National Patriots' Day (French: Journée nationale des Patriotes) is a statutory holiday observed annually in the Canadian province of Quebec, on the Monday preceding 25 May. The holiday was established by the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec-in-Council in 2003, according to the Parti Quebecois premier Bernard Landry: "to underline the importance of the struggle of the patriots of 1837–1838 for the national recognition of our people, for its political liberty and to obtain a democratic system of government." Before 2003, the Monday preceding 25 May of each year was unofficially the Fête de Dollard, a commemoration initiated in the 1920s to coincide with Victoria Day, a federal holiday occurring annually on the same date.
|National Patriots' Day |
Journée nationale des Patriotes
|Official name||Journée nationale des Patriotes|
|Also called||Fête des patriotes (Patriots' Holiday)|
|Type||Historical, secular, patriotic|
|Celebrations||marches, music concerts, banquets, fireworks, public speeches, awards ceremonies|
|Date||Monday before 25th of May|
|2020 date||May 18, 2020|
|2021 date||May 24, 2021|
|2022 date||May 23, 2022|
|2023 date||May 22, 2023|
The citizens of Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu organized, in 1937, the Fêtes du centenaire de 1837, in order to commemorate the "struggles of the Patriotes of 1837–1838 for liberty, the national recognition of our people and for democracy." The festivities took place at various sites across the municipality, and some residents produced souvenirs of the event.
Beginning in 1962, on the 125th anniversary of the 1837 Rebellions, a public gathering in Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu to mark the rebellion became an annual event. On 6 October 1982, the so-called Patriots' Day was declared by the Quebec Governor-in-Council as occurring each year on the Sunday closest to 23 November. The desire to see the Journée des patriotes gained a more official character and incited some citizens to campaign for the celebration to be declared a statutory holiday, either as a new holiday or in replacement of an existing one. In 1987, the Club Souverain de l'Estrie started the movement "For a paid holiday in memory of the Patriots," while other organizations, such as the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Society of Montreal and the Comité du 15 février 1839 (founded by Pierre Falardeau in 1997 to help finance the movie February 15, 1839 (15 février 1839)), later joined in the campaign.
During the provincial congress of the nationalist Parti Québécois (May 5–7, 2000), party members adopted a resolution inviting the government to replace the traditional holiday with a nationalist one.
On 21 November 2001, provincial premier Bernard Landry proposed a motion in the National Assembly of Quebec inviting that body to "underline the importance of the struggle of the Patriots of 1837–1838." An Order in Council was then issued on 20 November the following year, establishing the Journée des patriotes– thenceforth known as National Patriots' Day– as the Monday preceding 25 May, thereby replacing the Fête de Dollard. The moving from November to May was motivated by the will to highlight the starting point of the numerous public meetings organized by citizens throughout Lower Canada from May to November 1837 in reaction to the passing of British Home Secretary Lord John Russell's Ten Resolutions by the House of Commons.
The first official replacement holiday took place on 19 May 2003.
- "An Act respecting labour standards - article 60", in CanLII, updated on May 1st, 2008, retrieved May 31, 2008
- "With respect to statutory general holidays, Order 1322-2002 designated as “Journée nationale des Patriotes” (National Patriotes’ Day) the holiday that falls on the Monday preceding May 25 (known as Victoria Day in the other Canadian jurisdictions)." - Highlights of Major Developments in Labour Legislation (2002-2003), in the site of Human Resources and Social Development Canada, modified September 22, 2004, retrieved May 31, 2008
- "Ce jour férié soulignera la lutte des Patriotes de 1837-1838 pour la reconnaissance nationale de notre peuple, pour sa liberté politique et pour l’obtention d’un système de gouvernement démocratique" - "Congé férié à l’occasion de la Journée nationale des Patriotes", press release of the Office of the Premier of Quebec, November 24, 2002, retrieved May 31, 2008
- "La Journée nationale des Patriotes", in the site of the Maison nationale des Patriotes, updated February 20, 2008, retrieved on May 31, 2008
- For example, the Programme-souvenir: Saint-Charles-sur-Richelieu, le dimanche, 19 septembre 1937. Hommage aux Patriotes de 1837 à Montebello, en octobre 1937, the album Souvenir des fêtes du centenaire de 1837 à St-Denis-sur-Richelieu, P.Q., Canada, 28-29 août 1937, and the Album-souvenir: hommage des citoyens du comté des Deux-Montagnes aux patriotes de 1837, à Saint-Eustache, 10 octobre 1937. Found in the "Catalogue Iris" of Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec
- Gilles Laporte. "La fête des Patriotes : le temps d'agir", in Les Patriotes de 1837@1838, November 10, 2001, retrieved May 31, 2008
- Serge Denis. "Les patriotes de 1837 pourraient déloger Dollar des Ormeaux Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine", in La Tribune, November 19, 2001, retrieved May 31, 2008
- "Congé férié à l’occasion de la Journée nationale des Patriotes", press release of the office of the Premier of Quebec, November 24, 2002, retrieved May 31, 2008
- In English
- Government of Québec portal: Statutory holidays in Québec 
- "An Act respecting labour standards - article 60", in CanLII, updated on May 1, 2008, retrieved May 31, 2008
- "Highlights of Major Developments in Labour Legislation (2002-2003)", in the site of Human Resources and Social Development Canada, modified September 22, 2004, retrieved May 31, 2008
- In French
- Official Website of the Journée nationale des Patriotes
- "La Journée nationale des Patriotes", in the site of the Maison nationale des Patriotes, updated on February 20, 2008
- "Journée nationale des Patriotes", press dossier in Vigile.net, 2000–2005
- Serge Denis. "Les patriotes de 1837 pourraient déloger Dollar des Ormeaux", in La Tribune, November 19, 2001
- Gilles Laporte. "La fête des Patriotes : le temps d'agir", in Les Patriotes de 1837@1838, November 10, 2001