La Fête nationale du Québec à Montréal: Happy St. Jean-Baptiste Day!

After the ice storm
photo credit: beyond20khz

I’ve been in Montreal this week for research meetings and thus I’ve spent a substantial part of my day indoors collaborating with scholars, activists, government officials and representatives of all three countries (Canada, United States of America and Mexico). Since I’ve been exhausted, it hasn’t been easy to go and discover Montréal. Today, June 24th is a day of celebration of Québec history and heritage.

A bit of history from the Wikipedia page on National Holidays in Quebec:

On June 24, 1880, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society organized the gathering of all francophone communities across North America. The event was the first National Congress of French Canadians (Congrès national des Canadiens français). On this occasion, the citizens of Quebec City were the first ones to hear the “Ô Canada” of Calixa Lavallée, based on a poem by a Quebec Superior Court judge, Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The song was commissioned by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society. It was well received but did not become a widely known song for many years. English words were later written for a royal tour in 1901. In 1980, “O Canada” became the official national anthem of Canada. In 1908, Pope Pius X designated St. John the Baptist as the patron saint of French Canadians. From 1914 to 1923 the processions were not held. In 1925, 91 years after the Ludger Duvernay’s banquet in Montreal, June 24 became a legal holiday in Quebec. In Quebec, June 24 or St. John the Baptist Day is officially a paid statutory public holiday covered under the Act Respecting Labour Standards.[1][2][3] In 1977, an Order-in-Council by Lieutenant Governor Hugues Lapointe, on the advice of René Lévesque, declared June 24 the national holiday in Quebec.

My experience in Montréal has been incredible (I’ve been here before many times, but always within an academic context so I’ve travelled very little and almost seen nothing when I visit). Next time I’m here I hope to spend a substantial amount of time visiting and learning more about this beautiful city. Happy St. Jean-Baptiste Day, everyone!

Related posts:

  1. Remembering the Montréal École Polytechnique massacre
  2. Palais des Congrès de Montrèal (Montreal, QC)
  3. Blue Jean by David Bowie #MusicMonday
  4. The Intercontinental Montreal Hotel (Montréal, QC)
  5. Boris Bistro (Old Montreal, Montréal, QC)

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