Being Canadian, I am seldom offered the opportunity to celebrate my country or act patriotic. Sure, we have Hockey but if you aren't aware of how we react to our national sport, read my previous post here. July 1st is Canada day. It is the day that marks Canada's birthday. This year, my country turned 144 ( I think), and the day was marked with celebrations including parades, fireworks, a stat holiday (on a Firday, yippee!) and some moderate drunkenness. Some say it is akin to the July 4th celebrations int he USA, but I beg to differ.
This year was the second year that I missed out on my nations birthday. Instead, I have been in the USA to celebrate their nations independence (well that wasn't my reason for going to the USA, but it just worked out timing wise.) I don't really get it, having only a slight clue ofwhat it is all about (I am neither a history buff or American) but I do know that it is one hell of an excuse to party! This year, I spent the day floating down the Clackamas river getting daytime drunk. It was hot hot hot out , around 30 C, ( I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit) and it was the perfect way to celebrate summer, regardless of my nationality. At night I celebrated by going on a motorbike ride (as a passenger, more on that in an upcoming blog post) to watch some fireworks.
The 1st thing I noticed when driving through the state of Washington on July 1st was the numerous places to purchase expolisives. I mean, at home we have a handful of places to buy fireworks around Halloween , but nothing for Canada day. We do have fireworks displays, but no one really ventures out to blow up their own, instead flocking to the city or the town square to watch. In the USA, everyone has fireworks! Days before the 4th, the sky will be randomly lit up with colour, even in quiet neighborhoods, and there are people on every corner holding signs to direct traffic to the nearest place to buy them. We went to watch a display, but there were numerous private diplays in every direction. On the ride back, while on the highway, the sky was constantly lit, until after midnite. On the way back from the fireworks show, I noticed that the places to purchase more fireworks was still open even though it was 11 pm! I suppose there could be a few patriots that were runing late and still wanted to blow shit up in the last hour of the 4th... I personally love fireworks, and think it's great that so many people were putting on personal displays. I continued to watch through the window after returning to the house.
So, I didn't end up getting as drunk or partaking in a BBQ like I did last year, but I smelled BBQ everywhere I went and went for a wonderful patio burger at a pub situated on the Columbia. I feel a tad guilty for missing Canada day 2 years in a row, but I'm sure that my absence went un-noticed. Here is a small shout out to my nation: link to a post by a fellow blogger listing some wonderful canadian creations.
I am proud to be North American, proud to be Canadian, and proud of the Americans for partying harder than us on their July holiday. Cheers to all, even if it is a little belated ( I am on vacation and there is a keg of raspberry flavoured beer here....)