Orangemen's Day in Canada
Orangemen's Day, also known as the "Twelfth" or "Orange Day," is a significant event in Canada, particularly in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a day to celebrate the victory of the Protestant King William III of Orange over the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. This event is commemorated annually on July 12th, although the celebrations may take place on the nearest weekday if July 12th falls on a weekend.
The tradition of celebrating Orangemen's Day in Canada dates back to the late 18th century when the Orange Order, a fraternal organization supporting Protestantism, was established in Ireland. The Orange Order expanded to British North America, and the first Canadian lodge was founded in 1796. The celebration of Orangemen's Day in Newfoundland and Labrador began in the early 19th century, coinciding with the arrival of Irish Protestant settlers in the region. In 1907, the government of Newfoundland officially recognized Orangemen's Day as a public holiday.
National customs for Orangemen's Day in Canada
Orangemen's Day is primarily celebrated in Newfoundland and Labrador, although some events may be held in other parts of the country. The festivities often include parades, featuring members of the Orange Order dressed in traditional regalia, accompanied by marching bands. Participants and spectators alike may don orange-colored clothing and accessories to show their support for the event.
The parades typically begin with a religious service, followed by a procession through the streets, and often end with a gathering at a local park or community center, where speeches, music, and other entertainment take place. The day is also an opportunity for local Orange lodges to engage in charitable activities and support their communities.
Local customs for Orangemen's Day in Canada
In Newfoundland and Labrador, Orangemen's Day celebrations often have a distinctly local flavor, reflecting the unique cultural heritage of the region. For example, traditional Newfoundland music may be played during parades and gatherings, and local foods such as fish and brewis or Jiggs dinner may be served at community events.
In addition to the major parades in larger urban centers, smaller communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador may also hold their own local celebrations, including picnics, games, and other family-friendly activities.
Orangemen's Day is an important event in the cultural landscape of Newfoundland and Labrador, and to a lesser extent, Canada as a whole. It serves as a reminder of the region's historical ties to Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as a celebration of the Protestant faith and the values of the Orange Order. While the holiday may not be widely recognized across the entire country, it remains an enduring tradition in the hearts and minds of those who celebrate it.