CULTURE

Why Do We Celebrate Remembrance Day in Canada?

Remembrance Day is observed on 11th November on the 11th hour of the day every year in the memory of armed forces who sacrificed their lives in the First World War. This memorial day was set into a tradition for all the commonwealth member states by King George V in 1919, further marked as war remembrance day in many non-commonwealth countries. It is also known as Poppy Day owing to the military forces’ remembrance, who were sacrificed on duty while serving the nation.

Why the 11th day in the 11th month?

To recall, according to the armistice signed by Entente and Germany, World War I hostilities ended on the “11th day in the 11th month.” All over the world, people celebrate in various ways respecting and remembering the sacrifice of life by the First World War forces. For example, this day is an official holiday in some countries, including Canada. In several others, it’s not under public holiday declaration like Australia, South Africa, and a few other countries.
On this particular day, traditions vary over parades, ceremonial events, and two-minute silence respecting those who lost their lives in the battle. The British, Canadian, and South African traditions follow the two-minute silence on the 11th hour (11 a.m) of the 11th November. In India, the day is set apart by memorial tributes and in Hong kong by multi-faith ceremonies. However, amid covid, these traditions were either not open to the public or celebrated in a way that restricts the public gathering.

Remembrance Day in Canadian provinces

On the mark of this day, few provinces have declared statutory holidays while the rest are not on a public holiday that includes Manitoba, Quebec, and Ontario. On the other hand, Nova Scotia counts themselves separately according to the remembrance day, missing the 11th day’s tradition in the 11th-month celebration.


2020, being the year of disparities, Canadian citizens tried their best to celebrate this day along with necessary precautions to flatten the surging graph of covid victims. The official parade has been canceled, but few ceremonies will not be open to the public, which means it will be broadcasted online. Furthermore, essential frontline workers marked their poppy pins, altogether the celebrations were moved online, and homage was paid from their own homes. In Vancouver, the victory Square ceremony was broadcasted live on the various online platform with a special request for the people not to lay poppies to avoid the public gathering. Unlike previous years, this day was celebrated with parades displaying on big screens, but the Canadians paid their respect in virtual ceremonies. Thus on the occasion of the remembrance day, the celebration virtually took place, paying respect to the lost lives in the First World War, keeping in mind the rising covid cases in British Columbia.

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