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notre quartier le jour de la fête de Saint Jean-Baptiste

Yesterday was The Feast Day of St. John the Baptist in the Christian world. It is also the Quebecois festival of cultural and national sovereignty. Canada Day is July 1 but the Quebecois decided in 1977 to begin their Fête Nationale on what is considered the French equivalent of St. Patrick's Day. The former premier of Quebec, René Lévesque, made it a paid provincial holiday at the height of the movement for independence and it is now vigorously celebrated with parties, concerts and lots of alcohol. We spent a little time last night in Gatineau listening to the Quebecois Rednecks at a street festival. Clearly, a good time was had by all.

In Tucson, St. John Day was a water festival. It marked the traditional start of the summer monsoon season when rain swells the arroyos and dormant wild flowers break out unexpectedly into a surprise desert bouquet. In North Country it is a fire festival more akin to the summer solstice. Both are wonderful to behold!

Today was going to be another da…

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