St. Jean de Baptiste Day is celebrated annually on June 24 in Quebec. The festival honours the birth of John the Baptist, who reputedly predicted the coming of Jesus Christ. In 1636, five cannon shots and a small group of French colonists were the first to celebrate the holiday in New France. It is now the National Holiday of the province of Quebec and visitors can readily join in on the calls of “Bon fête”, or happy holiday. In this photograph, Montreal’s beautiful and iconic church, Notre-Dame Basilica, is pictured from April, standing tall alongside Place d’Armes Square, home to the statue of the city’s founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. Come Saturday night and Sunday, when this year’s St. Jean de Baptiste celebrations will take place, Old Montreal will be bustling with joyous activity — a contrast to the student protests that have taken over much of the city this spring.
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