Embracing traditional holidays while celebrating new ones 

By: Vincent Tran 

Published on: April 13 2023

Photo: RODNAE Productions (Pexels)  

Canada is an extremely diverse country with many different cultures coming together to live in this nation. In almost every major city there is a celebration from many different cultures happening almost every week.  

Being in such a diverse country may make it hard for you to focus on your roots and your own traditional holidays, but it doesn’t have to be this way.  

You can embrace your culture and its customs and traditions while also becoming more and more Canadian and partaking in Canadian holidays, as well as other holidays celebrated by the different cultures in this nation.  

Here are a few ways in which you can embrace your own culture’s holidays, while also celebrating new holidays. 

When are Canada’s national holidays? 

According to canada.ca, there are 12 national holidays in 2022: 

  • New Year – Jan. 1, 2022  
  • Good Friday – April 15, 2022 
  • Easter Monday – April 18, 2022 
  • Victoria Day – May 23, 2022 
  • Canada Day – July 1, 2022 
  • Civic Holiday – Aug. 1, 2022 
  • Labour Day – Sept. 5, 2022 
  • National Day for Truth and Reconciliation – Sept. 30, 2022 
  • Thanksgiving Day – Oct. 10, 2022 
  • Remembrance Day – Nov. 11, 2022 
  • Christmas Day – Dec. 25, 2022  
  • Boxing Day – Dec. 26, 2022  

Each province also recognizes their own holidays on many different days, which you can check out here

Photo: Andre Furtado (Pexels) 

Ease yourself into Canadian culture 

A good way to stay true to your culture is to ease yourself when settling into Canadian culture.  

Canadian culture could be a lot different from what you’re used to, so it’s best to just take your time and get into it at your own pace. You don’t have to rush to be Canadian if you aren’t comfortable with it.  

Take time to do what you are used to and celebrate your culture’s holidays when they come. It will help you feel better and more relaxed if you take this at a slower pace 

Photo: Rakicevic Nenad (Pexels) 

Celebrate with others 

When it comes to holidays and celebrations, it is best done with others.  

If you don’t know too many people in Canada, you could try to find some communities that are from the same country you are from or have similar beliefs to you. Chances are that someone similar to you will be willing to bring you into their community and make you feel at home.  

If someone is from the same country as you and they also still follow along with their own traditional holidays, then you can join them and build a connection with that person.  

Also, you could share your traditional holidays with others who aren’t familiar with your customs and practices. This could be a great way to connect yourself with others because they will begin to learn more about you and understand you better. It will also make you feel less lonely because you’ll have someone with you who is also learning something new.  

Celebrating your traditional holidays with others is a great way of hanging onto your culture and background, while also beginning a new chapter in your life.  

Photo: Cottonbro (Pexels) 

Non-Canadian holidays 

As Canada is such a diverse nation, there are many people celebrating other holidays from their own cultures and religions as well.  

All throughout Canada you can see people celebrating holidays such as Diwali, Eid al-Fitr, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, etc.  

If you have any friends that celebrate some of these holidays, you can ask them questions so you learn more about their customs and practices during those holidays. If you’re up for it, you could join along with them to get a first-hand experience of the kinds of things that people do during those holidays. 

If you’re just genuinely curious about these different holidays but don’t have many friends that celebrate them, you could learn more about them by talking to people from community centres that celebrate those holidays or you could read more about them on the internet or through books.  

Learning about other cultures’ holidays is so important, especially in Canada where there are so many different people from numerous backgrounds. It can help you build relationships and a better understanding of other people.   

Photo: RODNAE Productions (Pexels) 

Take part in Canadian holidays 

A good way to feel more a part of Canadian culture is to take part in Canadian celebrations and holidays. 

Some of Canada’s most popular and celebrated holidays include Canada Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 

On Canada Day, typically in many cities across the country there are parades, gatherings, and festivals where many Canadians get together and celebrate the day of the Confederation of Canada. You can check out your local parade and see many different fireworks shows happening.  

Thanksgiving in Canada is a holiday where everyone typically gets together with their families and they eat a meal, while saying things that they are thankful for. Usually people will go out to buy a turkey that they’ll cook and eat for dinner, but many families do different things and eat all kinds of different meals. Thanksgiving is a great holiday to spend time with family and have a good time in each other’s company.   

Canadian Thanksgiving is also different from American Thanksgiving in that it takes place one month before in October. Canadian Thanksgiving also occurs every second Monday in October, while American Thanksgiving occurs on the last Thursday in November.   

Christmas is a traditional holiday for Christians and Catholics where they celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But many non-Christians also celebrate Christmas as well, as it is a time of gift-giving and joyous family gatherings.  

Even if you aren’t Christian or Catholic, you can join in on the gift-giving and gatherings. Christmas is a time where people get together and enjoy one another’s company and gathering with your friends or family can bring you closer to each other and form better bonds.  

Learning about new holidays is a big part of living in Canada, that’s why a great thing about Canada is that the diversity of this country allows you to settle into Canadian culture, without losing a bit of your own culture. 

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