Yesterday was Canada Day, and I spent a lot of time trying to explain it to the Americans that surround me. It's kind of like the 4th of July, in that it's Canada's national holiday. It's frequently referred to as "Canada's Birthday." Officially, it is the anniversary of the joining of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario into a federation in 1867. Technically, we didn't get our independence that day - our constitution wasn't patriated until 1982.
We celebrate in many different ways. Parliament Hill has celebrations running all day long, including popular Canadian musicians and other performers. The Prime Minister and the Governor General give speeches, as well as several other government officials (some of it's boring, some of it's rousing and motivating). In my hometown, they block off Osborne Street for several blocks for a big street party. There are vendors set up selling stuff all over, the restaurants have patios and beer gardens open, there are little stages set up everywhere - it's just one big party.
There are, of course, fireworks at night, because what party is complete without explosions?
As an expat, I celebrated by baking a cake (see yesterday's post), and wearing my Canada shirts and my traditional Canada Day shoes (the same pair I've worn on every Canada Day since I got them - they're red Sketchers). I had a burger for dinner, because my dad always barbecues burgers for Canada Day. All in all, a good day.