St. Jean Baptiste Day occurs on June 24 of each year. St. Jean Baptiste Day is also known as “La Saint Jean,” “St. John the Baptist Day,“ “La Fete Nationale du Quebec”, the latter meaning “National Holiday of Quebec” in French.
One purpose of it, other than honouring French Canadian culture, is to acknowledge that St. John, the Baptist, baptized Jesus, when Jesus was a baby, in the River Jordan. He is thought to be the cousin of Jesus.
It is a holiday in Quebec. If it falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated on the Monday that follows it. Francophone culture is celebrated in terms of outdoor activities, including fire-based ones. There is a lot of dining & gatherings.
The fire & Quebec flag are major characteristics of St. Jean Baptiste Day. The fire is a standard symbol to respect light. It is thought that this is due to the date of this holiday, that falls on or around the summer solstice. Homes are decorated with white & yellow lights for this reason.
The Quebec flag colours are blue & white, with a white fleur-de-lis. Therefore, not only do people wave this flag, but they wear blue & white as well. These happen to be the same colours as that of the flag.
In the greetings, French Canadians’ own values are remembered & cherished. Some consider it to be a religious holiday. Therefore, oath confessions are encouraged to take place.
There is a weight of historical importance on St. Jean Baptiste Day because one national anthem was written on this day around 1834. 1834 is also the first time St. Jean Batiste Day was implemented. This came about when a French Canadian businessman, Ludger Duvernay, was at a St. Patrick’s Day function in Montreal. Thereupon, it dawned on him that French Canadians, too, should cherish & not forget their past. Therefore, he wanted a single day to commemorate French Canadian history & culture.
St. Jean Baptiste Day was not consecutively celebrated until 1925.
It should be realized that Canada consists of both anglo- & franco- phones, as well as others who have to learn English and/or French to survive. It is important to respect each other & live in peace, despite all the differences. One way to achieve this is to learn a lot about the culture in question & help honor it through means of such an occasion. St. Jean Baptiste Day pays homage to Francophone culture in numerous ways. This large number only makes it more enjoyable. Let us not forget our history & inhabitants.