Thursday, May 20, 2021

Victoria Day

In Canada, Monday, May 24th, is Victoria Day. Time to check my favourite resource, Wikipedia. Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday, celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25th. Originally in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, falling on her actual birthday, May 24th. . It is now celebrated as the official birthday of Canada’s sovereign. It has been observed since 1845 in Canada.

On May 24th, in 1854, the 25th birthday of Queen Victoria, some 5,000 residents of Canada West gathered in front of Government House to “give cheers to their queen”. An example of a typical 19th-century celebration of the Queen’s birthday took place on May 24th, 1866, in Omemee, Canada West. The town mounted a day-long fĂȘte to mark the occasion, including a gun salute at midnight, pre-dawn serenades, picnics, athletic competitions, a display of illuminations, and a torch-light procession.

Following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, May 24th was made by law to be known as Victoria Day, a date to remember the late queen who was deemed the “Mother of Confederation”, and in 1904, the same date was made Empire Day throughout the British Commonwealth by imperial decree. In 1977, the Monday before May 25th became Victoria Day and the Queen’s Birthday.

The Victoria Day holiday for this year is on the queen’s actual birthday, and for the second year in a row, will be a quiet weekend due to the Covid pandemic. No parades, no gatherings, no large celebrations. Most of Canada is still in lock-down or stages of lock-down. Family camping trips, walks, and family barbeques will be the planned activities. Although in my area of Southern Alberta we are under a snow warning and have already had five to six centimetres of the white stuff so many camping trips and gatherings are being cancelled.

Happy Victoria Day to all my Fellow Canadians!

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