St. Jean Baptiste Day is a celebration of the Francophone culture in Canada. While St. Jean Baptiste is a Quebec’s patron saint, the Jean Baptiste Day is more pagan than its religious roots and hence remains as a secular holiday today.
This day was originally a celebration of the summer solstice. But in 1834, after being inspired by the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Montreal, a famous journalist named Ludger Duvernay, rallied to create Quebec’s own St. Baptiste Day holiday. The holiday regarding St. Jean Baptiste Day resulted as an expression of cultural pride. In 1908, the Pope honored St. John the Baptist as the patron saint of French Canadians. For a number of years, this holiday took on a religious side as it was strongly influenced by the Catholic church. However, now the holiday has been relieved of its religious undertones and is purely secular.
A lot of events are organized and held on the St. Jean Baptiste Day. Events such as concerts, sports tournaments, parades and fireworks are the most regular ones held every time. Families and friends gather for picnics, barbecues, bonfires and even for the children’s entertainment. The church bells are heard from every church in celebration of this day and public dances and fairs are also held. The flag of Quebec are widely spread across as they symbolize the St. Baptiste Day. Even though it isn't a custom or a must, but many people choose to wear blue or white clothing to the celebrations.
For years together, the St. Baptiste Day was celebrated on the 24th of June. This event originated some 2000 years ago and used to be celebrated on the 21st of June but with the arrival of Christianity, the event was shifted to 24th since both of the traditions had certain common bonds between them. Both the events involved in celebrating the symbol of light.