Every year, certain Canadian regions commemorate National Acadian Day on August 15 to honor the Acadian people and culture. The Acadian leaders were given the mandate to designate the date of this celebration, which is also the feast of the Assumption of Mary, during the first National Convention of the Acadians in Memramcook, New Brunswick, in 1881. The Acadians, who originated in France, were the first Europeans to permanently settle in Canada.
History of National Acadian Day
The history and culture of Canada’s Acadian people are commemorated on National Acadian Day. When France founded Nova Scotia in Port Royal in 1605 as North America’s first permanent settlement, thousands of Acadians were compelled to abandon their homes and relocate as a result of the Great Upheaval, which lasted from 1755 to 1763. Many people eventually returned to the Acadian region, but others never did.
National Acadian Day was founded in 1881 at the first National Convention of the Acadians in Memramcook, New Brunswick, when the Acadian leaders were given the task of deciding on a date for the celebration, which coincided with the Assumption of Mary’s feast day. The date was the subject of a debate at the convention between those who wanted Acadians to commemorate Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, which has been a national day of French Canadians since 1834 and a national holiday of Quebec since 1977, on June 24, and those who wanted the commemoration to take place on August 15.
During this time, a significant number of Acadian leaders were traditionalists who desired the preservation of pre-revolutionary France’s ideals and practices. This did not stop the Acadians from adopting a tricolor flag at the Miscouche convention three years later. With his statement before the conference, Abbot Marcel-François Richard, who supported August 15, is thought to have influenced the outcome. By January 1938, the Vatican approved the Acadian convention’s choice in a declaration. National Acadian Day became an official Canadian holiday in 2003, thanks to the efforts of the Canadian Parliament.
National Acadian Day timeline
National Acadian Day is established at the first National Convention of the Acadians.
The first Congrès Mondial Acadien (C.M.A.) is held across municipalities in Southeastern New Brunswick.
A Royal Proclamation recognizes the wrongs suffered by the Acadians when they were forcibly deported from Acadie from 1755 until 1762.
The provincial governments officially recognize National Acadian Day.
National Acadian Day FAQs
Can you see the Northern Lights in Acadia?
The Northern Lights can often be observed from Downeast Acadia’s northernmost reaches.
Is Acadia home to bears?
On the island, there is a small permanent population of black bears.
Can you go hiking at night in Acadia?
Acadia National Park’s Park Loop Road is open at night, allowing visitors to drive into and around the park.
National Acadian Day Activities
Make plans to visit Acadia
Festivals are held by Acadians to celebrate their centuries-old traditions, as well as contemporary arts and culture. Festivals are held all year in Acadian and francophone towns around the province, so plan a vacation to Canada to see them for yourself.
Read about Acadian history
It's possible that you've never heard of Acadia, a French colony in North America. Now that you've heard of them, it's time to learn more about their culture and history for yourself!
Listen to music from Acadia
Good music has a way of burying itself in our hearts. It's something that brings us all together. Listen to Acadian music or Google up and listen to Acadian artists.
5 Facts About Acadia That Will Blow Your Mind
Acadia's first capital
Port Royal was Acadia's first capital and was erected in 1605.
Bolognino Zaltieri named an area far to the northeast of present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 'Arcadia' in 1566.
The inspiration behind Acadia
The term ’Quoddy,’ which means open sloop-rigged sailboat, was thought to have inspired the name Acadia.
Acadia was famed for its abundance of cod, which drew European traders and fishermen to its shores.
The Acadian dialect
Chiac is an Acadian dialect prevalent throughout the region.
Why We Love National Acadian Day
The view from Otter Cliff
Otter Cliff, at 110 feet above sea level, is the spectacular climax of the Ocean Walk. It's a popular rock climbing destination, and it's composed of Cadillac granite, the unique pink rock that Acadia is known for.
Being one with nature
Acadia is all about taking in the beauty of nature, and camping and stargazing add to the experience. The park campgrounds are inexpensive, nice, and clean, even if they are a little run-down.
It commemorates Acadia's past
Acadians' history is commemorated on National Acadian Day. It honors their history and culture while also preserving their legacy.
National Acadian Day dates