Sunday, May 21, 2006

What is Victoria Day

photo curtousy of wikipediaIf you live in Canada, chances are you've got monday off from work to celebrate Victoria Day. Most people travel on this long 3 day weekend, while many parents actually pull their kids out of school a day early to take advantage of the time. In some ways I feel like the weekend is much like the US holiday of Memorial Day because everyone travels somewhere, but that isn't the case.

Since I'm becoming an Canadian Immigrant, I feel I do need to know what each holiday actually represents. When I first arrived some people mentioned it had something to do with only being a BC holiday which was celebrated because of the city of Victoria. This story is completely false of course. But some celebrate the holiday with a low key fireworks and plenty of bbq's. Right now, I just want something to photograph besides the rain!

Here's a quick summary of the holiday: Victoria Day occurs every year on Monday, prior to May 25th. It is the official celebration in Canada of the birthdays of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II. Victoria Day was established as a holiday in Canada West (Now Ontario) in 1845, and became a national holiday in 1901. Before Victoria Day became a national Holiday, people had celebrated Empire Day , beginning in the 1890s as Victoria approached her Diamond jubilee in 1897.

Some people strike it big and have the honor of seeing the Queen visit a Canadian city. If you'd like to read more about it, see the full Victoria Day story.

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