Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Queen Victoria

19 May – So here we are celebrating the May Long Weekend. How did this most celebrated long weekend come about? And why is this weekend any more special than another?
This is what I found out on Google!

The birthday of Queen Victoria was a day for celebration in Canada long before Confederation, with the first legislation regarding the event being in 1845 passed by the parliament of the Province of Canada to officially recognize May 24 as the Queen's birthday. It was noted that on that date in 1854, the 35th birthday of Queen Victoria, some 5,000 residents of Canada West gathered in front of Government House, in Toronto to "give cheers to their queen." On May 24, 1866, the town of Omemee, also in Canada West, mounted a day-long fête 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 24 was by imperial decree made Empire Day throughout the British Empire, while, in Canada, it became officially known as Victoria Day, a date to remember the late queen, who was deemed the "Mother of Confederation". Was made permanent by royal proclamation. The following year, Empire Day was renamed Commonwealth Day and in 1977 it was moved to the second Monday in March, leaving the Monday before May 25 only as both Victoria Day and the Queen's Birthday.
------- Victoria Day is a public holiday observed across Canada on the Monday before May 25th.

In 2012, Victoria Day falls on Monday, May 21.

Victoria Day celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday (May 24th). Canada is still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, of which the Queen is head.

Victoria Day is always on a Monday, and thus the holiday is part of a long weekend, which is commonly referred to as the Victoria Day Weekend, the May Long Weekend, the May Long, or the May Two-Four (a case of beer there is called a "two-four" and many of these are consumed over the holiday). The weekend is also called the May 24th weekend, although it does not necessarily fall on May 24th.

The Victoria Day Weekend is the first popular weekend for spring / summer travel. Lots of people open up their cottages, plant gardens, or just get away. Expect crowds at resorts and hotels and busy highways. Fireworks displays are common, especially on Monday night.

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