We have a long weekend coming up this weekend, it is Victoria Day on Monday. Well, it is in all of Canada except here, in Québec, where they still rebel against Crown Rule and, in part but not all, seek to be a separate sovereign nation.
Here it’s Patriots’ Day (Journée nationale des patriotes), in which Québec celebrates and honours the rebellion against the British in 1837—the closest Monday to May 25th. Sadly, this year, there will be no celebrations across the province, no reminding the population of their shared heritage (French that is, some how they forget the province was also built by immigrant Scots and the Irish, along with the English. Oh, and let’s not forget, Chinese too.) But that’s another story.
It’s interesting to note the differences in the national holidays here, some they observe, others they don’t, most are renamed for something significant to Quebeckers. And then there are others like June 24, St. John Baptiste Day. This holiday is uniquely Québec, in which there’s a huge music festival out on the plains of Abraham from 7 pm till fireworks at midnight, with all Québec musicians and comedians. And let me tell you, having been to a few, there are tens of thousands who turn up, old and young alike, who picnic in the afternoon out in the fields, in family groups. This is huge here. And yes, great fun too.
I doubt this will take place, this year, due to the corona virus, when people are still suppose to be keeping physically distant. But there again, by the time June 24 rolls around, maybe everyone will turn up regardless, and have one last hurrah! It’s just the kind of dogmatic thing Quebeckers would do.
Like herding cats, you cannot tell them what to do, unless they think it’s a good idea to begin with.
I will especially miss the Summer Music Festival too, as it’s cancelled, which usually runs for 11 days in July. We’ve seen some amazing guests perform on the main stage, here, over the years. And a lot of smaller emerging bands get their first gigs here, at this festival.
I don’t doubt there will be little, if any, celebrations going on this year, anywhere, let alone here given the pandemic. And certainly not till maybe as early as summer next year. And you? What will you miss most this summer, music festivals, book festivals, conventions, summer holidays abroad?
Whatever your summer plans, stay safe out there and take care this coming weekend.