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National Patriots' Day

National Patriots' Day 2019 and 2020

National Patriot’s Day in Quebec is observed on the Monday before 24 May to celebrate those people who struggled against the British empire.

YearDateDayHolidayProvinces and Territories
201920 MayMonNational Patriots' Day QC
202018 MayMonNational Patriots' Day QC

Across much of Canada, the Monday before 24 May is Victoria Day to honour the birthday of Queen Victoria. However, the British monarchy has never been popular in Quebec. Instead, the province shuns the crown and celebrates the patriots who fought against British rule.

Until 2003, Quebec celebrated Fete de Dollard in honour of Adam Dollard des Ormeaux, celebrating the death of the garrison commander of the fort of Ville-Marie, which is now Montreal. Dollard set out in 1660 to ambush the Iroquiois in order to prevent their attack on Ville-Marie, but he and his expedition were killed.

In 2003, Quebec renamed the holiday National Patriots Day to promote the importance of patriotic struggles against the British empire in order to gain national recognition, political liberty and a democratic system of government.

Celebrations and Traditions

National Patriot’s Day is a holiday in Quebec so many offices, banks, schools and businesses are closed. Many of the events planned for the day are commemorative and historic, with a focus on the patriots who helped shape the province. There are marches, parades, historical re-enactments and musical concerts designed to celebrate the dedication of those who helped create today’s province.

Most citizens spend time with friends and family on National Patriot’s Day, planting gardens, opening up summer cottages or drinking beer. Others spend the weekend outdoors, visiting parks or other natural areas of Quebec.

In Quebec City, the community square in the centre of the city, Place dÝouville, is transformed as actors and dancers re-enact the rebellion. They then carry the provincial flag to Maison Chevalier, the historic house and museum in the old port district.

The Musee Stewart in Montreal offers guided tours on National Patriot’s Day with displays of artefacts from the rebellion. Gatineau’s festival includes a traditional raising of the provincial flag as well as concerts and a parade.

Many Quebec natives reflect on how different cultures can have an impact on the province and country. The holiday is designed to promote diversity and patriotism, focusing on those who fought to give Quebec autonomy, releasing them from British rule. Because they fought against British rule, they choose not to celebrate the birth of a British queen, but those that gave their lives to support freedom.

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