Victoria Day celebrates the birthday of Queen Victoria. It also celebrates the birthday of Canada's current monarch or Sovereign.
When is Victoria Day celebrated?
On the Monday preceding May 25th
- May 21, 2012
- May 20, 2013
- May 19, 2014
- May 18, 2015
- May 23, 2016
- May 22, 2017
- May 21, 2018
- May 20, 2019
Victoria Day is a national holiday in Canada. In the province of Quebec, the day is celebrated as National Patriots' Day.
What do people do to celebrate?
The holiday is a day off from school and work for most Canadians. Many major cities host parades and fireworks displays. The Royal Union Flag, or Union Jack, is flown at all government buildings from sunrise to sunset. The Canadian Flag, however, always takes precedence.
The day is the official kick-off for summer in Canada. A lot of people begin working on their garden or spend the long weekend opening up their summer homes in the mountains. The holiday is also considered the kick-off for camping season, a popular pastime in Canada.
Things to do on Victoria Day
- Canada's Wonderland - A large theme park north of Toronto, Canada's Wonderland has all sorts of fun rides from roller coasters to kid's rides to a water park. They also put on a large fireworks show for Victoria Day.
- See a Historic Site - Many historic sites will have special events on this day. Some places to check out in Toronto include the Gibson House, Scarborough Museum, and Fort York.
- Victoria Day Festival - Go to Ottawa, the capital of Canada, and check out the Victoria Day Festival downtown. It's a family event with games, activities, music, and finishes up the night with fireworks.
Victoria Day was first celebrated as the birthday of Queen Victoria of United Kingdom. She was born on May 24, 1819. Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 to 1901. When she became queen she was only 18 years old.
It was during Queen Victoria's reign that Canada began to celebrate the monarch's birthday. The 24th of May became an official holiday in 1845. In 1952 the day was moved to the Monday preceding May 25th.
Fun Facts About Victoria Day
- In much of Canada the day is known as May two-four. The long weekend is often called May Long.
- Queen Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert. They had 9 children and 34 grandchildren.
- It is said that Queen Victoria started the trend of women getting married in white wedding dresses.
- The birthday of King Edward was celebrated on Victoria Day even though he was born on November 9.
- Canada is the only country that celebrates this day.
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