All about St-Jean-Baptiste DayMay 18, 2022 | Last Updated June 17, 2022
St-Jean-Baptiste Day is a national holiday that's celebrated in Quebec. It's known as la Saint-Jean or Fête nationale (national holiday) in Quebec.
Many Canadian Francophone communities outside of Quebec also celebrate St-Jean-Baptiste Day.
Festivities take place on June 23 and 24.
What is St-Jean-Baptiste Day?
The history of St-Jean-Baptiste Day goes back hundreds of years. Originally, it was a day to remember St. John the Baptist, a Christian saint. But that changed in the spring of 1834.
A French-Canadian businessman named Ludger Duvernay went to a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Montreal. He thought that French Canadians should have a day like that to honour their own heritage. So he formed the Saint Jean Baptiste Society. They celebrated their new holiday on June 24 of 1834.
St-Jean-Baptiste Day was celebrated on and off for years. It finally became an official holiday in Quebec in 1925. From that point on, the day has been observed each year. It has become a celebration of the Francophone culture and its history.
How is it celebrated?
There are lots of public events like concerts, parades and firework displays. Families and neighbourhoods also get together for their own smaller celebrations. They have picnics, bonfires, and barbecues.
The flag of Quebec and the white fleur-de-lis (it means lily) that is on the flag are both symbols of the holiday. Many people wave the blue and white flag at events. They often wear blue or white clothing when attending celebrations.
“Bonne Saint-Jean-Baptiste!” (Happy St-Jean-Baptiste!)