Canadian Culture: Celebrating Family Day
February is the month when most provinces in Canada celebrate Family Day. This heartwarming holiday, which falls on the third Monday of February, was proclaimed in 1990 to emphasize the importance of family values. It’s the perfect opportunity for families to spend quality time together, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. This year, in 2024, Family Day is observed on Monday, February 19.
Canadian Family Day Traditions
Family Day is celebrated as a time to unwind and engage in activities that celebrate togetherness. Families who enjoy outdoor activities would take advantage of the winter season by going skating, snowboarding, or snowshoeing. Families who prefer indoor activities would arrange movie nights, play board games, and cook together.
- Do you enjoy skating? Check out the City’s outdoor skating rink.
- Are you looking for other winter sports? Try skiing or snowboarding at the recreation centre.
- Check out the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) Family Adventure Walk on Feb 19, 2024.
Numerous communities also organize special events on Family Day to allow families to connect with their neighbors and celebrate the spirit of unity.
Newcomers’ Guide to Celebrate Family Day
Family Day can be an excellent opportunity for newcomers to Ontario to immerse themselves in Canadian culture and build connections within their communities. Join the crowd and try the winter activities by learning to skate, ski, or even snowboarding. If you are new to these activities, check out your local community centres, as they may provide lessons for beginners and equipment rentals for a fee.
Is your family member in another part of the world?
Use this opportunity to connect with your neighbours and fellow newcomers by organizing a potluck gathering or visiting local landmarks to explore the city. Potlucks bring a chance to connect with others by sharing culturally diverse foods. Not only do they allow people to discover new flavors and cuisines, but they also promote a sense of community and belonging.
Most newcomers who have settled in Canada bring their culture and traditions to celebrate the holidays. I’ve interviewed some newcomers on how they usually spend the holiday:
“As I am usually busy with work, I plan to spend more time with my family on the Family Day long weekend.”
“I am Ukrainian, and we have a strong sense of community and hospitality, especially when it comes to holidays. My family tradition is to make pierogi by hand for some major holidays and celebrations, and we make a couple of pierogi with surprise fillings inside. Whoever finds the surprise pierogi can make a wish, but they have to finish eating it if they want their wish to come true. Sometimes, it is not a pleasant surprise.”
“My plan for Family Day is to have a meal together and maybe play a Scrabble game.”
Whether you are a long-time resident or a recent newcomer, this day offers a chance to enjoy the company of your loved ones, participate in fun activities, and strengthen the bonds that tie us together as a community.
Are you new to Canada?
The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre is a welcoming place for newcomers in the Greater Toronto Area and Ontario to get trusted and reliable settlement information.