woman holding canadian flag and posing on the mountain background
Photo: Andre Furtado

Canada is a nation that takes pride in its multicultural identity. As the second-largest country in the world, it is home to people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, creating a vibrant mosaic of cultures. Indigenous heritage plays a significant role in Canadian society, with over 600 recognized First Nations communities across the country. Understanding the traditions, art, and spiritual practices of Indigenous peoples can offer a deeper appreciation for the land and its history. By familiarizing yourself with these cultural nuances, you can navigate Canadian society with respect and admiration, fostering meaningful connections with locals and enhancing your travel experience.

Some Canadian Customs May Be Unusual

Canadian traditions are a fusion of customs from several cultures. Some traditions are observed by the English-speaking people, while others are by the French-speaking. The state's traditions have various facets and may surprise visitors. Continue reading to know more about diverse cultural characteristics.

  • Smoking: At the station, the airport, or the office, smoking is not permitted. In bars and restaurants, it can be difficult to find an ashtray, and tobacco companies ought not to sponsor any sports events. Ask the hosts if you can smoke even if you are just stopping by to say hello. By the way, if you are in Canada, cars for rent might be very helpful! Pay attention to Enterprise rent a car Edmonton airport services. They feature a quick procedure and offer good quality automobiles.

  • Tolerance for Cold Weather: Canadians are renowned for their ability to withstand and even embrace cold weather. It's not uncommon to see people going about their daily activities in freezing temperatures, and enjoying winter sports like ice hockey, skiing, and snowboarding.

  • Canadian Wildlife Etiquette: When encountering wildlife in Canada, it's customary to maintain a respectful distance and observe them from afar. Canadians are mindful of the natural environment and take precautions to protect both themselves and the animals.

a close-up of traditional Saskatoon berry pie

The Rich Flavors of Traditional Canadian Dishes

It wouldn’t be odd to get acquainted with widespread national dishes! So when you see them in the menu you can remember and quickly navigate, or look for them particularly if something intrigues you.

  • Poutine

This is a fast food appetizer in the form of french fries drizzled with thick gravy and sprinkled with soft cheese.

  • Bannock

It’s a deep-fried flour cake, which belongs to the cuisine of Indian tribes. Usually, such a cake is served for breakfast: you can spread honey, butter, and other similar ingredients on it.

  • Butter tarts

Originating in Quebec back in the 17th century, these tasty tarts are filled up with butter syrup, nuts, and dried fruits.

  • Saskatoon berry pie

Saskatoon is a sweet, violet-colored berry, after which was named a whole city. The pie has a berry stuffing and is often served with ice cream as a dessert. Must-try!

  • Tourtière

One more dish from Quebec, a meat pie with mashed potatoes, onion, and seasoned ground pork. And that’s all covered in the crispy crust! Does your mouth water already?

  • Nanaimo Bars

Hailing from the city of Nanaimo in British Columbia, Nanaimo Bars are a delectable dessert consisting of three layers—a chocolate graham cracker crust, a creamy custard middle, and a smooth chocolate ganache on top. 

  • Montreal-style Bagels

Distinct from their New York counterparts, Montreal-style bagels are smaller, sweeter, and denser. They are boiled in honey-infused water, giving them a unique flavor, and then baked in a wood-fired oven. These bagels are often enjoyed with cream cheese or smoked salmon.

vancouver tower in the fog
Photo: Khantushig Khosbayar

Exploring the Diversity of Religion

Orthodox, Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and, of course, how can we forget the native population – the Indians with their traditional beliefs. Despite this diversity, the majority of people in Canada practice Catholicism, which is the country's official religion.

The cult of religion isn’t worshiped there for sure. Like in other countries, the countryside residents are more religious, unlike the urban ones.

Major cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Calgary are home to many atheists who do not identify themselves with any direction and do not consider it necessary to follow other people's teachings. Look for a company with bigger car rental opportunities? Then, Enterprise will suit you well! Free order cancellation, reliability, and large vehicle choice are just one click from you.

Canadian Traditional Holidays

Canadians love to have fun and make some noise. The country celebrates dozens of holidays, both folklore and pagan, as well as national state holidays.

Thanksgiving is one of Canada's favorite holidays. It is celebrated every year on the 2nd Monday in October. The same as Columbus Day in the U.S. Why is there such a difference? This is all because of Canada’s further north location, thus harvest season comes a bit earlier, so they celebrate Thanksgiving by the natural seasonal shift.

Victoria Day is another official holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25. The Queen's birthday is celebrated, although in reality, as you can see, these dates may not coincide. Victoria Day is one of 13 public holidays in Canada. Locals have picnics, they even rent a car if their own is broken to attend outdoor concerts and parades, and watch fireworks. Families use long weekends to go camping or have barbecues in their backyards.

woman holding canadian flag and smiling
Photo: Andre Furtado

Canada Day honors the signing of the Constitution Act, which in 1867 united the three Canadian Territories into one country. Parades, concerts, fireworks, and many other events. There is no pattern to the remembrance because it takes place across the entire country with no connections between one location and another. Each city observes it in its own manner.

Boxing Day is also a public holiday, and Canadians have an output. The boxes symbolize Christmas gifts, which are usually placed under the Christmas tree. Historically, this tradition originated because in the UK on the second day of Christmas, families would pack the leftovers of a Christmas dinner and simple gifts to take to the underprivileged. Now, friends and family gather together to eat and to attend sporting events like horse racing or hockey.

Good Friday falls on a Friday before Easter Sunday. It’s a public holiday at a national level in Canada. According to the Christian faith, Good Friday commemorates Jesus Christ's death. Along with Jesus' Easter Sunday resurrection, it is a fundamental component of Christianity. Many people consider this holiday to be more significant than Christmas. People attend a service where the gruesome crucifixion of Jesus is described, and some people even give up eating to express their grief.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a significant holiday in Canada, celebrated on June 21st each year. It recognizes and honors the diverse cultures, contributions, and heritage of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Festivities include traditional music and dance performances, art exhibitions, storytelling, and cultural workshops. It is a day to appreciate and learn about the rich Indigenous cultures that have shaped Canada.

Remembrance Day, on November 11th, is a solemn holiday dedicated to honoring the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed in the armed forces. Canadians gather at war memorials and cenotaphs across the country to participate in ceremonies, wearing poppy flowers as a symbol of remembrance. The moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. marks the end of World War I and serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made for peace.

Let's summarize...

If you're planning a trip to Canada, it's essential to have a good understanding of the country's rich culture and traditions. Traveling to Canada will help you to unlock its vibrant festivals, mouth-watering cuisine, iconic symbols, and etiquette norms that make Canada truly unique. Whether you're visiting the bustling cities or exploring the breathtaking landscapes, this guide will ensure you have a deeper appreciation for Canada's cultural heritage and enhance your travel experience.

Lots of love,