Happy Canada Day! If you're a Canadian here or abroad you're hopefully celebrating our country's birth with fireworks, barbecues, picnics or just some quality time with friends and family.
Our American friends might be a little confused about our national holiday and why all their secret (and not-so secret) Canadian friends online are talking about it today. We've written up a quick crash course on Canada Day that you can pass along to a non-Canadian, a new Canadian or someone who just wants to wave a red and white flag and celebrate the birthday of the best county in the world.
1. So what are we celebrating exactly?
The birth of Canada, or as we call it Confederation. In 1867, leaders from the colonies of Upper Canada (now Ontario), Lower Canada (Quebec), Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, decided to form one country, Canada.
The document that they signed, the British North America Act, would essentially be Canada's constitution until 1982.
2. So you didn't go to war or anything?
Nope. We asked Queen Victoria politely. She said yes.
3. What the heck is Dominion Day?
That's what we used to call Canada Day. The country was known officially as the Dominion of Canada so many older Canadians refer to July 1st as Dominion Day.
4. OK, where's the best place to celebrate Canada Day?
Ottawa! Hundreds of thousands go to the nation's capital to celebrate Canada Day. There's a big concert, fireworks and general merry-making.
But virtually every major Canadian town and city holds some kind of Canada Day festivities. And yes, there are fireworks.
5. OK, but what if I live abroad?
Canadian embassies and consulates often hold celebrations for Canada Day. London and New York are holding fun looking concerts. Otherwise you may want to try to look for an ex-pat group of Canadians in your area.
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Yes, Dwayne Johnson's father is Nova Scotia-born wrestler Rocky Johnson. As the <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/thehero/14-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-rock" target="_blank">first generation child of a Canadian, Johnson is eligible for Canadian citizenship</a>. Johnson also played in the CFL for the Calgary Stampeders during the 1995 season, but was cut after two months.
Scottie was totally from Vancouver.
The "Entourage" star was born in Montreal.
The world-famous architect was born in Toronto.
The former NBA star was born in Toronto.
The comedian is from Quebec City. Bonus points if you knew his brother is CBC journalist Neil Macdonald.
The "Castle" and "Firefly" star was born in Edmonton.
The potential Republican presidential nominee was born in Calgary. However, because his mother is American, U.S. officials have ruled that he <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/05/19/cruz-eligible-presidential-run/" target="_blank">would be eligible to run for the presidency</a>.
Men Without Hats
That's right, "Safety Dance" came from a Montreal group.
While born in Portland, Groening's father Homer was born in Main Centre, Saskatchewan and so Groening is eligible for citizenship.
The "Bonanza" star was born in Ottawa.
While born in Indianapolis, both of "The Mummy" star's parents are Canadian and so he is entitled to Canadian citizenship.
The Oscar winning star of "True Blood" was born in in Winnipeg.
The regular contributor to "This American Life" was born in Montreal.
While the "Sex and the City" star was actually born in in the U.K., she moved to Coutenay, B.C., when she was just an infant.
"The L Word" star was born in Toronto.
Carrie Anne Moss
The star of "The Matrix" was born in Burnaby, B.C.
The "Will and Grace" star was born in Toronto.
OK, you may have known this one already, but for some reason people are always forgetting that the "Titanic" and "Avatar" director was born in Kapuskasing, Ontario.
The original host of "Let's Make A Deal" was born in Winnipeg.
Honorary Mention - Tom Cruise
OK, so he was born in Syracuse, New York and his parents were both American, but the star of, well everything, went to school in Ottawa for several years in the early 1970s. It was in Ottawa that <a href="http://i.usatoday.net/life/books/tom_cruise_excerpt.pdf" target="_blank">Cruise first became involved in acting</a>, according to Andrew Morton's unauthorized biography.
Next: Only In Canada Spring Edition
Followed By The Dirt
Girl Wearing This In March
Home Too Soon
Socks And Sandles
Premature Patio Beers
Vancouver In March
Snow In April
Next: 13 Things To Never Say To A Canadian
Things You Don't Want To Say To A Canadian
Canadians are normally pretty nice but there are things you just don't want to say to a Canadian... (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)
This looks like Monopoly money!
Hey you're from Canada? Do you know my friend Doug?
You lost the War of 1812, right?
Polar bears rooting through your garbage at night must be pretty irritating.
(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)
Do you guys all ski to work and stuff?
Do you have cable / internet / random technology in Canada?
You all speak French right?
What part of America are you from?
Is Vancouver / Edmonton / Calgary close to Toronto?
Do you have a president?
(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)
Is Toronto your capital city?
Say "aboot" for me
More from our readers!
We asked our readers to tell us more things that you shouldn't say to a Canadian. We collected the best responses.
@HuffPostCanada #AngryCanadian Wasn't it wonderful that Ben Affleck thanked Canadians at the Oscars? Were Canadians in Iran?
@HuffPostCanada #AngryCanadian To someone from Toronto: "I have a friend named .... In Vancouver, do you know them?" "No, it's a 3hr flight"
@HuffPostCanada The old chestnut You guys all live in igloos right? #AngryCanadian
@HuffPostCanada #AngryCanadian "Is it warm there in summer? Do you drink maple syrup? You say roof (ruff), tour (tore), and bar (ba) weird."
6. What do I wear?
Something with a Canadian flag on it would be nice. Red and white are pretty easy colours to find and the maple leaf is a much subtler symbol than the stars and stripes (sorry American pals). Our friends at Stylelist have a little guide. If it's cool we recommend the unofficial Canadian uniform, the denim tuxedo.
7. What do I eat?
Well, it's summer in Canada. May we recommend you grill something. But hey, Canada is a pretty multicultural place now so if you get invited to a Canada Day party you can pretty much bring anything you want. Here's some Canadian foods we love.
8. What do I drink?
Canadians love beer. Labatt's and Molson's, the country's two biggest breweries, are among the most recognized brands in Canada. If you're ready to graduate to a craft beer we've got a list for you.
9. Do I have to know the words to the anthem?
Well, aren't you a keener. Sure. 'O Canada' is a pretty easy anthem to learn and it can be sung in BOTH of our official languages.
10. What about party music?
Sure. Here's a list of some our favourite Canadian songs. Other Canadian artists you're going to hear a lot of on Canada Day include: Neil Young, the Tragically Hip, Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, Joni Mitchell and, ironically, Bryan Adams. Play Nickelback, Celine Dion or Justin Bieber at your own peril.
11. What do I talk about?
Well, Canadians do love hockey (the playoffs just ended, the Chicago Blackhawks won btw) and the Blue Jays (the country's remaining baseball team is doing pretty well). But if sports isn't up your alley, why don't you ask us questions about Canada. If you really want to talk about politics study up first. Also, talking about our awesome astronaut Chris Hadfield or the weather is a pretty safe bet.
If you're having trouble understanding some of our slang, we have a quick guide.
12. It's a holiday, yes?
Yes! It's a statutory holidays so many shops, restaurants, banks and government offices will be closed. Canada Day falls on a Monday so many people will make a long weekend of it.
13. Anything else?
Nope. Thanks, eh. Happy Canada Day!