June Holiday

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When is June Holiday in Canada?

Holiday in Other Languages

English Name

June Holiday

French Name

Journée Découverte/Jean Cabot

German Name


The June holiday, previously known as Discovery Day, is celebrated in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador on the nearest Monday to June 24. It is also known as Cabot 500 Day and remembers Giovanni Caboto’s (also known as John Cabot) discovery of the province’s island portion. This day is not to be confused with Yukon’s Discovery Day, which is also known as Klondike Gold Discovery Day.

Is June 21, 2021, a Public Holiday?

June Holiday is a public holiday in Newfoundland and Labrador, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

What Do People Do?

Newfoundland and Labrador celebrate its June holiday on the Monday closest to June 24. Many communities choose to hold their own celebrations but it is in Bonavista where many events take place. Some people may visit the Matthew legacy site during this period. Other attractions at the day’s celebrations in Bonavista in recent times included the “Kids Walking Parade”, talent shows, and a motorcade involving more than 100 cars.

The city of St John’s in the province celebrates its birthday, known as St John’s Days around this time of the year. Celebratory events include outdoor concerts, historical characters, and various art and cultural activities. Various sources have claimed that St John’s is the oldest English-founded city in North America.

Public Life

The June holiday is a paid holiday for government employees in Newfoundland and Labrador. School calendars in the province are set by individual school districts so those wishing to find out if the June holiday is a school holiday should check with these districts.

People driving to major events on the June holiday may need to plan early to avoid traffic. Those who are uncertain about the transport schedule on the June holiday can contact local transport services prior to travelling.


The holiday commemorates Giovanni Caboto’s (also known as John Cabot) discovery of the province’s island portion in 1497. It has been celebrated since 1997 – the 500th anniversary of the discovery. Cabot left Europe on May 20, 1497, aboard his vessel, the Matthew. It was a small ship, but reportedly fast and able. The crew consisted of 18 people. He reported landing near present-day Bonavista on June 24, 1497, and departed on or around July 20 that year.


The Matthew legacy site is a tourist attraction in Bonavista, in Newfoundland and Labrador. John Cabot sailed on the vessel, which was named after his wife Mattea when he reached Canada in 1497. A replica was built in Bristol, in the United Kingdom, in 1996 before sailing, repeating Cabot’s original journey, to Bonavista in 1997. It carried the same number of crew members as the original and took the same amount of time to complete the journey.  This replica has since returned to Bristol.