Have you ever wondered why we have a long weekend right in the middle of our summer? Do you know which particular long weekend I’m talking… err… writing about? As your calendars may suggest, indeed, I’m referring to the upcoming long weekend in early August.
The first Monday in August is a special day for many, and is commonly recognized as Heritage Day. British Columbia Day, New Brunswick Day, and Saskatchewan Day are all celebrated on the same day but I’m going to let you in on a secret. All of these are just different names for the same holiday! They really are Heritage Day in disguise!
In the year 1974, the Albertan Government announced that the first Monday of August would be, from there onwards, called “Heritage Day” to honour, recognise, and celebrate the rich history Alberta’s Citizens had shared. “Heritage Day” was renamed as “Simcoe Day” in the year 1969 in Toronto, thus done to honour the Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, and the public declaration of the Act Against Slavery.
Later, the first Monday of August started to become known as “Heritage Day” in the other Provinces and Territories of Canada. This is how British Columbia Day and the other such versions of Heritage Day came into existence; however, the difference in names should not blind us from seeing that at the heart of all these differently named “versions” of the holiday is but one strong purpose: to preserve and celebrate Canadian HISTORY and HERITAGE. Also celebrated on this day are Natal Day (from Nova Scotia), and Terry Fox Day (from Manitoba).
To conclude, I have a short haiku that I created in honour of heritage day:
Heritage Day’s great!
Past and present, oh, we’re proud!
Our nation’s happy!
Enjoy celebrating the upcoming Heritage Day 2015 on August 3rd, especially now that you’ve realized it’s significance to our homeland, and join Canadians across Canada in remembering all the little things that add up to make our country big!