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Remembrance Day in Canada

Learn about Remembrance Day in Canada, the Holiday and its Traditions


Remembrance Day in Canada

The poppy serves as a symbol of remembrance for those who died defending their country or in the name of peace.

Photo © C Squared Studios / Getty Images

Public Holidays in Canada | Christmas in Canada | November in Canada

What is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day (Veterans Day, falls on the same date in the U.S.) is a day set aside by the Commonwealth countries to remember and honour the men and women who have died in war and military operations.

When is Remembrance Day?

Remembrance Day in Canada is observed every year on November 11.

This year, Remembrance Day falls on Monday, November 11, 2013.

How is Remembrance Day Observed?

For some provinces and territories in Canada, Remembrance Day is a statutory holiday, meaning most employees are entitled to the day off. Banks, schools, libraries, and many stores and businesses close. In other provinces like Ontario, it's business as usual; however some employers give their staff the day off.

Across Canada, whether November 11 is a statutory holiday or not, people gather for remembrance ceremonies, special church services, laying of wreaths and the observance of two minutes of silence at 11 am (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).

The official Canadian national ceremonies are held at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario, according to a strict protocol.

Symbols of Remembrance Day

The poppy is the most prevalent symbol of Remembrance Day. Artificial poppy pins are offered by war veterans and other volunteers in exchange for a donation in the days leading up to November 11th. The poppy's significance stems from when poppy fields grew over top of the graves of fallen soldiers in Flanders, France.

The poem, In Flanders Fields, written by Canadian John McCrae has become synonymous with Remembrance Day and recited at many of the ceremonies.

In Guelph, Ontario, the McCrae House is a popular place to gather for Remembrance Day services, though the John McCrae homestead is open year-round to the public.

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