dreadedcandiru2 (dreadedcandiru2) wrote,

On the civic holiday.

As I've explained before, Canada has a lot of legal and cultural traditions in common with the United Kingdom. One of these is something called the August bank holiday. I first became aware of this thing when I was eleven and tried to buy a can of pop from a convenience store; what happened is that the clerk couldn't make change because she'd ran out and made some vague reference to the banks being shut down for some baffling reason. The end result is that I wound up with an economics lesson I didn't want, no pop because I didn't have exact change and an old bat yapping that she didn't make the rules.

The reason that I mention this is that in 1974, the province of Alberta had upgraded the thing into a full-fledged holiday. Just as Family Day in February is celebrated in a rather piecemeal fashion, so it is with this one. As by way of example, Quebec, the Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador do not celebrate it at all, Nova Scotia calls it Natal Day (but makes it as much a Holiday as Halloween is), Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories call it Civic Holiday, Alberta calls it Heritage Day, New Brunswick, British Columbia and Saskatchewan name it for themselves and Ontario calls it a crazy-quilt of names. The reason for this seems to me to be for some reason, there needed to be a holiday in the dead of summer as a sort of reminder that autumn is on its way. This is because the day after the civic holiday, back to school campaigns begin in deadly earnest. Lynn doesn't make note of the day because it's not something Americans have (or probably especially want) and it's not something she grew up with.
Tags: canadian culture 101

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