It seems strange that each year we look forward to a holiday coined May 2-4, that rarely occurs on the 24th. It’s never late, but always early and this got me wondering….WHY? Time for bit of a Her-story Lesson.
This holiday is properly known as Victoria Day (not May 2-4) and is in celebration of the British queen Victoria who was born on May 24, 1819. She was a reigning monarch for 63 years, seven months and two days. It is NOT in anyway related to that first 24 case of beer cracked open to enjoy during a backyard BBQ. Not that we’re against that!
Being such a long-standing monarch the Canadian government decided Victoria should have her own holiday and Victoria Day was declared a Canadian holiday by the government in 1845. At that time, it was celebrated with picnics, parades, sporting tournaments, fireworks and cannon salutes. When Queen Victoria died in 1901, Canada’s parliament decided it should become a statutory holiday and thus the first long weekend of Spring was born.
Now about that date. It was decided that the day would be celebrated on May 24th each year (or on May 25th if the 24th fell on a Sunday). For example this year the 24th is a Friday, which means we get the holiday 4 days early on Monday the 20th. Thus, the moving holiday mystery is solved. And let’s be honest, nobody wants to go to work on Mondays, so we think it’s better that way. Happy Victoria Day!