic celebrations. Most cities have organized celebrations, often featuring fireworks. Entertainment usually has a Canadian theme. Canadian flags abound, and some go as far as to paint their faces in Canadian colours.

The celebrations in Ottawa are particularly lavish. Every Canada Day, tens of thousands gather on Parliament Hill to celebrate Canada's birth.

Quebec

Due to a particularity in colonial New France, Quebec celebrates Canada Day by mass movements of people changing residences. This is known as Moving Day.

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