‘Holiday’ – this one little word is enough to brighten our day and lift our spirits. Be it a kid in kindergarten or a working employee everyone eagerly waits for a holiday to arrive.
Holidays provide a much needed break from the same old routine and allow people to spend some quality time with their near and dear ones.
It also allow people to go on short trips which rejuvenates one’s mind and soul. Bank holidays are public holidays when all the banks remain officially closed and almost all the employees working in banks are allowed to take a day off; although those who work on such days are usually paid an extra amount for their service.
The Bank Holidays Act was passed in 1871 which was introduced by Liberal politician and banker Sir John Lubbock. This Act established the first bank holidays in the United Kingdom.
In Canada, the public holidays are known as “statutory holidays”, “stat holidays” or just “stats”. These holidays are legislated at the federal, provincial and territorial level. Many of these holidays are observed throughout the entire nation however each province has its own holidays as well.
Majority of the working employees, both public and private, are granted leave on these days however due to any emergency if an employer needs any of his employee to work on a statutory holiday, the employee must receive a day off in lieu of the holiday or should be paid one and a half or twice the regular pay for working on that day. Moreover if a statutory holiday falls on a weekend, the following working day is considered as a statutory holiday.
Now let us take a quick look at the bank holidays in Canada-
|New Year’s Day||1st Jan 2017||New Year’s Day in Canada is celebrated with a bang just like it is done in other countries. People often go to clubs, bars and other people’s home to celebrate the beginning of a whole new year. Making new resolutions which people swear to abide by throughout the upcoming year is common among people. These are accompanied by beautiful firework shows which are put up for the citizens. In some rural areas, particularly in the province of Quebec, people spend the night ice fishing with friends and family.|
|Day after New Year’s Day||2nd Jan 2017||This day marks the end of the festivity that starts with Christmas and ends with the New Year’s Day. People are usually seen relaxing on this day spending the day with their family and loved ones. Those who had gone on a vacation returns home on this day. This day serves as a transition and help people’s mind to go from party mode to work mode.|
|Family Day||13th February 2017||Family Day is a statutory holiday celebrated in various parts of Canada. This day is also known as Louis Riel Day, Nova Scotia Heritage Day and Islander Day in some parts. British Columbia began observing this day 2013 onwards on second Monday of February.|
|Family Day||20th February 2017||This holiday is observed in Canada with the intention that every worker should take time off their busy schedules and spend some valuable time with their family and loved ones and work on strengthening the bonds between the family members. This holiday is gaining more popularity with the passage of time since people understand the importance of having firmly rooted bonds and closely knitted family.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||Good Friday is celebrated on the Friday which comes immediately before the Easter Sunday. Christians commemorate the crucifixion of their Lord, Jesus Christ. People are seen attending special church services and it is a day of mourning. During this time, people enjoy having hot cross buns which is a traditional treat and it is also a time when people go on vacations which serves as a break from their mundane life.|
|Easter Monday||17th April 2017||Easter Monday is celebrated on the Monday which comes right after Easter Sunday. On this day the Christians commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This day also marks the end of the four day weekend and people who had gone on small trips return home while others just stay at home enjoying their delicious Easter eggs. Easter eggs which are mainly made out of chocolate and candy serves as a common gift during this time of the year.|
|Mother’s Day||14th May 2017||Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May every year. Canadians celebrate this day in order to show gratitude and appreciate the unimaginable efforts of their mothers or mother figures. People give cards, flowers, chocolates and various other gifts to convey their love to their mothers on this special occasion. Going on movies or to restaurants are also common nowadays.|
|Victoria Day||22nd May 2017||This day is celebrated in Canada on the Monday preceding 25th May in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday. Canada is the only country that commemorates Queen’s birthday with an official holiday. On this day the Royal Union Flag is flown at all federal government buildings throughout the day. On this day parades are held in various cities along with evening fireworks show.|
|National Patriots’ Day||22nd May 2017||This day is celebrated on the same day as Victoria Day and this day marks the rebellion against the British back in 1873.Celebrations mainly include marches, music concerts and public speeches along with special commemorative dinner.|
|Father’s Day||18th June 2017||This day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year to show gratitude towards fathers and father figures for constant support. People gift cards, various pieces of clothing, chocolates, books, bottles of wine as a token of appreciation. Activities like fun runs and various events take place on such day in which the proceeds go towards charity and prostate cancer research.|
|Discovery Day||26th June 2017||This day is celebrated in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in the honor of Giovanni Caboto’s discovery of the province’s island portion. It is also known as Cabot 500 Day.|
|National Holiday of Quebec||24th June 2017||Also known as the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, it is the feast day of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The festivities are organized and publicly financed by the organizing committee of the National Holiday. It includes parades, fireworks, bonfires and feasts.|
|Canada Day||1st July 2017||On this day in 1867, Canada became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain and a federation of four provinces. It was called the Dominion Day until 1982.The celebrations include having pancakes as breakfast, parades, concerts and firework displays.|
|Civic Day||7th August 2017||This is a statutory holiday in Canada and also known as “August Holiday”, “Provincial Holiday” or ” Terry Fox Day”. It is celebrated on the very first Monday of August and it celebrates the local culture and history. The festivities include organizing sport events, breakfast, barbecues, lunches, suppers and making birthday cakes. Fireworks show, road races are also a part of the festivity. It also helps the employees to take a day off during the summer break.|
|Discovery Day||21st August 2017||Discovery Day is a public holiday celebrated in the territory of Yukon. It commemorates the anniversary of the discovery of gold in 1896 which started the Klondike Gold Rush. Various events takes place on this day which includes fun runs, golf tournaments and many more. People also visit Dawson City to photograph Royal Canadian Mounted Police in their uniforms and watch historical street theatre.|
|Labor Day||4th September 2017||This day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It originally marks the campaign carried out by workers for better working conditions and higher wage. Worker’s right was traditionally celebrated on Labor day and along with campaigns picnics would be organized by trade union. Nowadays people use this holiday as an opportunity to go on a trip.|
|Thanksgiving||9th October 2017||Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October since 1957. On this day the people thank for a good harvest or other fortunes they have received in the previous year. Special meals are prepared which typically includes turkey roasts, corn ears, pumpkins and many more delicacies. Most of the people spend this day with their family and many go on a vacation on this three days weekend.|
|Remembrance Day||13th November 2017||Remembrance Day is celebrated in the honor of the martyrs and commemorates their sacrifices in the armed conflicts, including World War I and World War II. Many people use artificial poppy flowers to decorate their clothes before the arrival of this day. The red poppies signify the memory of the martyrs and the white poppies stand for non military invention in conflict situation. Special church services mark this occasion on 11th November after which wreaths are laid as a mark of respect on the local war memorials. Canadian flags are seen to fly high on all government buildings on this day.|