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National Patriots' Day in Canada

National Patriots’ Day (Journée nationale des patriotes) is a statutory holiday in Québec to honor the rebellion against the British in 1837. It falls on the Monday before May 25, coinciding with Victoria Day, each year.

Is National Patriots' Day a Public Holiday?

National Patriots' Day is a public holiday in Quebec, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Quebec provincial flag

Québec's flag (pictured above) can be seen at official events on National Patriots’ Day.

©iStockphoto.com/Imageegaml

What Do People Do?

Many people in Québec attend various celebrations and events, and take part in historic activities that are organized throughout the province on National Patriots’ Day. Celebrations include marches, music concerts, public speeches, and award ceremonies. Many societies, organizations, and community groups organize different events and activities that occur on or around National Patriots’ Day.  Special commemorative dinners may also be organized during this holiday.

Public Life

National Patriots’ Day is a statutory general holiday in Québec on the Monday before May 25, coinciding with Victoria Day in other parts of Canada.

Background

National Patriots’ Day (Journée nationale des patriotes) is celebrated across Québec to commemorate democracy and patriotic struggles for freedom from the British rule during 1837–1838. The day’s commemorations can be traced back to 1937, in which citizens of Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu organized the 1837 centennial celebrations.

About 25 years later, annual observances were held in November to remember patriots who fought against the British colonial power in the province. In 1982, the Québec government recognized the importance of the historic events that took place in the province during 1837–1838. The government proclaimed a decree that Patriots' Day would be observed on the Sunday closest to November 23 to honor the patriots.

On November 20, 2002, the Quebec government moved for National Patriots’ Day to be an annual provincial statutory holiday to honor the memory of the patriots on the Monday preceding May 25 of each year. National Patriots’ Day has been held as a provincial statutory holiday since May 19, 2003, replacing another holiday known as la Fête de Dollard (Dollard Day), which was held in honor of the 17th century soldier Adam Dollard des Ormeaux.

Symbols

The green, white and red tricolor, which was used by the Parti patriote during most of the 1830s, is remembered on National Patriots’ Day. The province’s official flag is also seen on the day. The flag features a white cross on a blue field, with a white fleur-de-lis in each canton or, in heraldic terms, azure, a cross between four fleurs-de-lis argent. The flag is displayed at official events and in the places, cases and circumstances determined by government regulation.

National Patriots' Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015MonMay 18National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2016MonMay 23National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2017MonMay 22National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2018MonMay 21National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2019MonMay 20National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2020MonMay 18National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2021MonMay 24National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2022MonMay 23National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2023MonMay 22National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2024MonMay 20National Patriots' DayLocal holiday
2025MonMay 19National Patriots' DayLocal holiday

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