Independence Day celebrations are a highlight of summer for people in both Canada and the United States. Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4) give North Americans reason to revisit the great moments that shaped what their countries have become.
Canada Day is the national day of Canada. It is a federal statutory holiday that marks the anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution Act of 1867 – then referred to as the British North America Act, 1867. Originally called Dominion Day, the holiday was renamed Canada Day in 1982, the same year the Canada Act was passed.
Various locations across Canada host Canada Day celebrations. According to www.canadaday.gc.ca, areas like Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park and The Canadian Museum of History are just a few places in the capital region of Ottawa to celebrate Canada Day. But Canada Day is celebrated across the country as well. There’s no specific guidelines that govern Canada Day celebrations, but the festivities often include parades, concerts, fireworks, festivals, barbecues, and/or maritime shows.
From the year 1776 to present day, July 4 has been celebrated as the birth of the United States of America. Referred to as the Fourth of July or Independence Day, July 4 has been a federal holiday since 1941. However, the tradition and celebration surrounding it dates back to the 18th century and the American Revolution.
On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the original thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation and no longer were a part of the British Empire. Independence from Great Britain was formally proposed on July 2, 1776. However, the formal Declaration of Independence was debated and revised, ultimately earning approval on July 4.
Much like their neighbors to the north, American celebrations include family gatherings, vacations, barbecues, parades, firework displays, and many other festivities. Many Americans prominently display the American flag on July 4, and many more decorate their homes and businesses in red, white and blue. Washington, D.C., New York and Boston host stunning fireworks displays to commemorate Independence Day. Many small towns and cities also host their own Independence Day fireworks displays.