Orangemen's Day

Orangemen's Day Quick Facts

AKA NameTwelfth, July 12th
2024 DateJuly 12, 2024

Orangemen's Day (NL)

Orangemen's Day (NL) in

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Orangemen's Day History

Orangemen's Day commemorates the victory of King William III, a Protestant, at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. It pays tribute to the religious, political, and social heritage of the Protestants in this region. Orangemen's Day is often associated with the Orange Order, a Protestant fraternal organization that aims to preserve and promote Protestantism.

The Orange Order was established in Ireland in 1795 and expanded to Newfoundland in 1863 with the formation of lodges. With Newfoundland being home to one of the largest Irish Catholic and Protestant populations in Canada, this day holds significance to many Newfoundlanders. The Orange Order played a noteworthy role in the island's social and political life in the 19th and early 20th centuries, shaping the development of the province's institutions, including its education system.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Orangemen's Day is observed with parades, lodge gatherings, and community events organized by the Orange Order. The parades feature participants in traditional attire, with orange sashes and symbolic regalia, accompanied by music. Orangemen's Day is a public holiday in the province and typically falls on July 12th. When this date falls on a Sunday, the holiday is observed on the following Monday, meaning that the celebrations and events take place on the weekend or on the nearest weekday.

Top facts about Orangemen's Day

  • Every year parades are held all around the world to celebrate Orangemen's Day. The longest running parade in North America is said to be the Orangemen's parade in Toronto. It is said to have been held since 1821.
  • The first Orange lodge in Newfoundland was established in the capital city, St. John's, in 1815.
  • The Orange Order was an international Protestant order originally based in Northern Ireland. It was established in Canada in 1830 by Irish immigrant Ogle Gowan. The primary goal of the order was to protect Protestant civil and religious liberties. It spread across Canada and attracted many members. In the 1950s, about 35% of the men in Newfoundland and Labrador belonged to the order.
  • According to the tradition, if it rains on Orangemen's Day, it means forty days of wet weather will follow.
  • Those who march in the parade often wear a dark suit, an Orange sash, white gloves, and a bowler hat.
  • Orange parades were often sources of tension and sometimes violence, known as Orange riots, between Protestant and Catholic communities in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Top things to do for Orangemen's Day

  • Plan a vacation or trip with families and friends as this holiday is a provincial paid holiday for many.
  • Attend a march or parade. Although they were more popular several decades ago, many still participate in them.
  • Use the occasion to learn more about the history and significance of the Battle of the Boyne and the Orange Order.
  • Several places like Lodge’s rooms are open to the public where historical artifacts related to the Orangemen's are displayed.
  • Some people enjoy spending the day off fishing - it is, after all, summer.

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