A Day To Celebrate Queens (Victoria Day)
This post is filler. I didn’t know what to write about on Thursday, so I decided to do some research and learn about a Canadian national holiday – Victoria Day.
It’s a statutory holiday for us Canucks, but not too many of us know what it’s about. So here is a list of twelve things I bet you didn’t know about Victoria Day, and then a brief summary on what I plan to do about it myself. Savvy? And here we go.
Victoria Day Fun Facts
I’m going to keep these facts, short, topical and entertaining, but if you think of any better ones, be sure to let us know, after all, we try to keep it classy here at timotheories.
- Victoria Day is a Canadian holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday. As such, it is the Monday between the 18th to the 24th inclusive, and thus is always the second to last Monday of May.
- The date is simultaneously that on which the current royal Queen’s official birthday is recognized (for instance Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday is April 21st). We also sometimes consider this an informal start to summer season in Canada.
- Queen Victoria was one of the longest sitting monarchs in all of British history, and inspired an entire era to be named after her…
- Canadians have been celebrating the date of her birthday since we became a country in 1845, and it legally became a day off when she died in 1901.
- Victoria Day is most definitely a Canadian festivity and is not widely celebrated in the British Isles, though the Scottish and some English do partake.
- For one reason or another, likely old hurts, the Quebecois do not celebrate Victoria Day, and for years chose to celebrate Fete de Dollard, after the French hero Adam Dollard des Ormeaux who won a battle with French soldiers against Iroquois in 1660. Now they celebrate National Patriots Day instead.
- The original celebrations of the holiday took place annually on May 24th, no matter what day of the week that was, excepting Sunday. In which case the holiday was moved to the 25th of May. And this changed to the current structure in 1952.
- Political figures and hip hop artists of today could take some queues from Victoria as she was able to stave off more than six assassination attempts on her life.
- Famous for wearing black before Johnny Cash. Victoria went into seclusion in 1961 after her husband Albert died, and was in mourning for a very long time, not getting back into the public until the early 1870s. There has been great speculation that she later privately married her Scottish butler John Brown.
- Before they were abolished in 1968, 21 gun salutes were commonly fired in Ottawa and the provincial capitals on Victoria Day AND and a number of other important Queen days – actual birthday, accession day, and coronation day, for instance.
- An important mark in fashion, summer clothing is traditionally worn from Victoria Day through until Labour Day… Hence the expression, don’t wear white after Labour Day.
- Canadian band Rush, British band The Kinks, and British musician Paul McCartney of Beatles fame have all written songs about the queen Victoria. Which hasn’t been done officially since that time.
A day for all Canadians, Victoria Day is often celebrated as May Long in the common vernacular, and that’s okay in my books. But we should of course be aware of our history, and do our best to consider it as we each move forward in our own endeavours.
I, for instance, will be spending the May long weekend working on interviews, editing episodes of Cross Talk, Watch Culture and Just n Time Games, watching movies, and making art.
And so should you creative cuties, and so should you. Thank Victoria for the true north, strong and free, because she was instrumental in helping to shape this great nation of ours, at least that’s my theory.