victoriaday.gifVictoria Day is around the corner and you all know what this means: long weekend. To whom do we owe the first long weekend of the summer season?

In Canada the holiday is celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25th. Victoria Day is officially the Sovereign’s birthday. The Sovereign’s birthday was first celebrated in Ontario in 1845 in honor of the birthday of Queen Victoria of England – she was actually born in May 24. After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the Parliament of Canada passed an Act to establish a legal holiday named Victoria Day on May 24 in each year – or May 25 if May 24 fell on a Sunday. In 1952 an amendment to the Statutes of Canada established the celebration of Victoria Day as we now know it.

Throughout history, Victoria Day was also known as Empire Day and Commonwealth Day. In 1977 Canadians continued to celebrate Victoria Day in May when Commonwealth Day was moved to the second Monday in March. Not all of Canada celebrate this Holiday. For example, until 2003, Quebec celebrated Dollard Day in honor of the 17th century soldier, Adam Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

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