Man, did I forget to send a card again?
Yep, residents of the independent-minded Canadian Province of Quebec are celebrating Moving Day today — I know, ‘celebration’ and ‘moving day’ normally not two words you’d find hanging out in the same sentence.
So, what is this moving day, anyways, and why is it something that might drive Canadian moving companies a bit out of their mind?
Summoning my vast research skills, and my ability to do a search on Wikipedia, I’ve learned that on July 1, everybody in Quebec moves — to be exact, everyone moves to the house on their right, slowly working their way around the block.
Actually, it’s less interesting in that. Fact is, many leases come up on July 1, so many people move at this time – moving companies work around the clock, and moving rates mysteriously triple.
But it’s not all fun and games and profits for Quebec movers.
First, many landlords in Quebec force renters to have their own refrigerator. This makes sense because most Canadians use their frig to store the moose they shoot during Moose Hunting Day on June 1. Landlords also don’t provide a stove. Either way, moving a frig and stove is a pain.
To make matters worse, many Quebeconians use exterior metal staircases to access upper-floor apartments. These are also curved and narrow. Just try carrying a refrigerator with a moose down one of them.
But back to the historical antecedents of Moving Day.
It goes back to the 19th century, when the government, concerned that ‘semi-feudal landlords’ of the time would kick out tenant farmers in the snowy weather, decreed that no such forced moving would take place until May 1.
The tradition stuck, so all sorts of leases and kickings-out would occur on May 1 — this was later changed to July 1 to better accomodate students on summer break.
So if a Quebecian is a friend, impress them with your knowledge of history and Canada by wishing them a Happy Moving Day!