Monday, June 24, 2013

Fete Nationale

Today is June 24th - Fete Nationale - or also known as St Jean de Baptiste Day.  It is my last St Jean de Baptiste day in this province - and after 60+ years I realized I didn't have a clue about it's origins.  

It was actually first celebrated in June 1634 when the French revived an ancient Gallic Tradition in honour of the summer solstice.  Around 1834 the St Jean de Baptiste society combined the Gallic celebration with a celebration for the feast of Saint Jean de Baptiste.  And it was in  1977 that Rene Levesque (the then Premier of Quebec) recognised it as a National Holiday.  Basically today it is seen as a separatist holiday - with parades, fireworks and political speeches.

As kids (and  later as a teacher) we always saw June 24th as the official start of summer - school finished the Friday before - the swimming pools opened - the summer sun (usually) came out in full force.  We celebrated 8 weeks of freedom.

Whatever the reason - whatever the cause - today is my last celebration of St. Jean de Baptiste day.  

 In past years W and I have always wandered over to City Hall and listened to the french bands - and hung around waiting for the 10 p.m. firework display.  Not this year though - this past weekend - W came down and we went to a wedding, A vanilla/BDSM wedding.  We all had strict orders (we being the BDSM side) to behave ourselves until the "granny" left.  (which truthfully made me smile as "I" am a granny and didn't leave till the end)  

W only came down for 24 hours and left yesterday after lunch.  I hung onto him for what felt like forever - and he whispered in my ear - "only 6 more days" ....... 

Today eldest daughter and I have plans to sit in the sunshine (if the sun makes an appearance) and have a barbeque this evening.  No fireworks - no french bands - just a quiet relaxing day.

Winding down my final days in Quebec ................


1 comment:

Hermione said...

I used to look forward to that day because, after the parade, the swimming pools finally opened for the summer. And I always loved the final float with a young John standing beside a sheep.


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