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Victoria Day




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Victoria Day


Victoria Day is celebrated on the first Monday preceding May 25th. It is a statutory holiday throughout all of Canada except the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island).

Victoria Day falls on the second to last Monday in May, which is usually the third weekend, but can be the fourth in years like 1999 where the 31st falls on a Monday. It falls on the weekend preceding Memorial Day in the United States. Some cities celebrate this day with fireworks in the evening.

Victoria Day is officially the Sovereign's birthday. The Sovereign's birthday was first observed in Ontario (then called Canada West) in 1845 to celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria of England (1837-1901).

After the death of Queen Victoria, an Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada establishing a legal holiday on May 24 in each year (or May 25 if May 24 fell on a Sunday) under the name Victoria Day. An amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952 established the celebration of Victoria Day on the Monday preceding May 25, making it the first long weekend of the summer season.

From 1953 to 1956, the Queen's birthday was celebrated in Canada on Victoria Day. In 1957, Victoria Day was permanently appointed as the Queen's birthday in Canada. In the United Kingdom, the Queen's birthday is celebrated in June.

Victoria Day has also been known as the Queen's Birthday, Empire Day, and Commonwealth Day. The holiday name was changed to Empire Day in the 1890s when enthusiasm for the British Empire was at a peak. By the mid-20th century, however, the Empire had given way to the Commonwealth, so the holiday became known as Commonwealth Day. In 1977 Commonwealth Day was moved to the second Monday in March and Canadians continued to celebrate Victoria Day in May.

In Québec, since 2003 it has also been known as National Patriots’ Day to honor the rebellion against the British in 1837. Before 2003 in Québec it was known as la Fête de Dollard or Dollard Day in honor of the 17th century soldier, Adam Dollard des Ormeaux.






Victoria Day - Information on Victoria Day presented by the Government of Canada Department of Canadian Heritage



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