They have been celebrating a significant anniversary in Canada – 400 years since the explorer Samuel de Champlain established Quebec City, and founded a French-speaking presence in North America.
Bells rang out throughout the province of Quebec, Canada as a whole, and in several parts of France to mark the occasion.
Among the dignitaries, the Prime Ministers of Quebec, France and Canada’s Stephen Harper, who said it was an historic date for the whole country, because July 3rd, 1608 was when the nation started becoming what it is today.
That irritated some breakaway groups who want to see an independent Quebec. They accused the federal government of hijacking the event.
But their complaints, like the rain, did little to dampen the air of celebration, as the Canadian military paraded through the streets.
Indeed, the mayor of Quebec City pointed out that it was also raining the day that Champlain set foot on the site 400 years before.