Decoration Day in Canada Date in the current year: June 2, 2024

Decoration Day in Canada Canadian Decoration Day is an unofficial holiday that recognizes veterans of the country’s military. Although it has mostly been eclipsed by Remembrance Day, also known as Armistice Day, it is still celebrated in some parts of Canada.

Decoration Day was celebrated for the first time on June 2, 1890. Originally, it was not a celebration but rather a form of protest for veterans of the Battle of Ridgeway who felt that the government was overlooking their contributions to the protection of the country during the Fenian raids between 1866 and 1871. On the anniversary of the battle, they gathered near the Canadian Volunteers Monument in Toronto and placed their decorations at the monument.

In 1891, the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the battle involved 30,000 participants and drew up to 50,000 of attendees who came to watch the accompanying parade. Decoration Day became an annual event held on the weekend nearest to June 2. It accumulated more participants as further conflicts (the North-West Rebellion, the Second Boer War, World War I) resulted in a larger body of military veterans.

Due to the actions of the veterans of the Fenian raids, the British government created special service medals to recognize participants in the pre-World War I Canadian armed conflicts. However, the popularity of Decoration Day began to decline after the establishment of Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the Armistice of November 11, 1918 that ended the First World War. Nevertheless, some recognition of Decoration Day persists.

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Decoration Day in Canada, unofficial holiday, commemoration, holidays in Canada