5 New Year’s Day Levées in Halifax

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Who says your New Year’s celebration has to end at 12:01am January 1! There are many opportunities to continue the party into the following afternoon by attending a “levée”, an open-house style get-together featuring drinks, food, music and socializing.

The first levée took place in 1646 and was hosted by the Government of New France as a way to greet citizens and inform them of the state of affairs in France and the colony (there were no e-newsletters back then!). Levées seem to be a uniquely Canadian tradition, which continues to jive well with our hospitable nature.

Kick off the New Year on a positive note! There are dozens of levées happening around the province on New Year’s Day – you can expect most churches, legions, lion’s clubs and social clubs across Nova Scotia to open their doors that afternoon – but here is a list of some popular ones in the Halifax region.

1. Lieutenant Governor’s New Year’s Day levée

Probably the largest levée in Halifax, with an average of 200+ attendees, this levée at Government House is a great local tradition to check off your list. His Honour Brigadier-General The Honourable J.J. Grant invites the public to visit his Barrington Street residence between 11am-12:30pm.

2. Dartmouth Lawn Bowls Club

Drop-in between 1-3pm at 333 Pleasant St, Dartmouth, NS (902-464-3902).

3. St. Mary’s Basilica

As part of the Feast of Mary, Mother of God. 10am Mass, 11am Archbishop’s Levée in the Cathedral Hall, 5pm Mass at 1531 Grafton Street (902-429-9800).

4. Royal Artillery Park, Wardroom Officer’s Mess

Starts at 1200 in Wardroom 1000, 2648 Lorne Terrace (Juno Tower), CFB Halifax (902-721-8626).

5. Dartmouth Volksmarch Club

This levée begins with a 10km walk, starting at the Hearthstone Inn at 313 Prince Albert Road, Dartmouth NS. The terrain is mostly pavement with moderate hills so suitable for every ability. Registration starts at 9:30am, walk starts at 10am (902-422-9624).

Where is your favourite levée in Halifax? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!