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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What's the significance of St John The Baptist Day?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36523points) June 23rd, 2014

I just saw this day on my calendar and just thought I’d throw this out there for the jellies. It’s apparently a French Canadian holiday? I’m not big on religion but maybe there’s someone out there that can fill me in on the story.

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13 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

I would assume it’s somehow related to John the Baptist.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Darth_Algar No shit? I wouldn’t have guessed that.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It’s the Québécois nationalist holiday, known as fête Saint-Jean or la fête nationale. It occurs a week before Canada Day, about which you can draw your own conclusions. It’s political, but not violent. And not religious, although it is named for a saint.

Lots of beer drinking, pot smoking, and flag waving. Pretty much like any other holiday.

filmfann's avatar

@dappled_leaves So, pretty much “lose your head” day?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@filmfann Nah, not that wild.

zenvelo's avatar

@dappled_leaves All the women act like Salome?

It’s also Midsummer’s Eve. A night to go wild…

Strauss's avatar

Lutheran, Anglican, Orthodox and Catholic Christians celebrate the feast day of the Birth of St.John the Baptist on June 24.

a very popular event in the Ancien régime of France, and it is still celebrated as a religious feast day in several countries, like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Spain, Latvia and Lithuania.

Accordint to the Wikipedia, the tradition landed in Canada with the first French colonists. According to the Jesuit Relations, the first celebrations occurred on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River on the evening of June 23, 1636, with a bonfire and five cannon shots.[12] It has become a celebration of Canadien unity, especially since the end of the Lower Canada Rebellion.

LIke many national and ethnic holidays, it has become a reason to celebrate by getting wasted.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Yetanotheruser “It has become a celebration of Canadien unity”

I wouldn’t try saying that here.

Strauss's avatar

@dappled_leaves Did not mean to offend, if I did. Please educate me.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Oh, you’re not offending me. But no one calls the québécois Canadiens unless they’re referring to players on the hockey team… and even then, they’d call them the Habs, not the Canadiens. This is the Québec national holiday – note they do not call it a provincial holiday – it’s a time for them to remember their distinctness from the rest of Canada. Not their Canadian-ness.

Strauss's avatar

Thanks for the info. I had gotten it all wrong!

zenvelo's avatar

The important dating of St John the Baptist day is that it is 6 months before Christmas. That’s how the Church figured out where to put it on the calendar.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@zenvelo If you are speaking of the religious holiday, yes. The feast day of St. John the Baptist is celebrated by Christians all over the world. However, in Quebec, it has been co-opted as a patriotic holiday. It’s a very different celebration.

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