Skip to content

Nova Scotia Heritage Day is a lively and meaningful holiday celebrating the province’s rich cultural history.

Each year, on the third Monday of February, people across Nova Scotia take a break to honor significant individuals, places, or events that have shaped the region.

This holiday provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the diverse heritage that contributes to the province’s identity​.

The reasons behind celebrating Heritage Day are deeply rooted in recognizing and appreciating the contributions of various communities.

For instance, past honorees include African Nova Scotian civil rights activists, Indigenous leaders, and notable historical sites like the Grand Pré.

These honorees are selected to highlight their remarkable impact on Nova Scotia’s culture and history​.

Honoring different facets of Nova Scotia’s past, Heritage Day helps foster a sense of unity and respect among its residents. It encourages learning about the diverse backgrounds that make up the community, from Indigenous traditions to African Nova Scotian legacies.

This annual celebration is not just about remembering the past but also about embracing the present and looking forward to a future of inclusivity and diversity.

History of Nova Scotia Heritage Day

Nova Scotia Heritage Day, a holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February, recognizes the rich cultural and historical contributions within the province.

The push for a mid-winter holiday led to the introduction of this day in December 2013. By 2015, the first official Heritage Day was celebrated, marking the start of a new tradition in Nova Scotia​.

The creation of Heritage Day involved a unique approach. The Department of Labour and Advanced Education engaged students from primary to grade 12 across Nova Scotia.

These students were asked to propose names and suggest notable individuals, places, or events that have shaped the province.

A panel reviewed the submissions and selected honorees for the next twelve years. This process not only gave the holiday its name but also ensured that each year, a different facet of Nova Scotia’s heritage is celebrated​​.

Over the years, honorees have included influential figures like Viola Desmond, a pioneering businesswoman and civil rights activist, and significant sites like the Landscape of Grand Pré.

These selections reflect the diverse and rich history of Nova Scotia, showcasing contributions from various communities and historical periods.

Heritage Day thus serves as a platform to educate and unite residents by highlighting the province’s storied past​.

How to Celebrate Nova Scotia Heritage Day

Discover Local History

Dive into Nova Scotia’s past by visiting museums and historical sites. Many offer free admission on Heritage Day.

This includes the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and the Museum of Natural History. Exploring these places will give a vivid glimpse into the province’s vibrant history​.

Enjoy Cultural Performances

Attend live performances showcasing local music, dance, and storytelling. These events highlight the province’s diverse cultural heritage.

Look for shows featuring Mi’kmaq drummers, Acadian musicians, and African Nova Scotian artists. They bring history to life in the most entertaining ways​.

Sample Traditional Foods

Celebrate Heritage Day by indulging in traditional Nova Scotian foods. Try some fresh seafood, like lobster or scallops.

Remember the beloved Nova Scotian treat: blueberry grunt. Cooking and sharing these dishes can be a delicious way to honor the province’s culinary traditions​​.

Participate in Community Activities

Join local events and activities organized in your community. Many towns host parades, craft fairs, and workshops.

These gatherings provide a fun way to connect with others while learning more about Nova Scotia’s rich heritage​.

Explore the Outdoors

Take advantage of the holiday by enjoying Nova Scotia’s natural beauty. Go for a hike, visit a provincial park, or stroll along the coast.

The stunning landscapes are a big part of what makes this province special. Fresh air and beautiful scenery make for a perfect Heritage Day outing​.

Also on ...

View all holidays

National Random Acts of Kindness Day

Brighten someone's day with unexpected kindness! Hold the door, pay for a coffee, or simply smile. Small gestures make a big difference!

View all holidays

We think you may also like...

National Fritters Day

Tuck into a whole variety of deep-fried, battered foods and sample snacks from all over the world, whether Japanese tempura or Indonesian pisang goreng.