Calendar

Mar
3
Sun
The Lord’s Day
Mar 3 all-day

The Lord’s Day in Christianity is generally Sunday, the principal day of communal worship.

the-lord's-day-fun-heritageIt is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the canonical Gospels to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of the week. According to some sources, Christians held worship on Sunday in the 1st century.

How to Celebrate?

  • Attend a Church service. Stay for the meet and greet following.
  • Say a prayer for the first person comes to mind.
  • Resolve to be a kinder person.

Did You Know…

… The earliest Biblical example of Christians meeting together on a Sunday for the purpose of “breaking bread” and preaching is cited in the New Testament book The Acts of the Apostles chapter 20 and verse 7 (Acts 20:7).

Mar
4
Mon
March Forth and do Something Day
Mar 4 all-day

March Forth and Do Something Day is a made-up holiday celebrated each year on March 4.

march forth and do something day fun heritage

How about planting a community garden?

The holiday encourages people to do something new that enriches their own lives or the lives of people in their community.

March Fourth

The name of this unofficial holiday plays on the words, march fourth, which when spoken out loud sounds like march forth – an expression used to convey action and moving forward.

Homonyms

March fourth and march forth are homophones – words or expressions that are pronounced alike, but have different meanings. Homographs on the other hand are words or expressions that are spelled the same way but have different meanings. Examples of such words include bass (a deep sound and a type of fish) and bow (to bend, the front of a ship and a type of knot). Homophones and homographs are both types of homonyms.

How to Celebrate?

  • March forth and do something.
  • Volunteer in your community.
  • Start something that you have always wanted to do, but have never had the chance to.

Did You Know…

…that the word March is a capitonym? Capitonyms are words or expressions whose meaning changes depending on where it’s capitalized or not. March refers to the month, while march refers to a walking in a measured way.

Mar
5
Tue
Learn What Your Name Means Day
Mar 5 all-day

On March 5 or Learn What Your Name Means Day to find out the out the origin and history of your name – first and last. Maybe you’ll find a great tale behind your name? learn-what-your-name-means-day-fun-heritage

The holiday is part of Celebrate Your Name Week created by American Jerry Hill in 1997. The purpose of the week is to encourage people to celebrate and appreciate their unique names.

Types of Names

A name is a word used to identify people, places and things. A person’s identification is called a person name or full name and usually consists of at least two words – the given name, which is also known as first name, and the surname, family name or last name.

The purpose of the surname or family name is to indicate that the person belongs to a specific family or clan. In many cultures, people are identified by a single name.

Tracing History

Because of different naming conventions around the world, a person’s name, while not unique, can tell a lot of the person’s heritage and family history. For example, many societies in the world use patronymic names – at least one part of a person’s name comes from the father’s family.

By following the chain of shared names back, one can find, if records exist, a lot about one’s ancestors. Similarly, some cultures follow a matronymic tradition where part of a person’s name comes from the mother’s side of the family.

How to Celebrate?

  • Talk to your parents or family members about your name. Ask them why they gave you your name and what it means. With a little bit of research you may be able to find out about the lives of your ancestors.
  • How about learning your name in morse code?

Did You Know…

…that the study of the history, origin and meaning of proper names is called onomatology?

Mar
7
Thu
Alexander Graham Bell Day
Mar 7 all-day

Alexander Graham Bell Day is celebrated every year on March 7. alexander graham bell day fun heritage

The unofficial holiday recognizes the day in 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for the technology that would later become the telephone and changed the world of communications.

Patent Date

On March 7, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was granted a patent for “transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically.” Three days later, on March 10, Bell uttered the famous words “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you” into a transmitter. His assistant, Thomas Watson, who was in the next room, heard the words clearly and thus, the first telephone was created.

In commemoration of the day he was granted the patent, Bell’s fans around the world celebrate March 7 as Alexander Graham Bell Day. It is a day recognized by an official act of the legislature in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Prolific Inventor

In addition to the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell is also credited for being the inventor of the metal detector and is known for developing the Hydrodome, a watercraft that set a world marine speed record in 1919.

