Is Victoria Day in Canada a Public Holiday?
Victoria Day is given the status of a public holiday in 7 territories and 3 provinces according to Holidays 2020. The celebration falls on the last Monday before 25 May every year. Businesses, stores, and shops remain closed, as do schools and universities. Public Transportations also follow their customary route. The Eastern provinces of Prince Edward Islands, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland/Labrador consider Victoria Day a general, rather than a statutory holiday.
Victoria Day History in Canada
Victoria Day in Canada has been celebrated since before the beginning of the Queen’s reign. This Canadian observance continues to be celebrated across the country on the Monday before 25 May. The holiday generally falls between 18th to 24 May and so is always the second last Monday of May. The day was honoured in Canada, even before the formation of the Confederation. The first mentioned legislation for the day was passed by the parliament of the Province of Canada in 1845. They declared holiday on 24 May, the actual birthday of the Queen.
In the earlier days, the Queen’s birthday was celebrated with much enthusiasm. A gun salute, serenades, athletic competitions, picnics, luminous displays, and torch-light processions were the norm on the day. Thousands of residents would gather together to cheer for Her Highness. After she died in 1901, her birthday was declared Victoria Day. This was in honour of her being considered the ‘Mother of the Confederation’.
During the time of Queen Victoria, the British Empire expanded significantly. It saw numerous noteworthy changes in the industrial, political, cultural, military, and scientific aspects of the country. She had the longest reign of 63 years, 7 months, and 2 days before her death.
Public Life on Victoria Day in Canada
Victoria Day in Canada is celebrated with much gusto. Fireworks displays or parades mark the day, with the one in Island Farms being one of the most fabulous processions of the day. People gather in parks with their families to enjoy the May Long weekend. The official parade includes Canadian and American marching bands, musical floats, festive clowns, and so much more. The entire duration of May Two-Four is filled with games, concerts, sporting activities, and numerous other such events.
Canada is the only country which memorializes Queen Victoria with an official holiday. The country holds a parade, picnics, sporting tournament, cannon salutes and fireworks.
For most of the people, the May Run weekend marks the end of winter and start of the summer. In addition to this, public life on Victoria Day in Canada comprises a holiday filled with fun, parties, and relaxation for the citizens. Some activities that the people indulge in include:
- Gardeners sow or plant out the delicate crops
- Winter sports and recreational activities end and summer businesses like city tour operators, parks, bicycle rentals, outdoor restaurants, etc. open
- People with recreational homes in colder parts often go to open them up for summers of Canada
- Victoria Day Parades in various cities, especially the one in Victoria, British Columbia, which has been going on since 1898.
- The Hyack Anvil Battery Salute (an alternative for the 21-gun salute)
- Fireworks show in various places including Ashbridge’s Bay Beach and Ontario Place in Toronto
- Car racing in Clarington, Ontario
- Trooping the Colour ceremony at Parliament Hill (or at Rideau Hall sometimes)
- The Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax, Nova Scotia
- People drink the two-four (twenty-four beers) marking the original date of the celebration, 24 May, as well as its alternative name, May Two-Four.
- Logger sports with axe throwing, log rolling, and tree climbing in Kaslo, British Columbia
Victoria Day Observances
|2019||Mon||20 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2020||Mon||18 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2021||Mon||24 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2022||Mon||23 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2023||Mon||22 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2024||Mon||20 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
|2025||Mon||19 May||Victoria Day||National Holiday|
1. Why Does Canada celebrate Victoria Day?
The British Queen, Victoria was born on 24 May, 1819. The Canadian government declared the day as Victoria Day in her honour. Though the date changed soon afterwards and Victoria Day in Canada celebrates it on the second last Monday of May.
2. Why was Queen Victoria so crucial to Canada?
Queen Victoria favoured the Confederations and acted as an influence for the Canadian people. While the Queen never visited Canada herself, five out of her nine children were in Canada, where her name was given to various monuments, buildings, streets and communities.
3. What are the other names given to Victoria Day in Canada?
Some of the official names for Victoria Day in Canada include May Long Weekend, May Long, May Two-Four, and May Run.
4. Which countries celebrate Victoria Day?
Victoria Day is only celebrated in Canada and Scotland, to honour Queen Victoria’s birthday.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Victoria Day in 2020? The date is 18 May, Monday.
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