Natal Day was created out of a desire to recognize the special connection mothers have with their babies. On this day in August, Nova Scotia becomes a month-long celebration of love and family. On this day, most places in the province to observe a period of public mourning. Celebrations are usually largest in Halifax and Cape Breton. The entire area observes a three-day period of public grief over the death of a new life.
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What does Natal mean?
The sailor Vasco-da-Gama first used the word Natal from the Portuguese word to celebrate the birth of a great man. Although Natal Day is celebrated in a festive atmosphere in many parts of the world, the fullness of Natal Day celebrations can be seen in the United States, Canada, France, Russia and India.
When is Natal Day?
Natal Day has been celebrated in Halifax since 1672, when the English ambassador to China expressed his desire that a “son may be born of a woman.” When this was first announced, it was met with protest and silence. Several centuries later, the celebration of Natal Day in Nova Scotia took shape. It began with the raising of harts, a tradition still being observed today. An August natal day long weekend was then added to the calendar, making it the fourth annual Nova Scotia birthstone celebration.
- Year > 2023
- Date > 02 August
- Weekday > Monday
Halifax Natal Day
This August time of year, the streets in downtown Halifax and the central city area of Cape Breton are filled with horticulturalists and artists. This famous “Greenwood Avenue” is the oldest commercial street in the Halifax area. On this avenue, artists decorate buildings, markets sell their wares and locals stroll down the main walkway enjoying the festive atmosphere. On the first Monday of August every year, a parade makes its way through the downtown area and the streets are alive with activity.
Fireworks illuminate the sky and numerous vendors sell fresh fruit, handmade crafts, candy, flowers and other goodies to visitors. In addition to the large annual celebration, the town also hosts an on-pork festival, a potluck Thanksgiving dinner and a late night live music concert at the Lanes.
Natal Day Traditions
The tradition of celebrating Natal Day in Nova Scotia started over a hundred years ago. Several families would travel to Marble head, Massachusetts to observe the birthing of the most sacred flower of the season. They would then take their new baby home to celebrate what was then referred to as the “baby parade”. The route of the parade was planned out by a local judge.
This special day would be marked by floats made up of flowers and other colorful gifts that were paraded down the streets of Marble head.
Natal Day Nova Scotia
For many locals, the idea of a Natal Day in Nova Scotia means more than just a long weekend. As the name implies, the entire month of May is considered the “Natal Holiday”. Locals and tourists alike celebrate the joys of motherhood and add a little extra glitz and glamour to what can otherwise be a very mundane event. Throughout Nova Scotia, people decorate their homes with posters and banners that declare support for Natal Month.
Although it is generally recognized as a legal holiday, many people choose to celebrate the day in a more personal way. It is estimated that close to thirty percent of the Nova Scotia population considers the nova Scotia day to be their most cherished holiday of the year. Celebrations abound on what is one of the most popular weekends of the year.
Natal Day is celebrated with much gusto by both residents and visitors. If you are planning a trip to Nova Scotia this upcoming weekend, you may want to consider purchasing a map of the area so that you will know when the next official celebrations will take place.
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