Why do Canadians have a long weekend in May?


The May long weekend is widely considered
to be Canada’s unofficial start to summer. Here on BC’s beautiful Sunshine Coast, it kicks off
our busy tourist season which will last until about Labour Day. Out west, May’s long weekend goes by May Two-Four
and May-Long while in Ontario, it’s sometimes called Firecracker Day. But the holiday’s
proper name is Victoria Day and it marks Queen Victoria’s birthday, which was May 24th. As Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland from 1837 until her death in 1901, Queen Victoria was also Canada’s queen until
we received our independence in 1867. After her death, parliament made Victoria
Day an official holiday in honour of Her Majesty’s contributions to Canada over her 63-year reign. In 1952, the holiday was moved to the Monday
on or prior to May 24th, presumably to better allow Canadians to celebrate the late monarch’s
birthday by shooting off fireworks and drinking beer at the lake.

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