How to Celebrate?

  • Learn more about the science and technology behind the telephone and the cell phone.
  • Visit your local telecommunications museum.
  • Every time you call a friend or text someone send a silent thanks to Bell. Without him, we would still be using pigeons to send messages.

Did You Know…

…that Bell was one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society?

Mar
8
Fri
International Women’s Day
Mar 8 all-day

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. international womens day heritage

What Do People Do?

International Women’s Day events are held worldwide on March 8. Various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day. Such events may include seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.

Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.

Public Life

International Women’s Day, is a public holiday in some countries such as (but not exclusive to):

  • Azerbaijan.
  • Armenia.
  • Belarus.
  • Kazakhstan.
  • Moldova
  • Russia.
  • Ukraine.

Many businesses, government offices, educational institutions are closed in the above-mentioned countries on this day, where it is sometimes called Women’s Day. International Women’s Day is a national observance in many other countries. Some cities may host various wide-scale events such as street marches, which may temporarily affect parking and traffic conditions.

Background

Much progress has been made to protect and promote women’s rights in recent times. However, nowhere in the world can women claim to have all the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. The majority of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor are women. On average, women receive between 30 and 40 percent less pay than men earn for the same work. Women also continue to be victims of violence, with rape and domestic violence listed as significant causes of disability and death among women worldwide.

The first International Women’s Day occurred on March 19 in 1911. The inaugural event, which included rallies and organized meetings, was a big success in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. The March 19 date was chosen because it commemorated the day that the Prussian king promised to introduce votes for women in 1848. The promise gave hope for equality but it was a promise that he failed to keep. The International Women’s Day date was moved to March 8 in 1913.

The UN drew global attention to women’s concerns in 1975 by calling for an International Women’s Year. It also convened the first conference on women in Mexico City that year. The UN General Assembly then invited member states to proclaim March 8 as the UN Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace in 1977. The day aimed to help nations worldwide eliminate discrimination against women. It also focused on helping women gain full and equal participation in global development.

Symbols

The International Women’s Day logo is in purple and white and features the symbol of Venus, which is also the symbol of being female.  The faces of women of all backgrounds, ages, and nations are also seen in various promotions, such as posters, postcards and information booklets, on International Women’s Day.  Various messages and slogans that promote the day are also publicized during this time of the year.

External Links

International Women’s Day official site

Soup’s On @ St Stephen's Memorial Hall
Mar 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

St Stephen’s Memorial Hall

hospitality-soups on-heritage

Mar
10
Sun
Mario Day
Mar 10 – Mar 11 all-day

March 10 is Mario Day, a day to celebrate the main character of the popular Nintendo video game franchise, Super Mario.

mario day fun heritage

Mario falls when he skids on a banana peel.

Fictional Italian Plumber

The Super Mario video games follows the adventures of Italian plumber Mario and his brother Luigi while they try to rescue Princess Peach from the evil Bowser. Princess Peach is the princess of the fictional Mushroom Kingdom in which the game is set.

Best-Selling Game

Considered to be the best-selling video game of all time and one of the most recognizable video game characters in the world, Mario was created by Shigeru Miyamoto. Since his first appearance in the 1981 Nintendo game, Donkey Kong as Jumpman, Mario has featured in over 200 video games, and several television shows and comics.

How to Celebrate?

  • Spend the day playing the iconic game.
  • Have a super Mario themed party. Serve star shaped cookies , mushroom shaped cupcakes, and chocolate coins.
  • And if you are brave enough, why not dress up like Mario for the day?

Did You Know…

…that when Mario made his first gaming appearance as Jumpman, he was not a plumber but a carpenter?

The Lord’s Day
Mar 10 – Mar 11 all-day

The Lord’s Day in Christianity is generally Sunday, the principal day of communal worship.

the-lord's-day-fun-heritageIt is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the canonical Gospels to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of the week. According to some sources, Christians held worship on Sunday in the 1st century.

How to Celebrate?

  • Attend a Church service. Stay for the meet and greet following.
  • Say a prayer for the first person comes to mind.
  • Resolve to be a kinder person.

