Is Yukon Heritage Day a Public Holiday?
Yukon Heritage Day is a statutory holiday in the province of Yukon, according to Holidays 2020. The holiday is celebrated on Friday that falls before the last Sunday of February month. All businesses, retail stores, and shops, as well as the schools, and universities remain closed on this day. Public Transportations also do not follow their usual route. However, offices of the federal government continue to open.
Yukon Heritage Day Holiday History in Canada
Yukon Heritage Day in Canada, unlike other similar holidays in the country, is observed on Friday that falls before the last Sunday of the second month of the year. On the contrary, Heritage Week in other territories (commemorated as Family Day in five provinces) is celebrated on the third Monday of February. Let’s take a look at what history has to say about this festival.
Yukon Heritage Day was established in February 1976, to allow a long weekend for the government employees, students, and teachers of the Yukon province. A part of the Collective Agreement in April 1975, it was included because there was no major holiday after New Year and Christmas, until Easter. The day is dedicated to connecting with our loved ones and learning more about our heritage and family values.
The smallest of the Canadian territories, Yukon is home to a significant population of First Nations communities, even though the majority of its citizens are of European descent. 2011 Census claims that almost 24.2% of the population is of Aboriginal origin. Their heritage, languages, and festivals are recognized and given importance by the government here. Yukon Heritage Day is a time for paying tribute to these 14 First Nation groups, which have a basic claim to the land.
Public Life on Yukon Heritage Day in Canada
Falling on the last Friday of February, Yukon Heritage Day is a long-weekend celebrated with much enthusiasm in Canada. People usually take the time to visit their relatives near and far or spend time with their families through various activities. These include Winterfests, a popular event throughout Canada that begins with the onset of winter, sometime before Christmas. These fests continue throughout the Heritage Week as well and are widely attended. Other such activities include winter sports, museum visits, going to the farmer’s markets, and more.
Things To Do On Yukon Heritage Day in Canada
If you are hoping to enjoy the celebration with your family, and are looking for some fun things to do on Yukon Heritage Day in Canada, then here is a list of activities that you may appreciate:
1. Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous
The annual festival held in Whitehorse, during February usually coincides with the Yukon Heritage Day. Started in 1945, this Winterfest was a week of nothing but fun, and it still is today. Today, the celebration is spread for a more extended period and is filled with not only the original sports and activities, but also numerous new events. Dog Team Derby, Ski & Snowshoe Races, Ice Skating, Ice Hockey, Snowshoe Ski Ball, Bowling, Basketball, and so many more winter sports are enthusiastically played by both amateurs and professionals.
In addition to this, contests declaring the Queen of the Carnival, Miss Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous, best beards, Mr & Mrs Yukon, Sourdough Sam, etc. are held. Dancers and bands from around the country are invited, and some are even named Superstars of the year. Fireworks, barbecue, ice sculptures, dance performances, air shows, fiddle contest, and numerous other competitions are also a part of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous.
If you are looking for something to do on Yukon Heritage Day, then this Winterfest is the best place to be. Not only do you have the opportunity to partake in various activities with your family, but also get to connect with the heritage of Yukon. In the words of the Rendezvous committee, "the core of the fest is to gather all Yukoners and celebrate another winter passing. It recognizes and commemorates all that is Yukon."
2. Yukon Quest
Another significant event that often coincides with the Yukon Heritage Day in Canada is the Yukon Quest. Started in 1984, this sled dog race is spread across the thousand miles between Fairbanks, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon. From the US to Canada, this ’toughest race in the world’ is held during the harshest winter conditions. The race course follows the route of the historic 1890s Klondike Gold Rush. More significantly, the quest celebrates that as well as the heritage of Yukon. Thus, one of the best things to do on Yukon Heritage Day is to watch the Yukon Quest and root for your favourite team and musher.
Yukon Heritage Day Observances
|2019||Fri||22 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2020||Fri||21 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2021||Fri||26 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2022||Fri||25 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2023||Fri||24 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2024||Fri||23 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
|2025||Fri||21 February||Yukon Heritage Day||Local de facto holiday|
1. How do other provinces celebrate Yukon Heritage Day in Canada?
The Yukon Heritage Day falls on the last Friday of February. On the other hand, Heritage Day in other provinces and territories of Canada is celebrated on the third Monday of February.
2. Where else is Heritage Week in Canada celebrated?
Heritage Day is commemorated as Family Day in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and New Brunswick. It is called Louis Riel Day in Manitoba, Nova Scotia Heritage Day in Nova Scotia, and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island.
3. Is Heritage Day in Yukon and Alberta the same?
No. Yukon Heritage day falls in February, whereas Alberta Heritage Day is celebrated on the first Monday of August. Moreover, the latter is an optional holiday, while the former is a public holiday.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Yukon Heritage Day in 2020? The date is 21 February, Friday.
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