What Are Some French-Canadian Traditions?

French-Canadian traditions include the holidays Dollard Day and St. Jean Baptiste Day, as well as traditional clothing with historical roots in the province of Quebec. French-Canadian food traditions include tourtière, ragout, poutine and tourquettes. In addition, French Canadians speak Quebeçois, their own dialect of French.

Quebeçois is a dialect heard nowhere other than Quebec. It consists of an older dialect of French sprinkled with English expressions. French Canadians have a strong oral tradition of passing their folklore down through the generations. They tell old stories about characters such as Little John and Dalbec.

Most French Canadians belong to the Roman Catholic Church, though membership has declined in recent years. On July 24, St. Jean Baptiste Day, French Canadians honor their patron saint with parties, bonfires and fireworks. Dollard Day in May pays tribute to a 17th-century French war hero.

French Canadian cuisine includes a meat pie called tourtière; ragout, a stew of meatballs and pigs’ feet; and poutine, consisting of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. Tourquettes are candies made by pouring hot maple syrup onto snow.

While most French Canadians wear modern western clothing, the traditional clothing of French Canadian women includes white bonnets and blouses, black skirts and white aprons. Men’s traditional outfits consist of white shirts, black vests and black knickers. Both genders wear white stockings and black shoes.