Did You Know…

… The earliest Biblical example of Christians meeting together on a Sunday for the purpose of “breaking bread” and preaching is cited in the New Testament book The Acts of the Apostles chapter 20 and verse 7 (Acts 20:7).

Mar
11
Mon
Oatmeal Nut Waffle Day
Mar 11 all-day

March 11 is Oatmeal Nut Waffle Day. It is a day to treat yourself to not just waffles, but the healthier version of the popular breakfast food.

oatmeal nut waffle day fun heritage

Oatmeal nut waffles are delicious and healthy.

Oatmeal nut waffles are made by adding quick cooking oats and different types of nuts to the regular waffle batter of flour, eggs and butter. They can be eaten the same way as waffles – as is or with different toppings like fruit, yogurt, whipped cream or jelly (jam).

Wholesome and Nutritious

Oatmeal nut waffles not only easy to make, but are also more wholesome and nutritious than regular waffles due to the addition of oats and nuts.

Oats are cereal grains that are high in proteins, minerals and fiber. Studies have shown that regular consumption of oats can reduce bad cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and certain types of cancers.

Medieval Origins

Now enjoyed by people around the world as a dessert or breakfast dish, waffles are thought to have originated in Europe during the Middle Ages. The original waffles were made for religious purposes, usually from some form of grain and water, and frequently depicted religious symbols and patterns.

Waffle Day

Waffles are celebrated on two other days during the year – March 25 and August 24. The August 24 Waffle Day commemorates the day in 1869 when the first waffle iron was patented in the United States.

How to Celebrate?

  • With lots of oatmeal nut waffles! Add an assortment of nuts – pecans, cashews, almonds and walnuts. What about adding some raisins or dates to the mix?
  • Experiment with toppings. Make savory oatmeal nut waffles instead of sweet waffles. Serve the waffles with cream cheese, sour cream or vegetables.

Did You Know…

…that in North America, the word waffle can also mean to change one’s mind frequently? In the United Kingdom, it is usually used to refer to conversations about trivial matters.

Mar
12
Tue
Alfred Hitchcock Day
Mar 12 all-day

March 12 is National Alfred Hitchcock Day, a day to celebrate the life, times and work of master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

alfred hitchcock day fun heritage

Alfred Hitchcock directed over 50 movies over a span of 50 years.

It is not known why this date was chosen to commemorate Hitchcock, since it does not correspond to his birthday or the day he died.

A Long Career

Alfred Hitchcock’s prolific film-making career spanned half a decade – he began making movies in 1921 and made his last film, Family Plot in 1976. His unique cinematic style in the genre of psychological thrillers and suspense movies earned him the title of Master of Suspense.

In addition to making movies, Hitchcock created an hosted a television series called Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

How to Celebrate

  • Gather your friends and do a Hitchcock movie marathon. Some of his more famous movies include The Psycho, Vertigo and The Birds.
  • One of the unique things about Hitchcock’s movies is that he played a cameo role in most of them. So, while watching doing a Hitchcock movie marathon, play the spot-Hitchcock’s-cameo game. Whoever spots the most cameos wins.
  • Host an Alfred Hitchcock themed party. Decorate your venue with birds related props, serve your guests pecan pie (from Marnie), Moroccan tagine (from The Man Who Knew Too Much) and Chicken (from Notorious). Screen Murder Party, an episode from Alfred Hitchcock Presents for your guests.

Did You Know…

…that Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar in the Best Director category?

Mar
14
Thu
Commonwealth Day in Canada
Mar 14 all-day

Commonwealth Day is annually held on the second Monday of March. it commemorates the Commonwealth of Nations, which is a union of some countries that used to be part of the British Empire. The date was chosen because it did not have any previous historical connotations.

Commonwealth Day Canada

On Commonwealth Day the Royal Union flag is flown with Canada’s national flag on or at government buildings and premises.

What Do People Do?

