Monday, May 21, 2012
Canada is a commonwealth country with symbolic ties back to Great Britain, of which it used to be a part. Canada continues its tradition to honor Queen Victoria and celebrates her birthday as a statutory holiday called Victoria Day. Victoria Day in Canada is celebrated on the third Monday of May, and has been a Canadian holiday since 1845. In Quebec, the holiday is known as the National Patriot’s day.
The Royal Union Flag (Union Jack) is hoisted and flown from sunrise to sunset at all major federal buildings across the country (such as airports and military bases). As well 21 gun salutes are fired in each provincial capital at mid-day. Generally, major cities in Canada host a Victoria Day parade.
Many communities in Canada offer some sort of festivities, but Victoria in British Columbia offers a grand parade and then fireworks over the water. In Banff, skiing officially ends in one of its major ski resorts (Sunshine village).
The Victoria Day weekend often has people celebrating with barbeques, picnics, camping, planting gardens and opening up cottages. Even some outdoor amusement parks and fairs start for the season. Many people like to break the end of winter and get away, and in some places in Canada can be considered the beginning of summer.
Generally major city centers in Canada gear up to celebrate Victoria Day in their own style. If you would like to find out what is happening in your area, consult your local tourism office or check online to see what events have been lined up.
It’s a great way to start the summer and kick it off with a celebration (and a holiday!).
If you would like to be in Victoria this year for Victoria Day, there are several events that you could take in:
- Dinosaur exhibit at the Royal BC Museum.
- Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival.
- Pro Rodeo.
Have fun this Victoria day and take in something different.