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Home » Culture

Happy Victoria Day

Submitted by on May 18, 2009 – 8:51 amNo Comment

QueenVictoriastatueToday is a holiday in Canada — Victoria Day.

Nowadays, as Canadians head to their vacation cottages, picnic on the beach, or fire up the backyard barbecues, the holiday is more about the start of summer than it is about the Queen’s birthday. But it was originally created to celebrate the May 24 birthday of Britain’s Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria, who governed from 1837 until her death in 1901, was the ruling monarch at the time of Canadian Confederation — when Canada became a nation in 1867. Since 1952, Canada has celebrated Victoria’s birthday on the Monday before May 25, and in 1957, Victoria Day became the official day to celebrate the sovereign’s birthday in Canada.

As a Commonwealth country, Canada still has a queen, currently Queen Elizabeth II. Although Elizabeth’s actual birthday is April 21, it’s honored on Victoria Day.

So head for the beach today, and wherever you are, offer a birthday toast to the queen!

Photo ©Carolyn B. Heller

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