Commonwealth Day is not a widely marked day in many parts of Canada. Federal government regulations stipulate that the Royal Union Flag, or Union Jack, should be flown alongside the national flag of Canada on or at government buildings and premises, such as federal buildings, military bases and airports. The Royal Union Flag should only be flown from sunrise to sunset and where physical arrangements allow. In practical terms, this means that there should be at least two flag poles. The Royal Union Flag should not replace the Canadian flag if there is only one flag pole. In some years, particular communities mark Commonwealth Day with receptions or exhibitions.

Public Life

Commonwealth Day is not a public holiday in Canada. Stores, post offices, businesses and other organizations are open as usual. Public transport services run to their normal timetables. Schools may be closed, as Commonwealth Day often falls in the mid-winter break, a school holiday in March, which lasts one week.

Background

In the 1800s, Great Britain controlled a large empire that included a large part of what is now Canada. Many influential figures in Canada at that time had British roots and wished to celebrate and emphasize these. From 1898, Empire Day was celebrated in Canadian schools on the last school day before Queen Victoria’s Birthday on May 24. The celebrations often lasted a whole day and included speeches by trustees and the singing of inspirational songs. After Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, her birthday became an annual commemoration of her life and the pride people felt for being part of the British Empire. To celebrate, people often lit fireworks and bonfires.

As time passed and Canadians developed a separate identity from Great Britain, Empire Day became less important. In 1958, it was renamed Commonwealth Day to reflect the changes in the relationship between Great Britain and her former colonies. In 1973, a Canadian proposal was made to observe Commonwealth Day on the same day in all Commonwealth countries, the second Monday in March. This date was chosen because it did not have any significant historical connotations.  In 1976, this proposal was accepted. However, the last Monday before or on May 24 remained a statutory holiday, known as Victoria Day, in many Canadian provinces and territories.

Commonwealth Day is also officially observed in a large number of countries that were formally part of the British Empire. These include many of the countries in the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. However, there are few notable celebrations to mark the day.

Good Friday in Canada
Mar 14 all-day

Good Friday occurs two days before Easter Sunday. It is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, which plays an important part in the Christian faith. It is also a statutory holiday in all Canadian provinces and territories except Quebec, where it is partially observed.

Good Friday Church

Good Friday Church A depiction of Jesus on the cross.

What Do People Do?

Christians may attend special church services, even if they do not attend church regularly during the rest of the year. Good Friday is a day of mourning and quiet prayer among many Christians. The candles are often extinguished and statues, paintings and crosses may be draped in black, purple or gray cloth. Some Catholics observe a partial fast on Good Friday and do not eat any meat.

Hot cross buns are a traditional treat on Good Friday. These are small bread-like buns, made from dough that contains raisins, currants and other dried fruit. The top of a hot cross bun is marked with a cross and covered with a sugar glaze. The cross may be cut into the bun or marked with a special dough that remains pale even after it has been baked. Hot cross buns may be eaten as they are, split and spread with butter or toasted.

For Canadians who are not Christians Good Friday is the start of a three or four-day weekend. This is a welcome spring break, which some people use to visit family or friends. It is also a popular time to take a short vacation.

Public Life

Good Friday is a public holiday at a national level in Canada. Schools and many businesses and organizations are closed and many people have a day off work. Post offices are closed and in some areas, particularly in the provinces of Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, stores are closed or have restricted opening hours. Public transport services many run to their usual or restricted timetables. In rural areas, public transport may close down completely.

In Quebec, Good Friday or Easter Monday are a statutory general holidays at the option of the employer. Schools and post offices are closed. Public transport services many run to their usual or restricted timetables. In rural areas, public transport may close down completely.

Background

Good Friday is the day when Christians commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. This is an important event in Christianity, as it represents the sacrifices and suffering in Jesus’ life. The crucifixion was the culmination of a number of events in Holy Week, including: the triumphal return of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the washing of the disciples’ feet by Jesus; and the Last Supper on Maundy Thursday. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

On Good Friday in 1964 (March 27), a large earthquake occurred when a fault between the Pacific and North American tectonic plates ruptured. The epicenter of the earthquake was near Prince William Sound in Alaska, USA, but also caused a tsunami. This damaged or destroyed more than 400 homes in communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, including Port Alberni and Zeballos.

