Saint Jean-Baptiste Day (Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, la Saint-Jean, Fête Nationale du Québec), additionally referred to in English as St John the Baptist Day or Nativity of Saint John the Baptist, is a holiday celebrated on June 24 in the Canadian region of Quebec and by French Canadians across Canada and the United States.
Saint Jean Baptiste Day, held every year on June 24, is the feast day of St John the Baptist, a Jewish minister who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan. It’s a day of celebration in Quebec and different areas of French Canada. Saint Jean Baptiste Day is otherwise called “la Saint-Jean”, “St John the Baptist Day”, “Fête Nationale du Québec” and “Quebec’s National Holiday”.
St. Jean Baptiste Day – likewise known by different monikers, including Quebec’s National Holiday, la Saint-Jean, and Fête Nationale du Québec–is a public holiday with a wide array of festivities that are organized by the Mouvement national des Québécoises et des Québécois, for example, sports competitions, concerts, parades, and fireworks display, alongside small communal festivals, including picnics, yard sales, and barbecues. Moreover, sundry church bells ring in recognition of the day, and some small events – for example, funfairs and public dances are held on the evening prompting the 24th of June.
National Holiday of Quebec or Saint Jean Baptiste Day History
The feast day of Saint John the Baptist was a famous feast day in numerous European countries. The holiday showed up in Quebec alongside the first French colonists, with celebrations being noted as far back as 1636. Throughout the next few centuries, festivities didn’t actually transform into a major holiday.
The upturn in its fortunes came, when inspired by Montreal’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, local writer Ludger Duvernay established the Société St-Jean-Baptiste in 1834 fully intent on promoting celebrations for St. John. In 1908, St. Jean Baptiste was named the patron saint of French-speaking Canadians.
In 1925, June 24th became a legal holiday in Quebec. In 1977, it was pronounced as the Fête Nationale (national holiday) in Quebec. The use of ‘national’ in this context is controversial, because of the various translations of the meaning of the word country. While the holiday has become secularized, the day remains popularly called la St-Jean-Baptiste or essentially la St-Jean is as yet seen in churches.
During the start of the seventeenth century, Saint Jean Baptiste Day was exported from Europe to North America with French colonists. While a few researchers state that the holiday was first celebrated in Canada before 1610, most official accounts state that the first Saint Jean Baptiste celebration was held on June 23, 1636. This celebration included a bonfire and feast for the banks of the St. Lawrence River. This lively celebration denoted the start of a tradition in Quebec and different areas of Canada.
In the nineteenth century, Saint Jean Baptiste Day started to withdraw from its Catholic origin. Rather than purely being a religious holiday, Saint Jean Baptiste Day became a patriotic event for French Canadians. As a patriotic event, French individuals in Quebec had the option to communicate their discontent with the British government in Canada.
Over time, Saint Jean Baptiste Day became a symbol of French unity in Canada. Subsequently, patriotic parades and flag ceremonies were added to the holiday’s celebrations. On Saint Jean Baptiste Day of 1834, the Canadian national anthem was written. This fact demonstrates the significance of the holiday for Canadians.
Since old times, individuals have praised the pagan custom of the summer solstice, lighting bonfires on the longest day of the year. In France, the solstice became related with Saint John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus who perceived and baptised him; both the solstice and John the Baptist are related with the coming to light into the world.
The tradition of lighting the Saint-Jean fire to mark the start of the mid-year was translated to New France as early as 1646. In 1694, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier made it a holiday gave to dedication. Saint John keeps on being praised after the Conquest, however it is just in 1834 that it takes on a political color that it will preserve until the present time.
Celebrations start on June 23rd with the lighting of bonfires, dancing, and the singing of traditional folk songs. On the morning of the holiday, parades are held in significant centres. A Roman Catholic mass is typically followed by popular music concerts.
Most shopping centres, banks, and supermarkets are shut. Government offices will be shut. There will be no postal service and the public transportmay run on a reduced schedule.
The popularity of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day had a surprising knock-on impact on another Canadian holiday. Until the 1970s, Dominion Day, which fell on July 1st, was minimal over a day off for most Canadians; the significant holiday was Victoria Day. To react to the Quebec nationalists’ promotion of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, the federal government started pushing July 1st as a national holiday for Canada. It did as such by changing the name of the holiday to Canada Day and expanding the funds accessible for its festival.
Historically, the celebration focused on the role of Saint Jean Baptiste in Christianity. Today, the holiday has various themes, including patriotism, politics, religion, and culture. Saint Jean Baptiste celebrations are consistently happy events for Quebec’s residents.
Saint Jean Baptiste Day is often celebrated in areas of the world with an enormous Catholic communities. Outside of Canada, the holiday is generally celebrated in Denmark, Norway, and different areas of Northern Europe.
Saint Jean Baptiste Day has changed from multiple points of view since its first experience with Canada in the seventeenth century. Today, the holiday isn’t viewed as a major religious event. Instead, the residents of Quebec rampage to celebrate their nationalism and values.
Along these lines, numerous individuals see Saint Jean Baptiste Day as Quebec’s National Day. While numerous residents of Quebec consider this holiday to be a common occasion, Saint Jean Baptiste stays the patron saint of French Canadians.