Acadia Day is celebrated every year on August 15th. The festivities began in 1881 when the first national Acadian Convention was held in New Brunswick. Ever since, August 15th, also known as “Quinzou” (a contraction of French “Quinze Août”) has become a day to celebrate all things Acadian.
Here are 6 ideas of things to do on Acadian Day in Nova Scotia, and celebrate this day like the locals:
1. Wear the Acadian flag colours!
While visiting any Acadian community, you’ll likely see the blue adorned with a yellow star, white and red colours of the Acadian flag flying proudly outside of Acadian homes, businesses and buildings. Enjoy wearing the colours that evoke valiance, joyfulness and resilience as you celebrate this special day with the rest of Acadia!
2. Treat your tastebuds to Acadian traditional foods and dishes
Depending on where you are in Acadia, the menu may include scrumptious Seafood chowders (“Chaudrée aux fruits de mer”), Acadian Fricot, Rappie Pie (“Râpure”), Meat Pie ("pain à la viande"), fresh lobster, or perhaps even a less common dish: Acadian green soup. This is a savoury soup made of all the green veggie goodies you could dream of served with a mouth-melting Acadian buttery biscuit. If you see this specialty offered on the menu, go for it, it’s a true Acadian traditional treat! There are all sorts of wonderful ways to indulge in Acadian traditional flavours on Acadian Day, don't hesitate to ask for meal recommendations, locals will be happy to help you find the best meal options to make the most of Acadian Day!
Tintamarre is a vibrant Acadian tradition that involves a joyful, cacophonous parade where participants create as much noise as possible, typically celebrated on August 15th to mark National Acadian Day. This unmissable demonstration is not merely about celebration; it has profound historical and cultural significance for Acadians. While the festival itself dates back to the 1950s, the Tintamarre is a proud nod to the endurance of the Acadian people and a declaration of their presence, especially after the gruelling Grand Dérangement, when they faced deportation by the British in the 18th century. When British soldiers arrived at any Acadian home, the homeowners would warn their neighbours by making as loud a noise ("tintamarre") as possible. Festival participants use a medley of instruments, from traditional drums and violins to pots, pans, and whistles, making the Tintamarre not just an event, but a powerful expression of Acadian identity, unity, and survival.
4. Listen to Acadian music:
Whether at restaurants showcasing local music talent or attending special events and festivals, discover the astonishing variety of Acadia’s musical landscape. Although traditionally dominated by the fiddle, and with influences such as bluegrass and Down East fiddling, Acadian music is experiencing an exciting emergence of artists bringing all sorts of new registers to the music scene, such as Acadian folk-pop (Sylvie Boulianne), electro-bluegrass (P'tit Belliveau) and even punk rock (Peanut Butter Sunday).
5. Experience the best "Quinzou" fun
Live all the best of "Quinzou" celebrations in various Acadian communities of Nova Scotia. These different events will all showcase their beautiful traditions, and host activities that best reflect their local specificities. Each community will have a colourful and fun time in store for you, and you can always count on the fabulous warm hospitality of Acadians as you engage with them. The only difficulty is choosing which one to attend!
6. Support authentic Acadian Craft Making:
Acadians express and celebrate their unique culture through all sorts of artistic talents. One of the best ways of celebrating Acadian culture is by purchasing locally-made Acadian arts and crafts. Let the creations of talented craftsmen and craftswomen enchant you, celebrate Acadian artists and bring home one of your most meaningful Acadian Quinzou souvenirs yet!