Symbols

The most important Good Friday symbol is the crucifix, or cross, which represents the way Jesus died. Some crosses bear a figure of Christ. Other symbols of Good Friday include black cloth used to cover the cross, paintings and statues in churches and some homes to signify mourning. In addition, some people deliberately create a bare appearance in their homes and churches by removing all flowers and shiny objects.

Napping Day
Mar 14 all-day

Napping Day is an unofficial holiday that falls on the Monday after DST begins.

napping day fun heritage

Take a nap or two to celebrate Napping Day.

The day was created as a way to compensate for the hour people lose because of the clock change. But this is one holiday that most people can get behind..

Short Period of Sleep

A nap is a short period of sleep usually taken during the day. Studies have shown that one or more short naps during the day can help increase productivity and alertness. It is believed that many successful people in history napped often. Some of these people were Einstein, Winston Churchill, and Napoleon.

Many Short Naps a Day

Many animals are polyphasic sleepers. This means that they take multiple naps during the day. Until the invention of electricity and affordable artificial lighting, humans slept in at least two long stretches during the night. They first slept for about 4 hours. This was called first sleep. They then woke up for a few hours during which they smoked, visited their friends and ran other errands. They would then go back to sleep for what is now called the second sleep. This pattern of sleeping went out of fashion by the 17th century, as more and more people began to afford ways to artificially light up their homes after dark and in the early mornings.

How to Celebrate?

  • Take a short nap.
  • If your country does not observe DST, then follow the DST and Napping day schedule of another country. Why lose out on a holiday just because your country doesn’t have DST?

Did You Know…

…that a NASA study among pilots and astronauts found that short naps can increase performance by 34% and alertness by 54%?

Mar
15
Fri
Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
Mar 15 all-day

Honor all the incredible kids in your life on Absolutely Incredible Kids Day, a holiday celebrated every year on the third Thursday in March.

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day Fun Church

Encourage children to do incredible things

The day inspires and encourages kids to do amazing things by letting them know how incredible they are.

Let Them Know

Created by Camp Fire, a multicultural and non-sectarian youth development organization, the unofficial holiday encourages parents and guardians to acknowledge and reward their children’s’ achievements.

Boosts Self-Esteem

Researchers agree that encouragement from parents and family members can raise a young person’s self-esteem and can help them become more responsible. Psychologists also warn that parents should not praise traits that the child cannot change. Instead parents should reserve praise for efforts in areas that are in the control of the child, such as decision making skills, behavior towards other people and animals, responsibility and attitude.

How to Celebrate?

  • Camp Fire encourages people to send letters of encouragement to kids to let them know how important they are.
  • Inspire the children in your life by telling them that they are awesome and that they can do incredible things.

Did You Know…

…that the trampoline and the earmuffs were invented by children?

Holy Saturday
Mar 15 all-day

Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus Christ lay in the tomb after his death, according to the Christian bible. It is the day after Good Friday and the day before Easter Sunday. It is also known as Easter Eve, Easter Even, Black Saturday, or the Saturday before Easter.

Holy Saturday Church

Holy Saturday commemorates the day that Jesus (sculpture of him pictured above) lay in his tomb after he died. He was resurrected on Easter Sunday, the day after Holy Saturday, according to Christian belief.
©iStockphoto.com/Edward Lin

What Do People Do?

Many Christians worldwide observe Holy Saturday by remembering it as the day when Jesus lay in the tomb. It is a day of both sadness and joy among Christians in many cultures. Many churches hold an Easter vigil (watch) service. Discussions about the meaning behind the rituals, prayer and symbols that are all part of the Easter vigil occur during these services. Some churches also hold large baptism services on this day.

Holy Saturday is known as Judas Day in Mexico, where people burn effigies of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Street vendors sell the effigies, which range in height, and make Judas look as ugly as possible. Effigies designed for children are stuffed with candy and hung in patios at people’s homes. Other effigies are seen on the streets or hung on lamp posts. Firecrackers are attached to many of these effigies and are ignited as soon as the Mass of Glory is over. Children scramble for the candy inside the effigies after they explode.

