Bonne fête, mes amis! Happy St. Jean Baptiste, everyone!

There’s not much going on in Toronto to mark La Fête nationale. I, myself, am celebrating by playing guitar in the pit for my daughter’s school production of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, which doesn’t seem quite à propos. I’m going to see if I can work some Beau Dommage or La Bottine Souriante into the intermission…

Anyone else celebrating today?

Unfortunately I’m not in the country right now; I’m in Europe until Monday so I can’t even watch the shows on television. Too bad. Celebrate for me!

Started yesterday (hic !). I intend to continue today. In the meantime, here is a little something from Plume Latraverse, our national iconolast and from Offenbach

Bonne fete, mes amis!

Unfortunately, it’s a workday here. Fortunately, our local professional association’s annual golf tourney is this afternoon, so I won’t be spending all day in the office. I’ll raise a biere froid for you.

Celebrate who to the what now?

Went to bed early last night and slept until nearly noon. Very, very grateful for this day off in the middle of the week. No actual plans for tonight, either. I love just taking a complete day off with no obligations and no responsibilities.

Bonne St. Jean!

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We had a Missa Solemnis in his honour yesterday. We sang an alternating chant/polyphonic version of the office hymn for the day, Ut queant laxis, famous as being the one used by Guido of Arezzo to name the notes of the scale.

It’s the feast day of John the Baptist. He’s the patron saint of French Canadians. It’s an official holiday in Quebec, and a big deal to Quebec nationalists.

Puerto Ricans celebrate the Eve, particularly those that live in San Juan. D’uh, it’s their patron saint! Beach parties!

Brazilians in the Northeast of their country also celebrate St. John, as part of the Festas Juninas.

And, more specifically, of his nativity. Unlike all other saints, it’s his nativity that is the important feast. The celebration of his martyrdom on 29 August is much more low key.

Oh, cool. Thanks for the info. I was gonna wiki it myself, but then said screw it and that I’d read up on it if another doper pitched in, which you did. Have fun y’all, but not too much :wink: We wouldn’t want to lose our heads over this.

Happy SJ-B Day, eh? :slight_smile:

Interesting. I don’t think it was until reading this thread that I connected St-Jean Baptiste and St John the Baptist in my head. I learned them as two separate things…

I guess Ministre posted his OP while I was trying to get this connection to work. Thanks to the passing mod who merged our threads.

So, how were the shows?

I’m up for the big parade every year alongside Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair. We had a fundraising barbecue at our organizer’s house (who lives right next to the beginning of the parade route) and then marched with them and the other politicians.

The old parade route downtown was more fun, before they started having all those giant puppets and floats and things. We had to stand around for more than an hour while they all passed by, before we could join the parade.

Last night, I did instrumental versions of ‘Harmonie du soir à Châteauguai’ and ‘Pour un instant’ during the intermission. Bit obvious, maybe, but then again, this is Toronto.

I then got a bit naughty - in the underscoring for the scene where Glinda the Good Witch tells Dorothy that she has always had the power to go home, (There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.) I played the introduction to ‘Over the Rainbow’ and played the melody to ‘Mon Pays’ in the same key for one verse. I did the same this afternoon, and a couple of the French immersion teachers got it.

What’s a federalist Anglo doing playing ‘Mon Pays’ anyway, I hear you ask. Well, I’ve always thought it was a beautiful song, and
‘Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver
Mon jardin ce n’est pas un jardin, c’est la plaine
Mon chemin ce n’est pas un chemin, c’est la neige
Mon pays ce n’est pas un pays, c’est l’hiver’

says Manitoba as much as Québec to me. I know, I’d get myself in a lot of trouble if I said that east of the Ottawa River…

This afternoon, I played instrumental versions of Bruce Cockburn’s “The Trouble with Normal”, “They Call it Democracy” and “Laughter” in honour of the G8/G20 [del]invasion[/del] summit. Nothing but lively topical humour in the Orchestra Pit when I’m in charge…

While I can’t say for sure if Vigneault agrees with me, this song is to me not about any human country at all, but about the whole experience of winter, and all it entails in terms of lifestyle. It’s about living in the Northern lands, not in any particular country. To me that’s what the phrase “my country is not a country; it is winter” means.

I’m sure Vigneault had his experience of winter in Quebec in mind when he wrote it, since he comes from the North Coast anyway. But I don’t think he’d mind that you also knew “his country” growing up in Manitoba. And I don’t know who would mind if you said so east of the Ottawa River. People would just be amazed that you even knew this song.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.