Victoria Day Weekend – A Truly Canadian Experience

In Canada Victoria Day marks the unofficial start of the summer season. Looking at the weather forecast right now with the Vic Weekend just about 2 weeks away and temperatures barely making it to 9 Celsius, you’d never know it.

Victoria Weekend, or May Two-Four as we also like to call it, is the time we Canucks visit gardening centres in droves, buying up every impatiens, petunia, tomato plant and sheep manure bag we can load into our vehicle. This is the busiest time of year for gardening centres from minor home landscaping jobs, to major yard renos; flower beds to vegetable gardens are planned and created with fervor.

Vic Weekend is also the beginning of cottage season. Boats are readied and put in water – or at least we hope the weather allows it to be. I have my doubts for this year though for boating fun, unless things markedly improve or you are okay with a parka and ear muffs on the lakes and rivers. Personally I don’t “do” cold and windy boating; I’m a shorts and t-shirt gal when I climb aboard.

While this year our long weekend falls short of the 24th, occurring instead on the 22nd, we endearingly hold onto the name “May two-four” because this is truly Canadian as well; two-four refers to a case of beer in Canadian slang.  So another event that will be taking place on patios, at cottages and around camp fires across this beautiful land of ours is beer drinking.  Bob and Doug McKenzie scenes will be played out somewhere across this land more than likely.

In “olden days” the weekend marked the time one could begin to wear white and light summery clothing, with the end of course being Labour Day. Thankfully though the “olden days” rules on dressing are no longer accepted as the norm, and this lady wears white all year round, (they do make winter white you know). I also don’t put away my sandals until at least after October’s Thanksgiving holiday. Down here in this neck of the woods, in the “banana belt”, it is not unheard of to see and 80 degree day at that time. While I may be pushing the end of the season, I am certainly in the company of many who realize the “no white until after May 24th, is, well, silly.

Now we all should know too, that this weekend is just not all about camping, and planting, and beer drinking, as much as one or all of those things are fun for us. There is a person this weekend recognizes; Queen Victoria.  I hold proudly onto the Monarchy because it adds to what it means to be a Canadian. (For others, it just means following Princess Kate for the latest fashion “its” to wear, or because Prince Harry is so handsome, and that’s OK!).  Wherever is your corner, whatever floats your boat, the fact remains the holiday exists because of our ties to the Monarchy and to England. I also know this gal loves a long weekend.  We can’t have enough of those, can we?

Queen Victoria ascended to the throne at the age of 18 and ruled until her death in 1901 at the age of 81. Some interesting facts on this monarch are:

  • She barely was 5 feet tall
  • She proposed to Albert (you go girl!)
  • At least 6 attempts on her life were made during her reign
  • The death of her husband Albert threw her into a deep depression and threatened her reign as monarch as she shirked her duties during this time.
  • She always work black after the death of her beloved, until her own death
  • She was the first member of the Royal Family known to suffer from hemophilia, a fact that had many questioning the circumstances of her parentage

In this 150 year celebration of us, Canada,  relish in how the Monarchy makes us unique from our neighbours down South. It is part of our history, and not just a weekend off. But most of all till that earth, plant those flowers, relax and laugh with a two-four around a campfire at the cottage with family and friends or boat with or without your ear muffs.     #proudtobecanadian #vicday #victoriaday

Written by

Library Services at Windsor Public Library. I read an array of non fiction. I love travelling, gardening, cats and cooking - not necessarily in that order. I have been with WPL for 32 years; am a mother of grown twins, and I am waiting to become a grandma in the next chapter of my life.

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