A Czech custom, known as White Saturday, is to rattle keys and burn out Judas by burning the last of the holy oil before the church door. Holy Saturday is observed by the blessing of food and Easter baskets in Poland. Children in many countries spend time decorating and coloring eggs on the Saturday before Easter Sunday.

Public Life

Holy Saturday is a public holiday in many parts of Australia (where it is known as Easter Saturday), and in places such as (but not exclusive to):

  • Belize.
  • Chile.
  • El Salvador.
  • Hong Kong.
  • Macau.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Panama.
  • Papua New Guinea.
  • Samoa.
  • Seychelles.
  • Solomon Islands.
  • Zambia.                    
  • Zimbabwe.

Holy Saturday is not a national public holiday in countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Background

Holy Saturday is the last day of Holy Week and ends the season of Lent. It is also known as the Vigil of Easter. The day is traditionally a time of reflection and waiting. The vigil stems back to when Jesus’ followers spent this day waiting after his crucifixion on Good Friday. It is also known as the day when Roman governor Pontius Pilate instructed guards to be posted at the tomb to prevent Jesus’ followers from removing the body to claim that he had risen from the dead.

Holy Saturday was also known as Great or Grand Saturday, as well as the Angelic Night. It was the only Saturday on which fasting was permitted in the early days of the Christian church. According to some sources, fasting occurred during the entire day or lasted for 40 hours before the Easter Sunday sunrise during the first century CE. This day was a major day for baptisms in the early church. Many churches still hold large services for baptisms on Holy Saturday.

Some people refer to Holy Saturday as Easter Saturday but this is a misnomer, as Holy Saturday is the last day of Lent and the eve of Easter. The Saturday after Easter Sunday is known as Easter Saturday, or Bright Saturday. It is important to note, however, that Holy Saturday is often referred to as Easter Saturday by some government sources in countries such as Australia.

Symbols

The Paschal candle, which is made of white wax, symbolizes leading people out of the darkness into the celebration of the Easter vigil. The candle is marked with a cross, an alpha and an omega (the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet). This symbolizes that Jesus Christ has, and always will be with humanity, and is with humanity now, according to Christian belief.

Soup’s On @ St Stephen's Memorial Hall
Mar 15 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

St Stephen’s Memorial Hall

hospitality-soups on-heritage

Mar
16
Sat
Easter Sunday
Mar 16 – Mar 17 all-day

Easter Sunday in Canada celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his death, which is described in the Christian Bible. Some people observe Easter Sunday by attending church while others spend time with their families and friends or engage in Easter egg activities.

Easter Sunday Canada Church

Easter eggs are part of the Easter tradition in Canada.

What Do People Do?

Easter is a religious holiday that commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death by crucifixion. For Christians, Easter is a day of religious services and family gatherings. Easter Day is a popular day for attending church, getting together for a big family meal, and staging an Easter egg hunt. It is also a good time for people to decorate Easter eggs, join in Easter craft contests and to indulge in holiday recipes, such as mustard-crusted lamb and the Easter basket cake.

The Bal en Blanc’s main event is held every Easter Sunday, attracting thousands of partygoers every year in Montreal.

Public Life

Many businesses, government offices, banks and liquor stores are closed on Easter Sunday.

Background

Many people organized spring festivals associated with the Pagan gods in ancient times. Many festivals celebrated nature’s rebirth, the return the land to fertility and the birth of many young animals.The idea of modern day Easter eggs derives from these festivals.

Many ideas associated with spring were then linked with Jesus Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection as the Christianity spread throughout the world. The crucifixion is remembered on Good Friday and the resurrection on Easter Sunday. The idea of the resurrection became joined up with the ideas of re-birth in Pagan beliefs. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

Easter candles are sometimes lit in churches on the eve of Easter Sunday. Some believe that these can be directly linked to the Pagan customs of lighting bonfires to welcome the rebirth or resurrection of the sun god.

