Happy Family Day!

Family of snowmen

Happy Family Day!

It’s Family Day, a winter holiday in Canada, and a special day in recognition of the role of families in the life of a community. Enjoy!


The winter is long, dark, and cold across most of Canada. We are so far north that 85% of the population huddles along the border with the US, in the hopes that some of that Arizona and Florida sunshine will somehow slip its way above the 49th parallel.

Of course, it never does. But we live in hope.

Family Day lands somewhere between the statutory holidays of New Year’s Day and Good Friday (usually in April). The idea, I’m sure, was to give winter-weary Canadians a free day off, and good reason to go outside to spend a bit of coin on winter frivolities. The days are longer and a bit warmer, the ski conditions are optimal, and the canal in Ottawa is probably frozen to create the longest skating rink in the country.

Mathematically, the coldest day of the year in Canada is at the end of January, so we’re ‘over the hump’ as it were. Throw in a bit of jealousy about Quebec partying  it up with its annual Carnival festival, and voila, a movement to create a long weekend was born.

But what rationale would Canadians accept? Not religion (we are too diverse). Not some dead monarch (we still acknowledge one of those). Not war (done that). Not founder dates (like founding of the country or the province or the flag). Not some special interest group (labor day?). Our pluralistic, non discriminatory, equality-obsessed society landed on Family as the reason to take a day off.

I’m sure back in pioneer days the idea of a family was the traditional mother-father-son-daughter conscript, but today the definition of Family is much more diverse.

So enjoy your day off with whoever you define as your Family. As for me, I’ll probably go cycling in the coastal mountains provided it doesn’t rain too much, and then make dinner for my Family.

I’ll return in a week’s time…


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