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Happy Birthday Canada!

C'est son 146 anniversaire

by Holly Hartman
Map of Canada

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The year 2014 marks the 147th celebration of Canada Day, which commemorates the day that Canada became a nation. The holiday is observed on July 1 (unless that date falls on a Sunday, in which case Canada Day is observed the following day).

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act united the British colonies of Upper Canada, Lower Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into "one dominion under the name of Canada." These four colonies became Canada's first four provinces; Lower Canada was renamed Quebec, and Upper Canada was renamed Ontario.

The July 1 holiday was known as Dominion Day until October 27, 1982, when an act of parliament established the name Canada Day. The new name symbolized a step away from Canada's colonial past. The holiday had also sometimes been known as First of July or Confederation Day. Like Fourth of July festivities in the United States, Canada Day is celebrated with such summer pleasures as picnics, barbeques, and fireworks.

The name Canada derives from an Iroquoian word for "village," kanata, that French explorers heard used to refer to the area near present-day Quebec City. Today, Canada comprises ten provinces and three territories.



When the Provinces and Territories Became Part of Canada

Alberta 1905
British Columbia 1871
Manitoba 1870
New Brunswick 1867
Newfoundland 1949
Northwest Territories 1870
Nova Scotia 1867
Nunavut 1999
Ontario 1867
Prince Edward Island 1873
Quebec 1867
Saskatchewan 1905
Yukon Territory 1898

Canadian National Holidays

New Year's Day January 1
Victoria Day the Monday on or preceding May 24
Canada Day July 1
Civic or Provincial Holidays* first Monday in August
Labour Day first Monday in September
Thanksgiving Day second Monday in October
Remembrance Day November 11
Christmas Day December 25
Boxing Day December 26
*moveable holiday; the first Monday in August is observed as a holiday when no other civil or provincial holiday is observed on another date

Information Please® Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

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