Here in Canada this is a long weekend. It’s Victoria Day, which is a stat holiday, and about which I’ve always been vague. People light fireworks and plant gardens and that’s about all I knew about it. Some years it was cold, some years mild, but by Victoria Day you could be pretty sure that frost was over, though due to climate change that point is pretty much moot.
My kids are even vaguer about Victoria Day. My 8 year old, who is working on a one room schoolhouse for the pioneer days unit, knows that Queen V’s pic and a Union Jack hung inside, but had some uncertainty as to the origin of the flag and the queen’s sovereignty. She suggested America. (Can we spell cultural hegemony?)
After we went over that, I googled Vicky’s Day and discovered that it began as a celebration of her birthday and continues as the official birthday of the reigning monarch. The official birthday has, at times, wandered away from Victoria Day on the calendar, with more or less proximity to the actual birthday of the reigning British monarch (kind of like Jesus’ birthday), but it is once again the Monday on or before May 24th.
Happy Birthday Queen Elizabeth! Thanks for the holiday.
Oh and in Quebec–it’s National Patriots’ Day. Have a good one!