Canada - Victoria Day

Victoria Day

This year: Thursday, May 24, 2018

Celebrating Victoria Day In Canada

The Victoria Day long weekend is truly a "big deal" in Canada. Commonly known as "May 2-4" as it falls on or near the 24th of May each year, many Canadians celebrate the day with a variety of traditions. Whenever there is a long weekend in Canada, a party is sure to be involved. However, when that long weekend marks the beginning of the summer the celebrations seem to be that much more enjoyed!

The tradition of Victoria Day holiday comes from the combination of two things. The first one, most commonly known by Canadians, is the birthday of Queen Victoria. The second cause for celebration is the current reigning of the Canadian Sovereign birthday. Victoria Day in Canada is a statutory holiday recognized in the Employee Standards Act. Victoria Day is celebrated in all Canada as well as in some regions of Scotland (namely Dundee and Edinburgh) and on Cayman Islands. In the United Kingdom a similar holiday known as the Empire Day is celebrated on the same day, May 24th.

Victoria Day in Canada is a National Holiday for all ages. For example, in large Canadian cities the holiday is celebrated with a parade. In Canada, the most famous Victoria Day's parade takes place in Victoria British Columbia, named after this holiday. Other popular traditions associated with this particular holiday are big fireworks. Most cities organize these events for the public, and many people also like to put on their own fireworks. On this day spectators of all ages gather to enjoy the beauty and excitement of the Victoria Day fireworks.

The name of "May 2-4" is most well-known in Ontario and refers to both the date of the Queen's birthday and of course to the 24 beer case! This is another popular way of celebrating Victoria Day - drinking and camping! This is probably the busiest camping weekend in Canada and everyone knows that if planning to camp on this weekend one has to book well in advance! Most camping parks are fully booked on Victoria Day weekend.

Informally, Victoria Day opens the summer season in Canada, being an excellent date for many parks, camping sites and summer entertainments to open their doors for visitors. On this holiday many families take advantage of the extra free day to enjoy quality "outdoor" time together - make a BBQ, go for a picnic or a swim in the lake. It is also the most popular weekend for gardening. Besides having an extra day to plant all the flowers, it is also safer for the plants, as this weekend usually marks the end of frosts. So, if you are in Canada on the Victoria Day long weekend you absolutely must see the spectacular fireworks, enjoy a delicious BBQ and have a good time with friends and family. What a great way to welcome the summer!

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