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Fete nationale du Quebec

The Fête nationale du Québec (Quebec National Holiday) is the official day of Quebec. The festival occurs on June 24 and is organised by the Mouvement national des Québécoises et Québécois and the Société St-Jean-Baptiste. Originally, June 24 was a holiday honoring the patron saint of Quebec, St. John the Baptist. The day still is in fact very often called "la St-Jean" by the population of Quebec.

The celebration of St-Jean-Baptiste Day took its patriotic tone following the lead of Ludger Duvernay, who would later become president of the Société St-Jean-Baptiste. In 1834, a patriotic banquet gathering about sixty Montreal francophones and anglophones in lawyer John McDonnell's gardens, near the old Windsor station. Parades of allegorical floats were first introduced in 1874. In 1880, during a banquet in Quebec city, the first performance of Ô Canada took place. From 1914 to 1923, the processions were not held.

In 1968, violent acts occurred during the festivities. Afterwards, "la St-Jean" evolved into a festival for all Quebecers rather than only those of French-Canadian origins. Mainly by the actions of the Société St-Jean-Baptiste and the Mouvement national des Québécoises et des Québécois, the day was finally secularized and renamed the Fête nationale du Québec under the Parti Québécois in 1977.

Today, the Fête nationale is a huge cultural festival celebrating the achievements and diversity of Quebecers.

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