Around The World

The parades, music and fireworks so closely linked with the America”s 4th of July observances are actually common ways to celebrate independence. During the month of July, America, Canada, France and the Bahamas all observe their independence holidays with lively parades and music.

Canada

Our northern neighbor, Canada, celebrates the establishment of its federal government on July 1st. Known today as Canada Day, this holiday, previously known as Dominion Day and Confederation Day, commemorates the British North America Act of July 1, 1867, that gave Canadians Home Rule.

The national celebration is always observed on the 1st, unless it falls on a Sunday, in which case it is observed on the following Monday. Fireworks, parades, picnics and other events mark the occasion and, in recent years, are often combined with the July 4th events in the states that border Canada.

France

Bastille Day, yet another July freedom festival, is observed in France on July 14th. On this day in 1789, the infamous Bastille prison was stormed by the people of Paris, and the date is now generally acknowledged as the end of the French Monarchy and the start of the French Republic.

Like its American predecessor, the French Independence Day honors the event with military parades, music, gatherings at bistros and cafes, holiday meals, and, by nightfall, a huge display of fireworks over the City of Lights.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas, which celebrates its independence on July 10th, also uses military parades and music to commemorate its freedom from British rule, although the islands” celebrations maintain a Caribbean flair. Modeling the freedom celebrations on the Christmas festival of Junkanoo, the holiday parades feature bright colors, masks and costumes. Similar to Mardi Gras celebrations, Junkanoo parades are held in the cities of Nassau, New Providence and Freeport.