August 15 | National Acadian Day
Since 1881, Acadians have celebrated National Acadian Day on August 15. The federal and provincial governments officially recognized National Acadian Day in 2003 and 2004 respectively. It is a day marked by colourful community festivals and family events that bring Acadian culture and history to life.
July 28 | Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval
In 2003, a Royal Proclamation recognized the wrongs suffered by the Acadians when they were forcibly deported from Acadie in 1755. July 28 was declared as the Day of Commemoration of the Great Upheaval beginning with the 250th anniversary in 2005. In Nova Scotia, commemoration activities are held in Grand-Pré.
March 20 | Journée Internationale de la Francophonie
Created in 1998, this international celebration of the French language and culture takes place on March 20 each year. According to the Organisation internationale de la francophonie, there are approximately 200 million francophones worldwide. Seventy countries and states participate in the Journée internationale de la Francophonie.
Congrès mondial acadien
Every five years, Acadians from around the world gather to celebrate their culture and history. The first Congrès mondial acadien (CMA) was held in 1994 across nine municipalities in southeastern New Brunswick, while the second was held in Louisiana in 1999.
The CMA 2004 was held in Nova Scotia, the ancestral homeland of the Acadians. It coincided with the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first French settlers in Canada in 1604. More than 100 families held reunions in communities ranging from Pubnico to Chéticamp to celebrate their common heritage.
The CMA 2009 took place in 80 communities across the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick and hosted more than 70 family reunions.
The CMA 2014 took place in the Acadie des terres et des forêts region, which includes parts of Québec, northwestern New Brunswick, and Maine.
An annual highlight of Nova Scotia’s cultural calendar, Acadian festivals combine centuries-old traditions with contemporary Acadian arts and culture. Festivals take place throughout the year in Acadian and francophone communities across the province. Nova Scotia’s Acadian festivals include the Festival acadien de Clare in southwestern Nova Scotia, the Festival acadien de Petit-de-Grat and the Festival de l’Escaoette in Cape Breton, the Festival des cultures francophone in the Halifax region, and many more.