Between countries, there are many differences on public holidays. That's why I thought it was important to give you a quick rundown of the public holidays in Ontario that are observed in all jobs, as well as those that are only recognized in government jobs (or if you work for a bank). Click on each of these days if you want to know more!
Some employers provide an optional holiday for their employees:
1. New Year's Day
As in many countries, we celebrate the passage of the new year.
2. Family Day
In the 2007 Ontario provincial election, the Liberal Party promised that if re-elected Premier, they would add a holiday in February. That's how the first Family Day was celebrated in 2008. It was chosen February to allow people to spend a day with their families, as the time between the January 1st holiday and Good Friday was too long for some. This day is only celebrated in Ontario.
3. Good Friday
Linked to the Christian religion, Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified. This holiday is widely observed around the world and is not specific to Canada.
4. Queen's Day
Did you know that Canada belongs to the United Kingdom and is therefore under the reign of the Queen. However, it is Queen Victoria's birthday that is celebrated on this day. Even under the reign of another queen, it is always Queen Victoria who is celebrated. This day is not celebrated everywhere in Canada, but in Ontario it is a statutory holiday.
5. Canada Day
Canada Day is an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be Canadian, to share what makes us proud. This pride is reflected in as many ways as there are Canadians. Canada Day has highlighted the richness of the land, and the diversity, since 1868. However, this holiday has very particular connotations and some regions refuse to celebrate it because of the colonization that was exercised on the natives of Canada.
6. Labour Day
Many countries have Labor Day on May 1st. Originally it was the same in Canada but the date was moved to September after 1894. It celebrates the victory of the unions in Canada who, by demonstrating in front of the assembly in Ottawa, helped repeal all laws that were against unions and the right to demonstrate.
Thanksgiving is celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October. During this period, the harvests of the year are celebrated in the hope of being abundant. This is why Thanksgiving is celebrated in a different month than in the United States, especially because of the difference in harvest dates in Canada.
8. Christmas Day
Like many parts of the world, December 25 is made to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
9. Boxing Day (December 26).
This holiday called Boxing Day, celebrates the feast of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He was chosen by the apostles to distribute alms to the poor. In English-speaking churches, there are offering boxes in which pilgrims and visitors can deposit money. This box will remain sealed until December 26 to be distributed to the beggars and poor of the church.
10. Easter Monday
Following the crucifixion of Jesus on Good Friday, this day celebrates the aftermath. Some people say that it marks the day of the rolling of the stone from the tomb where Jesus lay.
11. Simcoe Day
The Civic Holiday is celebrated in Canada on the first Monday in August. Each province chooses how it will celebrate this day in Canada. In Ontario, SImcoe Day has been celebrated since 1969. John Graves Simcoe is known for promoting anti-slavery legislation.
12. Remembrance Day November 11
As in many countries, this vacation marks the date of the armistice on November 11, 1918 during the end of the First World War. On this day in Canada, many people can be seen wearing the poppy. This flower is the symbol for the Commonwealth countries. The story behind it is that poppies did not grow much in Flanders where the battlefields were. With the bombing, the poppies grew more easily and a Canadian military doctor made the connection between this flower and the battlefield when writing his poem In Flanders Fields.
13. National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
A recent day celebrated only on September 30, 2021. The National Day of Truth and Reconciliation is organized by Aboriginal communities to raise awareness of the impact of residential schools on Aboriginal people and to pay tribute to the survivors. The day is commemorated by dressing in orange, a color that represents the loss of culture, freedom and self-esteem that Aboriginal children suffered for generations. There is a lot to be said about the still recent events that took place, I would certainly write about it.
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