The Fête nationale du Québec ("Quebec National Holiday") is the official day of Quebec, Canada. The festivities occur on June 23 and June 24 and are organized by the Comité organisateur de la fête nationale ("national holiday organizing committee"). Originally, June 24 was a holiday honouring the patron saint of French Canada, St. John the Baptist.
Quebec City, and in particular the Plains of Abraham, become the focal point of the holiday. There are a number of Quebecois bands that play on a large stage and a huge bonfire is lit nearby. The crowds are tremendous and moving around is difficult. Everywhere people are on the streets drinking, hanging from the walls, and revelling down Grand Allee. Remember these words if you go. "Bonne St. Jean!"
The origins of the traditional festivities are more than 2000 years old. Among several European peoples, the summer solstice was the object of pagan celebrations. Fires were lit during the night in this period of the year when the days are longest. With the arrival of Christianity, the celebration of the event remained; however, it took a new spiritual significance. The celebration of the Saint-Jean-Baptiste was a very popular event in the France of the Ancien régime. The tradition landed in North America with the first French colonists. According to the Jesuit Relations, the first celebrations of this Christian day in New France took place around 1638.
In 1977, a ministerial decree of the government of René Lévesque made June 24 the national holiday of Quebec. Saint-Jean-Baptiste day thus became the day of all Quebecers rather than only those of French-Canadian origins.
Even thought people don't speak english here as much as in Montreal, saying : Bonjour, can go a long way..
June 24 = 'St-Jean-Baptiste'Quebec's national holliday. a 3 day fest full of bonfires, outdoor concerts, Quebec flags and painted faces
24 juin = Date de la St-Jean-Baptsite, la fete nationale Québecoise! Beaucoup de feux de joie, de visages peints, de concerts et de drapeaux Quebecois! :)