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St David's Day in Canada

Many Canadians of Welsh descent or those with Welsh connections celebrate St David’s Day on March 1 each year. The Welsh flag is often seen during celebrations on the day, as well as daffodils or leeks pinned to clothing.

Is St David's Day a Public Holiday?

St David's Day is not a public holiday. Businesses have normal opening hours.

Daffodils
Daffodils may be worn on clothing on St David's Day.
Daffodils may be worn on clothing on St David's Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Vladimir Ivanov

What Do People Do?

Many Welsh groups organize various festivities for St David’s Day in Canada. Events include choir concerts that celebrate the culture and heritage of Wales. Some concerts feature guest musicians from Wales. Some people of Welsh descent or organizations that have Welsh ties display the Welsh flag on St David’s Day. It is also a time for people of Welsh origin to wear daffodils or leeks on their clothing as a symbol of their connection to Wales.

Other celebrations for St David’s Day include St David’s Day balls, banquets, parades, and special church services. St David’s Day events are organized in towns and cities around Canada, including Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.

Public Life

St David's Day is not a public holiday in Canada. However, it is a day of celebration so some community groups, schools, and businesses may have a special program specifically for St David’s Day.

Background

St David is the patron saint of Wales. He plays a very important role in Welsh culture but little is known about his life. St David’s Day is a time for Welsh communities in Canada to celebrate their background and to remember those with Welsh ties who made great contributions in Canada. People of Welsh background, such as 19th century explorer David Thompson and 20th century novelist Robertson Davies, are remembered on this day.

Many Canadians can trace their ancestry to Wales. For example, according to statistics from 2001, there are 60,000 Canadians of Welsh origin in Alberta. An article on St David’s Day in the United Kingdom covers more information about St David’s Day’s origins and symbols.

St David's Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2010MonMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2011TueMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2012ThuMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2013FriMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2014SatMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2015SunMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2016TueMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2017WedMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2018ThuMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2019FriMar 1St David's DayObservance 
2020SunMar 1St David's DayObservance 

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