July 1 is Canada Day! You know what that means: strap on your ice skates, bust out your maple syrup, and get ready to learn about the US’s northern neighbor. July 1 is also International Joke Day, which is ironic, given that it shares its day with a country that is often poked fun at for its docile reputation.
But, as we all know, Canada is far from an international joke, and Canada Day is a fun observance, even for people in the US!
Across Canada, July 1 is celebrated in both parades and bars. Typically, Canadians drink millions of gallons of beer over Canada Day weekend. British Columbia alone often downs over one million gallons of beer over the holiday weekend, rivalling similar celebrations in the US on July 4.
What’s more, since 2013, Canada Day has also marked the first day of History Week in Canada. This is a week dedicated to learning more about the country’s history! Citizens are encouraged to visit museums and monuments, and historical facts are widely shared by national agencies.
Canada Day Observations
Canadian cities often throw parades for Canada Day, celebrating the origins of their country. These parades can include street vendors selling food, fireworks, and marching bands. Many have noted similarities between Canada Day and US Independence Day, which falls only three days later, on July 4.
The connections are more than superficial: both are patriotic summer holidays that celebrate the origins of a nation.
Common Canada Day observances also include the cooking and eating of traditional Canadian cuisine. Canadian-style poutine, for instance, is a favorite on July 1 in Canada.
Also popular is the European treat of Baklava, which has taken on a reputation as a national dessert in Canada. Beaver tails, which are fried bread with chili and cinnamon, are another often-consumed national dish.
Canada Day Origins
On July 1, 1867, the Constitution created Canada as we know it today. The act solidified Canada from the three distinct territories into one nation. Unlike the US, which had to fight a war to gain independence from England, Canada became independent in a much more orderly and amicable fashion.
In fact, the UK and Canada have maintained strong ties even after Canadian independence was secured. Canada is still considered part of the “Commonwealth,” and British monarchs still appear on Canadian money. This has lent an air of friendliness and docility to the nation, which colors American perception of Canadians as lovable, gentle, and friendly.