Fête de la Saint-Jean

St. John's Day

Initially we celebrated the summer solstice on June 24. This time of year was celebrated as a return of abundance to the northern hemisphere by early civilizations. On this date, fires were lit to celebrate the light on the longest day of the year.

After the British Conquest, and especially in the 19th century, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day took a political turn. French-speaking Catholic Canadians took advantage of June 24 to assert their Catholic identity, in opposition to English-speaking Protestant and Anglican Canadians. The first Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day parade took place in Montreal in 1843. In 1880, the song Ô Canada , today Canada's national anthem, was sung in Quebec for the first time and became instantly popular. On June 24, 1977, the government of René Lévesques made Saint-Jean the National Day of Quebec, distancing it for good from its religious aspect.

Having become a symbol of Quebec identity and French-speaking pride, this day is marked by cultural and artistic events and numerous parades in the streets. It is a moment of pride, joy and brotherhood that brings together Canadians from one end of the country to the other. For the occasion, stores and houses display the symbols of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste societies, such as the maple leaf and the beaver.

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