National Patriots' Day

National Patriots' Day Quick Facts

2023 DateMay 22, 2023
National Patriots' Day (QC)

National Patriots' Day History

National Patriots’ Day is a statutory holiday in Quebec which seeks to commemorate the men and women who fought for their political freedom from Britain during the Patriots War in 1837. This day serves as reminder for what those men and women fought for: the national recognition of our people, political freedom, and obtaining a democratic system of government.

National Patriots’ Day was established in 2002 by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. It is celebrated annually on the Monday preceding May 25th.

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National Patriots' Day Facts

  • According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the Parti canadien was the first political party in Canadian history. Formed in the 19th century, this party was an alliance of French Canadian deputies who were elected to a legislative assembly of Lower Canada. In 1826, the party became known as the Parti patriotes.
  • In 1968, the television series Le Sel de la semaine selected doctor Jean-Olivier Chénier as the greatest French-Canadian hero. Born in 1806, Chénier was a medical doctor who was involved in politics with the Patriote leaders of the Deux-Montagnes region. He organized resources and was responsible for helping the boycotting of British goods.
  • Shortly after the rebellions of 1837-1838, the new Province of Canada wanted to unite English and French Canadians. To express their loyalty to the monarchy, they created a holiday in 1845 celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria. This celebration did not stand well with French-Canadians however. Tensions rose over the years until 1937, a century after the rebellions. Reminded of the rebellion and the bravery of the patriotes, the people of Quebec celebrated the anniversary of the 1837-1838 rebellion. Throughout the 20th century they would continue to advocate for a public holiday commemorating the patriotes. In November of 2002, the Quebecois government would finally establish Journée nationale des Patriotes, or National Patriots' Day.

National Patriots' Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Attend a heritage tour hosted by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Montreal. The tour goes through Old Montreal and includes theatrical capsules.
  • Visit the Saint-Eustache church in Paris, France. The church launched its own self-guided tour called Sur les traces des patriotes or following in the Patriotes’ footsteps.
  • Watch the historical drama film The Long Winter (1999) to learn more about the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837.

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