Eggs of all types are an important symbol of Easter. They represent the rebirth of nature in the spring and the promise of new life in the spring and summer months to come and are seen as a reflection of the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. Easter eggs, whether they are made of chocolate or candy or are decorated hens eggs, are common gifts all over the world during Easter. However, the biggest Easter egg in the world is a representation of a Ukrainian Easter egg, known as a Pysanka, located in Vegreville, Alberta.

The Pysanka in Vegreville was constructed in 1974 to mark the centenary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to celebrate Vegreville’s strong links with the Ukraine. It is made of more than 2000 aluminium triangles fixed together with nearly 7000 bolts and 177 internal struts. The egg is more than 25 feet (nearly eight meters) in diameter and is decorated with a gold, silver and bronze design. Its construction represented significant advances in computer modeling, mathematical theory, architectural design and engineering construction.

Mar
17
Sun
Easter Monday
Mar 17 all-day

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday, which commemorates Jesus Christ’s resurrection, according to the Christian Bible. Easter Monday is also a holiday for many Canadians.

Easter Monday Church

A basket of Easter eggs.
©iStockphoto.com/Shannon Long

Celebrate Easter Monday

A proportion of Canadians have a day off work on Easter Monday and for some it is the end of a four-day weekend. People who have been on a short vacation or who have visited family or friends often travel home on Easter Monday. For others, it is a chance to eat their easter eggs, relax and, depending on the weather and when Easter falls, enjoy some time outdoors.

Public Life

The Canadian federal government lists Easter Monday as a statutory holiday but this isn’t the case with some provincial and territorial governments. Some state that the holiday is taken at the employer’s option. Rules about this holiday change and vary across businesses and provinces/territories from time to time.

Schools, businesses and organizations are closed in places where Easter Monday is a day off. Public transport services may run to reduced timetables. In rural areas, there may be no public transport services.

About Easter Monday

Easter Monday is a holiday in many English speaking countries, including England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Australia, and European counties. The tradition of having a holiday on the day after Easter Sunday was brought to Canada by European immigrants. The Easter date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox.

Symbols

Eggs of all types are an important symbol of Easter. They represent the rebirth of nature in the spring and the promise of new life in the spring and summer months to come and are seen as a reflection of the resurrection of Christ after his crucifixion. Easter eggs, whether they are made of chocolate or candy or are decorated hens eggs, are common gifts all over the world during Easter. However, the biggest Easter egg in the world is a representation of a Ukranian Easter egg, known as a Pysanka, located in Vegreville, Alberta.

The Pysanka in Vegreville was constructed in 1974 to mark the centenary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to celebrate Vegreville’s strong links with the Ukraine. It is made of more than 2000 aluminium triangles fixed together with nearly 7000 bolts and 177 internal struts. The egg is more than 25 feet (nearly eight meters) in diameter and is decorated with a gold, silver and bronze design. Its construction represented significant advances in computer modeling, mathematical theory, architectural design and engineering construction.

St. Patrick’s Day
Mar 17 all-day

St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador on the nearest Monday to March 17 each year. It remembers St Patrick, a missionary who converted many of Ireland’s inhabitants to Christianity in the 5th century. His feast day also celebrates Irish culture.

St Patrick's Day Church

St Patrick’s Day, which is an official holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, celebrates Irish culture, history and traditions

What Do People Do?

In some cities, notably Toronto and Montreal, large scale St Patrick’s Day parades are held, often on the Sunday closest to March 17. The parade in Montreal has been held every year since 1824. However, the first recorded celebration of St Patrick’s Day was in 1759 by Irish soldiers serving with the British army following their conquest of part of New France, a French colony in North America. In some places there are Irish cultural events. For instance, the Irish Association of Manitoba organizes a three-day festival of Irish culture in the week of St Patrick’s Day.

People who have an Irish background or enjoy Irish culture may hold Irish themed parties and serve traditional dishes, such as Colcannon or Irish stew. Colcannon is a dish of mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage and Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb and root vegetables. Traditional Irish drinks include stout, a dark beer, and whiskey. Other parties may be themed around the color green. Guests may be expected to wear green clothes and only green food and drink is served.

