Another St-Jean Baptiste Day has blown in on the summer wind from across the sea, or wherever.
The provincial holiday originates from the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of John the Baptist, which was super exciting for the French settlers because there was fuck-all else to look forward to in late-1600s Quebec, save the end of your brutal life. The so-called “national holiday” was created here because the French went to a lit-ass St-Patrick’s Day parade and they wanted in on the action, but also to make it all about them and do it in warmer weather. History!
Confusing? Totally. DON’T lose your head, but DO check out these tips for ways to spend a sweet, smoky, St-Jean.
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Call things by their names
Our provincial government is constantly threatening to try and enact legislation that forces large corporations to translate their names into French. Think Meilleur Achat, Reine des Produits Laitiers, and Pomme for Best Buy, Dairy Queen, and Apple, par exemple. Wack. Call things by their familiar names while you can because things could change at any time, rendering it impossible to purchase a phone charger or ice cream cone without considerable snickering.
Grow some cannabis plants
Celebrate Quebec’s rebellious culture by flaunting a flagrant disregard for Quebec law! Premier Phillipe Couillard’s Liberals passed Bill 157 this week, which bans the home cultivation of cannabis, clashing with the Feds’ Bill C-45 that allows Canadians to grow up to four plants at home, depending on their province. Get your civil disobedience on and get gardening! It’s for the good of the nation.
Get kind of blue
Blue is a colour that evokes calm and relaxation, but find the right shade of royal and it is suddenly screaming VIVE LE QUÉBEC so loud that you can’t hear your own thoughts over its sheer, patriotic vibrancy!
Start by thinking about what in your life could – nay, should – be blue, and express your patriotism by dyeing, painting or staining it to your liking. Paint a plant pot (super relaxing when stoned), wallpaper yourself an accent wall, (slightly less relaxing when you’re stoned), or dye your hair an intense cobalt (considerably less relaxing when you’re stoned). The primary risk of the latter activity is that you could get dye all over yourself and be mistaken for a member of the Blue Man Group whilst in public – but if you play along and bang on some trashcans, maybe people will buy you drinks.
Don’t celebrate at all
Holidays are overrated. There are too many people in the streets, lots of things are closed, public transportation somehow manages to get even less reliable, and you KNOW it’s gonna be swampy and gross outside – because this is Quebec and we can’t have nice things/weather. What’s a Montrealer to do? Again, we draw inspiration by looking to history.
What better way to espouse the ideals of classic QC-brand Separatism than to separate oneself from all people, society, and responsibilities? Treat yourself this St-Jean by smoking up and tuning out.
If you feel like pissing off a fellow local, party your ass off and then tell them you’re just practising for Bastille Day. Throw a ‘Bonjour-Hi’ into the mix for an extra-inflammatory experience.