Who was Victoria and why do we celebrate her day?

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Victoria Day:

  1. Victoria Day is an official holiday. Everyone looks forward to this May long weekend.
  2. It is also called May Two-Four or May Long.
  3. Victoria Day is always on the Monday before May 24th each year.
  4. It is celebrated to honour Queen Victoria. She was born on May 24, 1819.

Who was Queen Victoria?

  1. Queen Victoria used to be the longest reigning British monarch in history.
    • She ruled for 63 years and 216 days until her death.
    • She died in 1901.
  2. Queen Elizabeth II is now the longest reigning monarch.
  3. Queen Victoria became queen in 1837. She was 18 years old.
  4. Her reign was a period of great development in Great Britain’s industry, science and economy.
    • Railways, bridges and power distribution networks were built.
    • The empire expanded. It included Canada, Australia, India and parts of Africa and the South Pacific.
    • This period is called the Victorian era. She became the symbol of the progress and philosophy of the time.

What is Victoria Day?

  1. Victoria Day was declared a holiday in 1845 by the parliament of the Province of Canada.
  2. It became a legal holiday after the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.
  3. It used to be celebrated on May 24th every year. It was celebrated on the 25th if the 24th is a Sunday.
  4. The government changed it to the Monday before May 24th in 1952.
  5. Victoria Day is a holiday in most of Canada. The Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador do not observe Victoria Day.
  6. They celebrate Journée nationale des patriotes (National Patriots’ Day) in Quebec.
  7. England does not observe this holiday. It is celebrated only in Canada and Scotland.

How do Canadians celebrate Victoria Day?

  1. During the Victorian era, it was a day for:
    • picnics
    • parades
    • sporting tournaments
    • fireworks
    • cannon salutes
  2. They have grand parades in Victoria, British Columbia (named after Queen Victoria).
  3. There are big fireworks displays in Hamilton and Toronto.
  4. Victoria day marks the (unofficial) start of the summer season. Many cottages and campsites open on this day.
  5. Many people to go to their cottages on the weekend. Some go camping with family and friends.
  6. Amusement parks and other outdoor attractions open on this day.

What’s open and closed on Victoria Day?

  1. Recreation centres and shopping malls are open during the long weekend. Some malls may have shorter hours on the holiday Monday.
  2. All civic offices are closed on Monday. All Winnipeg Library branches and leisure centres are also closed.
  3. Check online for what’s open and closed on Victoria Day weekend.
  4. Call 311 or go to the 311 City Services website for more information on city services.

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