Is Commonwealth Day A Public Holiday In Canada?
Commonwealth Day in Canada is not a public holiday in the country but merely an observance, according to Holidays 2023. It occurs on the second Monday of March each year, and businesses, schools, retail stores, etc. follow their usual schedule for the day. This year, the celebration will fall on 13 March 2023.
Commonwealth Day Holiday History in Canada
After the demise of Queen Victoria in 1901, her birthday was celebrated as Empire Day, even though it was not a formally recognized affair. But in 1916, the commemoration was declared to be an official event, and this was extended throughout the Commonwealth nations. Empire Day holds a symbol of unity of feeling honour in the ideals of freedom, justice and forbearance for which the British stood in front of the world.
The Commonwealth Day was founded on 11 December 1931. The second Monday of March was chosen as the date because it had no previous historical connotations. Thus, it was a day exclusive to the British Empire and the Commonwealth union. The principal idea was to remind the children that they are a part of the British Empire. This was so that they realized, along with others that formed the unity of Commonwealth Nations, what it meant to be the sons and daughters of the famed, renowned Empire.
However, after the Constitution Act, 1982 as Canada gained independence from Britain, the country drifted from this feel. Therefore, in 1958, Harold Macmillan, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, declared the renaming of the Empire Day to Commonwealth Day. Every year Commonwealth Day holds a different theme, and according to that, the people of Canada mark their celebrations. Commonwealth Day serves to promote the issues and core values of the countries that are a part of the unity of the Commonwealth nations.
Public Life on Commonwealth Day In Canada
The public life on Commonwealth Day in Canada involves no uniform manner of a convention for the celebration. Throughout the day, people contribute to marking the work, dedication, and gratitude of the Commonwealth of Nations to the creation of an amicable international atmosphere. On Commonwealth Day in Canada, the Royal Union Flag is raised alongside the Canadian national flag from sunrise to sunset. However, they are flown together only where two flagpoles are available at establishments including federal buildings, military bases, airports, and more.
When the official Maple Leaf flag was resolved by the parliament in 1964, they decided to retain the Union Jack. It was a symbol of the country’s inclusion in the Union of the Commonwealth, as well as their allegiance to the Crown. Other activities on the day include listening to the Queen’s speech for the day, special programs, ceremonies, and assemblies.
Commonwealth Day Observances
|2019||Mon||11 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2020||Mon||9 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2021||Mon||8 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2022||Mon||14 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2023||Mon||13 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2024||Mon||11 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
|2025||Mon||10 March||Commonwealth Day||Observance|
1. Who are the Commonwealth nations?
There are 53 members of the Commonwealth system to the extent. Few nations are realms, meaning the Queen is Sovereign, some are independent Republics, while others are the Monarchies, i.e., they have their own monarch as Head of State.
2. Which countries celebrate Commonwealth Day along with Canada?
Commonwealth Day is celebrated by the oldest members of the Union, which are Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia as they all joined in 1931.
3. Is there a Commonwealth flag?
The flag of the union of the Commonwealth of Nations is considered to be an official flag which includes the symbol of the Commonwealth in gold on a blue background. It’s a golden globe surrounded by 34 sunrays forming the letter C.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Commonwealth Day in 2023? The date is 13 March, Monday.
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