Celebrating Easter in Canada

Easter Egg Hunt
••• Gustavo Caballero

Easter in Canada is celebrated at the same time and in much the same way as it is in other Western countries, like the U.S.

This Christian holiday, which commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection, coincides with Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Mexico, Central America, South America, and Spain is observed in a more subdued and less overtly religious way than in these Spanish speaking countries.

Good Friday is a Stat Holiday everywhere in all Canadian provinces except Quebec, which has the Stat Holiday on Easter Monday instead.

Good Friday is the Friday two days before Easter Sunday and Easter Monday is the day after Easter Sunday. In 2018, Good Friday falls on March 30, Easter Sunday is April 1 and Easter Monday is April 2. Many cities hold an Easter Parade, such as the Toronto Beaches Lions Annual Easter Parade.

Easter Sunday is the Sunday immediately following the first full moon after the vernal (spring) equinox unless that date coincides with the Jewish Feast of Passover, in which case the holiday is moved to the next Sunday. It can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25.  Learn more about why the dates for Easter change every year.

How is Easter in Canada Celebrated?

Most everything is closed Easter Sunday; it's a popular day for attending church, getting together for a big family meal, and staging an Easter egg hunt. Many local Easter egg hunts take place at outdoor parks.

Typical Easter lunches or dinners are similar to the meals served at Thanksgiving and may include turkey or ham, green beans, potatoes, yams, and pie.

What's Open and Closed During Easter

Good Friday is a statutory holiday (or public holiday) in Canada, which means that most everything is closed, including government offices, banks, and schools. Some exceptions may apply to restaurants or tourist attractions. It's wise to call ahead to confirm holiday hours.

Some businesses observe a holiday also on Easter Monday, but most people return to work and retail establishments, banks, beer and liquor stores re-open. Government offices, schools, and libraries remain closed. Again, call ahead to restaurants, shopping malls, and tourist attractions to confirm holiday hours, but Monday, in most ways, is back to business as usual. 

Easter Holiday Dates Until 2022

2018
Good Friday - March 30, Easter Sunday - April 1, Easter Monday - April 2

2019
Good Friday - April 19, Easter Sunday - April 21, Easter Monday - April 22

2020
Good Friday - April 10, Easter Sunday - April 12, Easter Monday - April 13

2021
Good Friday - April 2, Easter Sunday - April 4, Easter Monday - April 5

2022
Good Friday - April 15, Easter Sunday - April 17, Easter Monday - April 18