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Festivals in Film: Natal Day in Halifax, Canada

Celebrated on the first Monday of August, the civic holiday is celebrated by Canadians all over the country. Celebrating in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island consists of “birthday” parties for their provinces. Huge birthday cakes are prepared and distributed. Other events include communal meals, parades, sporting activities, and firework displays.

Celebrating the city’s 117th Natal Day, the city of Halifax came together for pancake breakfasts, family picnics, sporting events, live concerts, fireworks, and to me, the most exciting part, the Natal Day parade. It is said to be the longest parade in Atlantic Canada. A patriotic day, you see a lot of the Nova Scotia flag as well as the Canadian flag flying around the city and being the main port of the navy in the Maritime, there was also a lot of celebrating in the armed forces.

The civic holiday is known by a variety of names in different provinces and municipalities, including British Columbia Day in British Columbia, New Brunswick Day in New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan Day in Saskatchewan. The holiday is celebrated as Natal Day in Nova Scotia, but is not an official statutory holiday.

Nova Scotia has been a member of the Canadian Confederation since its inception on July 1, 1867, and Prince Edward Island since July 1, 1873. The term “natal” is derived from the Latin word for “birth” and hence, Natal Day is the official “birthday” of the provinces. The first Natal Day celebrations were organized in 1895 and were intended to mark the arrival of the railway line in the area. However, the construction works were delayed and the day became a celebration of the history of Halifax and the surrounding area. (Reference)

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