Victoria Day is an official national holiday in Canada that is celebrated every year on the first Monday before May 25. The party is observed throughout the country except New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. In 2002, the festival was officially renamed and is now known as the Journee nationale des Patriotes (National Patriotic Day). As the name suggests, the festival takes place in honor of Queen Victoria. The country has carried on the tradition of observing holidays in honor of the British royal family.
Origin of Victoria Day
Victoria Day was celebrated from the year 1845, 22 years before the Confederation of Canada. It was originally known as the queen’s birthday until the queen’s death in 1901, when it became known as Victoria Day. Canada is the only country that commemorates Queen Victoria with an official party. Some cities organize parades in honor of Queen Victoria, particularly in the city of Victoria, in British Columbia. The Victoria Day twice serves a brand of the unofficial end of the season for winter activities throughout Canada.
Tragedies associated with Victoria Day
The Victoria Day of 1881 was noted for a tragic event that occurred during the festivities. A boat, ironically called Victoria, sank near the city of London, Ontario, killing 182 passengers on board. The tragedy was caused by the overloading of the boat that carried the 650 passengers against a structural capacity of the 400 passengers. Eyewitnesses claimed that the passengers had crowded on one side of the boat to watch a rowing race near the Cove Bridge and their weight turned the boat upside down. Tragedy is one of the worst marine tragedies in Canadian history.
In the Victoria Day of 1896, a bridge in Victoria, British Columbia collapsed when an overloaded tram crossed it bringing potential spectators to the Victoria Day parade.
Recent changes in dates
Initially, the party was held May 24th of each year, but was transferred to the 25th if the 24th fell on a Sunday. However, in 1952 the Canadian government decided to hold Victoria Day exclusively on a Monday, which means that if the 24th of May fell on a different day, the party will be held on the Monday immediately preceding the date. Currently, Victoria Day is held in colors and colors, and this is best seen in the city of Victoria, in the province of British Columbia. Schools, post offices, government offices and many businesses are closed.