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Festivals and Holidays

Festivals

Canada celebrates various festivals the whole year round.

Seasonal Festivals:

Seasonal festivals are celebrated to observe the changing of seasons.
In spring there are many festivals to celebrate the end of winter.
• maple syrup festivals in Ontario and Quebec
• apple blossom festivals in Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia
• tulip festival in Ottawa
Tulips were donated by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in appreciation of the role Canada and Canadians played in the liberation of Holland during the Second World War. The tulip festival attracts countless visitors from around the world.
In summer most festivals centre around seasonal foodstuff like strawberries, blueberries, potatoes and seafood. They are mostly held outdoors to take advantage of the warm weather. The aboriginal peoples also celebrate their festivals with dances and music at this time of the year.
There are festivals to celebrate the different traditions of Canada.
Lumberjack festivals: British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec hold lumberjack festivals are which celebrate the country’s lumber and timber traditions. Competitions are held to see how quickly trees can be climbed and stripped of their bark, as well as log-rolling contests on rivers and lakes.
Highland festivals: These are held in Atlantic Canada, especially Nova Scotia. The people of this region trace their ancestral roots back to Scotland and the Scottish Highlands. Dances like the Scottish fling and highland music is enjoyed. There are hammer and pole throwing contests as well.
The Calgary Stampede: Summer is also the time for the famous Calgary Stampede. It is held in the beginning of July and is one of the biggest rodeos and agricultural exhibitions in the world. It starts with a parade down Calgary’s main street and concludes at the fairgrounds. The Stampede includes bronco and bull riding, team rodeos, chuck wagon races, etc. There is a wide variety of foodstuff. It is known as The Greatest Outdoor Show in the World.
Canadian National Exhibition also takes place in end of August and beginning of September and continues for ten days. The Exhibition goes back to 1878 and in 1912 it was officially named the Canadian National Exhibition.It has shows with famous performers from all over the world, exhibitions are held and major events are organized. People come from all over the world to see it.
A Sound Symposium is held in Saint John’s, Newfoundland every second year. Composers, musicians, visual artists, and technicians assemble and the city celebrates a festival of music. One of the major events is a “fog horn symphony.” It is composed by a different composer each time, performed in Saint John’s harbor, and scored for the horns and bells of all the ships moored in the harbor. Fall is the time for fairs.
Agricultural Fairs: The majority of these fairs are rural and involve displays of livestock and farm equipment, horse races, cattle pulling contests etc.
Oktoberfest is held in places like Ontario which have large German populations.
Winter is also the time for some famous festivals.
Winter Carnival in Quebec City, a pre-Lenten celebration, initially celebrated from 1894 to 1900 was revived in 1950. Winter events like ice sculptures, boat races on the ice across the Saint Lawrence River, toboggan rides and slides etc. are held along with various other competitions.
The Winterlude Festival in Ottawa also has a variety of winter events, such as skating and racing on the Rideau Canal, the longest skating rink in the world at 7.8 kilometers.
The Sourdough Rendezvous is held in Whitehorse ,Yukon. Here dogsled, snowmobile and snowshoe races are held and contests for flour packing and pancake making are organized.