Celebrating Queen Victoria and Canada’s National Patriots
Commonly referred to as the May two-four long weekend, Victoria Day and National Patriots’ Day heralds the unofficial start of summer, as it is the first long weekend of the year with warmer weather. For many of us, it’s the first opportunity to head out to the cottage, play a round of Golf, or even take the first swim of the year. Yet not many people often contemplate the significance of Victoria Day or National Patriot’s Day, or why we celebrate them.
Queen Victoria, whose birthday is the cause for celebration in most Canadian provinces, sat on the throne for an impressive 63 years, leaving behind quite a legacy: During her long reign, she bore nine children, survived no less than six assassination attempts, and was an imposing figure despite being only five feet tall. She was an avid journal keeper and filled over 121 volumes, some of which have been published over the years following her death. The British Queen was Canada’s first Monarch, having occupied the throne during the year of Canada’s birth in 1867.
In Quebec, the May long weekend focuses on National Patriots’ Day, (replacing Fête de Dollard), to honour Quebec – which was then known as Lower Canada – and the struggle of it’s patriots during 1837 and 1838 between the Lower Canada Rebellion and the province’s British Colony.
Although there are differences in the history and significance behind these two holidays, the Canadian long weekend remains a fantastic opportunity for all hardworking individuals to unplug from work and spend time with loved ones and friends, and hopefully enjoy some summerlike weather in the process!