What is the list of statutory holidays in Canada?

by CiCi
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In Canada, statutory holidays, also known as “stat holidays” or “public holidays,” hold cultural, historical, and religious significance. These holidays are observed nationwide, granting employees time off from work to celebrate, commemorate, or relax with family and friends. Understanding the list of Canadian statutory holidays is essential for both employers and employees to ensure compliance with labor laws and to plan personal and professional activities effectively.

New Year’s Day (January 1st)

New Year’s Day marks the beginning of the Gregorian calendar year. It is a time for reflection, celebration, and setting new goals for the upcoming year. Canadians often gather with loved ones on New Year’s Eve to ring in the new year with fireworks, parties, and traditional meals. On January 1st, many businesses, government offices, and schools are closed to observe this holiday.


Good Friday (Friday before Easter Sunday)

Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and is observed by Christians worldwide. It falls on the Friday before Easter Sunday and is a significant religious holiday in Canada. Many Christians attend church services and participate in religious ceremonies to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. Good Friday is a statutory holiday in most provinces and territories, allowing Canadians to spend time with family and engage in religious observances.


Easter Monday (Monday following Easter Sunday)

Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday and is observed as a holiday in Canada. While not as widely celebrated as Good Friday or Easter Sunday, it provides an extended weekend for Canadians to relax and spend time with family. Some communities may hold Easter egg hunts or other festive events to mark the occasion. Many businesses and schools remain closed on Easter Monday, allowing employees and students to enjoy an extra day off.

Victoria Day (Monday preceding May 25th)

Victoria Day, also known as May Long Weekend or May Two-Four, honors Queen Victoria’s birthday and celebrates the reigning monarch’s official birthday in Canada. It typically falls on the Monday preceding May 25th and marks the unofficial start of the summer season. Canadians often celebrate Victoria Day with outdoor activities, fireworks displays, and community events. It is a statutory holiday across Canada, providing an opportunity for people to enjoy the warmer weather and spend time outdoors.

Canada Day (July 1st)

Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, commemorates the anniversary of the Confederation of Canada on July 1st, 1867. It is a day of national pride and patriotism, marked by festivities, parades, fireworks, and concerts across the country. Canadians celebrate their cultural heritage and diversity on Canada Day, often wearing red and white clothing and displaying the national flag. Many businesses, government offices, and schools are closed on Canada Day to allow people to participate in celebrations and enjoy time with family and friends.

Labour Day (First Monday in September)

Labour Day honors the contributions of workers and the labor movement in Canada. It falls on the first Monday in September and marks the unofficial end of the summer season. Labour Day parades, picnics, and demonstrations are held in cities and towns across the country to advocate for workers’ rights and social justice issues. Many Canadians use Labour Day as an opportunity to relax and enjoy outdoor activities before the start of the fall season. It is a statutory holiday in all provinces and territories, providing a long weekend for workers to rest and recharge.

Thanksgiving Day (Second Monday in October)

Thanksgiving Day is a time for Canadians to give thanks for the harvest and blessings of the past year. It falls on the second Monday in October and is celebrated with family gatherings, feasts, and expressions of gratitude. Traditional Thanksgiving foods include roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. Many Canadians also participate in charitable activities and volunteer work to help those in need during the holiday season. Thanksgiving Day is a statutory holiday nationwide, allowing people to take time off from work and spend it with loved ones.

Remembrance Day (November 11th)

Remembrance Day honors the sacrifices of Canadian military personnel who have served and died in wars and armed conflicts. It falls on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I, and is marked by solemn ceremonies, including two minutes of silence at 11:00 a.m. Canadians wear poppies as a symbol of remembrance and attend memorial services to pay tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers. While Remembrance Day is not a statutory holiday in all provinces and territories, it is widely observed across the country, with many businesses and schools closing for the day.

Christmas Day (December 25th)

Christmas Day celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and is one of the most widely observed holidays in Canada. It is a time for religious observance, family gatherings, gift-giving, and festive meals. Many Canadians decorate their homes with Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments, and exchange presents with loved ones on Christmas morning. Churches hold special services, including midnight Mass, to commemorate the Nativity. Christmas Day is a statutory holiday nationwide, allowing people to take time off from work and enjoy the spirit of the season.

Boxing Day (December 26th)

Boxing Day, observed on December 26th, is a day for charitable giving and shopping discounts in Canada. It originated as a tradition of giving gifts to service workers, such as mail carriers and servants, on the day after Christmas. Today, Boxing Day is known for its sales and promotions, with many retailers offering deep discounts on merchandise. Canadians often take advantage of these sales to purchase holiday gifts, electronics, and household items. While Boxing Day is not a statutory holiday in all provinces and territories, it is widely recognized and observed across the country.

See also:When is Australia Day Public Holiday 2024


The list of Canadian statutory holidays reflects the cultural, religious, and historical diversity of the country. These holidays provide opportunities for Canadians to celebrate, commemorate, and spend time with family and friends throughout the year. Understanding the significance and observance of statutory holidays is essential for employers and employees to ensure compliance with labor laws and to plan personal and professional activities effectively. By recognizing and respecting these holidays, Canadians can uphold traditions, strengthen communities, and foster a sense of unity and belonging nationwide.


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