Public Life

St Patrick’s Day is an official holiday in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is observed by the provincial government, but post offices, stores, many schools, businesses and other organizations are open. Public transport services run on their regular timetables.

St Patrick’s Day is not a public holiday in other parts of Canada. Schools, organizations, businesses, stores and post offices are open as usual. Some organizations may arrange St Patrick’s Day parties, but these do not usually disrupt normal affairs. Public transport services run on their regular timetables. In cities, where parades or large public events are held, there may be some congestion or road closures.

Background

St Patrick’s Day marks the feast day and anniversary of the death of a Christian missionary known as Patrick. He was born in the year 387, probably somewhere near the present day border between Scotland and England. At the age of 16, he was captured and taken to Ireland as a slave. During this period, he became very religious and after six years he fled back to his family.

Later in his life, he returned to Ireland as a missionary. He is said to have played an important role in converting the inhabitants of Ireland to Christianity and in ridding the island of snakes. However, there is no evidence that there have been any snakes in Ireland in the past 10,000 years. The “snakes” he drove out of Ireland may represent particular groups of pagans or druids. It is believed that St Patrick died on March 17 probably in the year 461 or 493 (according to different sources). St Patrick is buried under Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, and is one of the three patron saints of Ireland. The other patron saints are St Brigid of Kildare and St Columba.

St Patrick’s Day celebrations were brought to Canada by Irish immigrants. The day is a bank holiday in Northern Ireland and a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland. In the rest of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, it is celebrated, but is not an official holiday.

Symbols

The most widely-seen St Patrick’s Day symbols are the colors green, and sometimes orange, and the shamrock. The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland and a registered trademark of the Republic of Ireland. It is the leaf of the clover plant, which grows on the ground, often among grass and an Irish Catholic symbol of the Holy Trinity. It is sometimes confused with the four-leaf clover, which is a variety of the three-leaf clover and is thought to bring good luck.

The Lord’s Day
Mar 17 all-day

The Lord’s Day in Christianity is generally Sunday, the principal day of communal worship.

the-lord's-day-fun-heritageIt is observed by most Christians as the weekly memorial of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is said in the canonical Gospels to have been witnessed alive from the dead early on the first day of the week. According to some sources, Christians held worship on Sunday in the 1st century.

How to Celebrate?

  • Attend a Church service. Stay for the meet and greet following.
  • Say a prayer for the first person comes to mind.
  • Resolve to be a kinder person.

Did You Know…

… The earliest Biblical example of Christians meeting together on a Sunday for the purpose of “breaking bread” and preaching is cited in the New Testament book The Acts of the Apostles chapter 20 and verse 7 (Acts 20:7).

Mar
19
Tue
Let’s Laugh Day
Mar 19 all-day

Let’s Laugh Day is celebrated every year on March 19. It is an unofficial holiday that encourages people to laugh and enjoy the benefits of laughter.

Let's Laugh Day

Laughter can help increase the quality of your life.

Studies have suggested that laughter can help people relax and reduce stress. Laughing and being joyful can also have health and social benefits.

Many Health Benefits

Medical studies have shown a few minutes of laughter can reduce blood pressure, increase immunity response of the body and boosts heart rate. Watching or reading something humorous before sleep can also help people sleep better and longer.

Laughing can even burn calories. Research has shown that 10-15 minutes of laughing can burn up to 50 calories.

Friendly People

People who laugh often are seen by their peers as happy and friendly. As a result, they tend to have more friends and are easily accepted as a part of different social groups.

How to Celebrate?

Here are some ways you can celebrate this happy “howl”iday:

  • Laugh out loud for a few minutes on this day.
  • Spend some time reading jokes and funny stories.
  • Watch a funny movie.
  • Attend a stand-up comedy show.

Did You Know…

…that children laugh more than adults? An average toddler laughs about 400 times a day, while an average adult tends to laugh about 15-20 times a day.