How to Celebrate Our Neighbors to the North on Canada Day

The 1st of July is to Canadians what the 4th of July is to Americans. However, unlike the 4th of July, where the country celebrates independence from the British empire, Canada day has a convoluted history. For starters, it marks the anniversary of the Confederation, of which the Dominion of Canada came to be. As such, it was previously known as Dominion Day in the 1860s.

Interestingly, the Indigenous Peoples were not consulted in the enforcement of the British North America (BNA) Act. It is also worth noting that the Dominion contained only four provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec. However, in 1982 all ten provinces and three territories of Canada were unified, and the Constitution was repatriated. That is when it came to be known as Canada Day.

If you are as amped as we are to celebrate this Canadian national holiday, here’s what we recommend:

Dress Up!

Dressing up in patriotic outfits is one of the easiest ways to slip into the mood. You can easily find a classic red and white combination as a nod to the Canadian flag. Chances are that you already have these colors in your wardrobe, so pulling it off won’t require anything extra.

However, if you wish to go the extra mile, find pins and buttons or even items of clothing bearing the full-fledged flag, featuring the trademark maple leaf. Even draping a flag around your shoulder works in a pinch. You can even  wear accessories such as Canadian flag hats or paint your nails (or body) in reds and white to show off your Canadian pride!

Host a Canada Day Potluck

Since July is a time for temperate weather, you should consider hosting a Canada Day potluck. Throw on red and white table covers, put on some flags, and crank up some music from Canadian artists to set the tone. As for the food, you can easily put together some Canadian favorites like poutine, maple bacon snacks, fried bread with chili and cinnamon, lobster rolls, Canadian pizza, fried clams, and more.

At the same time, you can have a barbecue with juicy meats fresh off the grill with a side of bread and salad. For dessert, you can always whip up some strawberries and cream (red and white, remember?). You could also serve classic Canadian desserts like Nanaimo Bars, Quebecois Maple Pudding, and Butter Tarts to treat your sweet tooth. With such a lavish spread, feel free to dig in!

Attend a Parade

While parades are far more common in Canada, places across the world with a significant Canadian population also celebrate by holding parades. The turnover at such events is impressive, as you will see several participants, including marching bands, street performers, artists, face painters, float operators, and more.

You will find several novelty flags, flyers, stickers, and decals being distributed at these events. For smaller crowds, a bike parade is always an option. You can always attend your local Canada Day parade or even host one. Don’t forget to rehearse your “O Canada” before you show up! Even if you can’t participate in the parade, simply hanging the Canadian flag outside your storefront will let everyone know that you are present in spirit.

Have a Fireworks Display

Having a fireworks show to celebrate Canada Day is a no-brainer. Whether you plan it after the potluck or at the end of the parade, it would still be an excellent way to end the day with a bang (quite literally). The sparkling red and white backdrops that light up the sky would be an excellent call for kicking back and relaxing as you crack open a cold one.

Mark the Makers

As stated already, Canada Day has its fair share of complications. For some, it is a sign of colonization of the Indigenous People. Given their treatment over the years and how such atrocities are coming to light in the recent past, a lot of people find it fitting to not celebrate Canada Day. If that’s your personal belief, then so be it.

However, rather than dismissing it as any other day, you can use the opportunity to recognize the indigenous population and celebrate their rich culture, heritage, and customs. Given the history, it would be more befitting to do so!

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