Natal Day is a holiday observed on the first Monday in August in Nova Scotia. This holiday was started in 1895 as a way to celebrate the history of Nova Scotia. Why is it called Natal Day? It’s because “Natal” is the Latin word for “birth,” so this holiday is essentially Nova Scotia’s birthday celebration—a celebration during which people can take a three-day weekend, enjoy some local festivities, and just have a good time.
The History of Natal Day
When this holiday was first conceived in 1895, it was intended to celebrate the birthday of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia was organized on July 1, 1867. So why is this holiday celebrated on the first Monday in August instead of in July? It’s because the initial birthday celebrations were set up to mark the arrival of the local railway line. Unfortunately, the railway line was delayed, so the day was repurposed to celebrate the history of Halifax and Nova Scotia.
Facts About Halifax & Nova Scotia
Over the course of our research, we came across a ton of interesting facts about Halifax and Nova Scotia in general—facts that we think anyone reading about Natal Day will want to learn about. So let’s get to it and look at what we dug up.
There are six universities in Halifax. These are Dalhousie University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary’s University, and the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design.
- There are more pubs in Halifax than in any other Canadian city.
- Nova Scotia has two national parks: Cape Breton Highlands and Kejimkujik.
- Nova Scotia is almost halfway between the equator and the North Pole.
- Since the 18th century, Nova Scotians have been called Bluenosers.
- The dead from the Titanic were taken to Halifax.
- The first Supreme Court in North America was established in Halifax in 1754.
- Canada’s first covered skating rink was opened in Halifax in 1883.
- One of the world’s longest downtown boardwalks is in Halifax.
- The oldest salt-water passenger ferry in North America is in Halifax: The Halifax Transit Ferry.
- One of the most photographed lighthouses in the world is at Peggy’s Cove.
- The first public school in Canada was opened in Halifax.
Observing Natal Day
On and around this holiday, a variety of cultural events are on display. Large festivals are held in Halifax and Dartmouth, and these celebrations can include the baking of a large birthday cake, parades, live entertainment, and family-friendly events. There are also usually fireworks displays around the Macdonald Bridge, as well as barbecues and communal breakfasts. People also use the hashtag #NatalDay on social media to spread the word about this holiday.