Festivals & Celebrations

Quebec Lifestyle - Festivals & Celebrations


There are many Festivals & Celebrations in Canada that are not public holidays. But they are fun and it would be good for you to know about them.

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

The day focuses on love, romance, appreciation, and friendship. Many people give greeting cards, chocolates or flowers to their partners or admirers. Hearts, roses, and the color red and pink are symbols of Valentine’s Day.

St. Patrick’s Day – March 17th

Montreal has a very large parade downtown on the Sunday closest to March 17th. The parade in Montreal has been held each year since 1824. The traditions include the color green and shamrocks, which are symbols of Ireland. Parties are themed around the color green and guests are expected to wear green clothing and green food and drinks are served.

Halloween – October 31st

People carve and decorate pumpkins as well as decorate their homes and yards. Symbols include, but are not limited to bats, spiders, ghosts, skeletons, grave yards, and haunted houses. Children dress up in costumes and go door to door in their neighbourhood to receive candy. The colors orange and black are associated with Halloween.

Remembrance Day – November 11th

The day commemorates the sacrifices of people in all armed conflicts. Veterans sell red poppies to the public which symbolizes the memory of those who died. Schools usually hold special assemblies and have two minutes of silence at 11:00AM.

Legal Holidays – No School

Labor Day is celebrated on the 1st Monday in September. It is the last long weekend of the summer and many families go away for the long weekend.


Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 2nd Monday in October. It is an annual holiday that celebrates the harvest and all the blessings we are thankful for of the past year.

Traditional foods are turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. Many families use this weekend to close up their cottages for the winter. The USA celebrates Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday in November. They consider it the start of Christmas shopping.

Victoria Day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in May. It marks the end of winter and the unofficial start of the spring/summer season. Cottages are open up for the summer and most amusement parks and outdoor attractions open for the season. It is also the time to plant flowers in the garden.

St. Jean Baptiste Day or Fete Nationale, in French is celebrated on the actual day, which is June 24th. It is a Quebec only holiday and almost everyone gets the day off. There are large scale events that take place such as outdoor rock and jazz concerts, parades, and fireworks. The blue and white flag of Quebec with the fleurs-de-lis (representing the flower of an iris or lily) are seen everywhere. Many people either choose to wear blue or white clothing to the celebrations and some even wrap themselves in the Quebec flag.

Canada Day, also known as Canada’s Birthday, is celebrated on July 1st. Most communities organize outdoor public events such as parades, BBQ’s, free concerts, and fireworks. One of the most moving and traditional celebrations is the citizenship ceremonies that take place at our City Hall for our new Canadian citizens.

Canada Day also conincides with Quebec’s Moving Day. Most Quebec apartment rental leases expire June 30th, and the province is moving into their new homes and apartments on July 1st. Good luck in finding moving trucks and vans.