Victoria Day in Canada – May 22

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In Canada, each last Monday of May is celebrating to honor Queen Victoria as Victoria Day since 1845. In that day, people come together and join country wide celebrations. Fireworks, concerts etc. are served people by governmental or foundational institutions. Majority of people spend this day with their family. They may take a trip for weekend in short distance or they go to parks and outdoor places to make big picnics with their family and friends. That day also refers to end of the winter and beginning of the spring unofficially.

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Victoria Day
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Victoria Day

Before it’s acceptance by parliament in Canada, the birthday of queen also was celebrated by people. After in 1845 when parliament accepted proclamation on May 24 about 5 000 citizens came together around government office to give cheers to their queen. That was 35th birthday of queen and then other time in 1866 in Omemee, people came together in a big festival to celebrate their queen’s birthday in variety of events such as a gun salute at midnight, pre-dawn serenades, picnics, sport competitions, illumination displaying, torch-light procession which some of are very common rituals in society, so after a while in 1890’s that day became a patriotic holiday among people in Canada. After death of Queen Victoria in 1901, due to law makers May 24 was considered as a national holiday to honor and remember “mother of confederation”. After a while in 1904 British Empire also accepted that day as a holiday. Beyond all celebration and events for Victoria Day, in 1881 there as two terrible situations.

Victoria Day Canada
Victoria Day Canada

First one is the passenger ferry in Thames River near to London departed from coast in the evening with about 700 people which means at least double more than standard and allowable passenger number. After accident, 182 individuals consisting large number of children lose their life while they are returning from picnic of Victoria Day in Springbank Park. Second one is happened in 1896 in British Columbia. To celebrate and attend events people assembled in Point Ellice Bridge after a while bridge collapsed under the overload weight of people, streetcar and trucks.

Victoria Day in Canada
Victoria Day in Canada

In Victoria Day, because it is a national holiday, public life does not run normally. Majority of people make one day off, so they do not go to their work and also schools are closed by government. Of course there can be some exceptions about this issue such as some business owners pay extra money to their employees to work in this holiday. Also, like banks federally managed organizations continue to work. Unlike public transportation runs in its regular schedule, post offices do not work in Victoria Day.

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