Victoria Day means a long weekend with lots of fun outdoor opportunities, but have you ever wondered how the holiday got its start? Read on to find out!

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When the calendar etches closer to May 24, everybody is excited for the long weekend—but why do we do it? Victoria Day began as a way to celebrate the crown, though to many of us it simply means summer is officially here! Throughout Canada, Victoria Day is more informally known as ‘May Two-Four,’ but the sentiment is the same: it’s a long weekend to spend with friends and family.

The holiday has fascinating Canadian history behind it, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate May 24 as it rolls around. Let’s take a look at Victoria Day’s history and how Canadians celebrate it!

Victoria Day Weekend 2019

  1. Victoria Day origins
  2. Victoria Day BBQ
  3. Perfect your patio for Victoria Day long weekend
  4. Going outdoors for Victoria Day long weekend
  5. Going for a swim on Victoria Day
  6. Victoria Day camping trip
  7. Start your summer gardening
  8. Victoria Day fireworks

Victoria Day origins

The birth of Victoria Day takes us back to 1841, a big year in Canadian history. That year, the parliaments of Upper Canada and Lower Canada merged into a single legislative assembly. This assembly wanted to find common ground for both English and French Canadians. Though both cultures had vast differences, one key trait held strong in each—support for the British monarchy. In 1845, the assembly declared Queen Victoria’s birthday, which occured on May 24, to be an official public holiday. The idea caught on quickly, and it has been celebrated ever since.


Victoria Day BBQ

With May 24 typically taking place when the weather has gotten warmer, it’s a great opportunity to have friends over and fire up the grill! After a long winter season, everyone is keen to enjoy the outdoors. Hosting a fun BBQ party on the long weekend is the perfect way to do this, as friends and family won’t have to worry about work the next day and can truly relax! It’s a win-win situation complemented by delicious food—what more can one ask for?

You might also like: Best Walmart BBQ Guide


Perfect your patio for Victoria Day long weekend

Whether you’re grilling up a Victoria Day feast or not, the long weekend is a great opportunity to relax outdoors. Spruce up your outdoor patio with some new dining sets that are sure to wow your guests! Comfortable and stylish seating will make your own slice of the outdoors all the more enjoyable. It’s a great way to both impress your guests and make sure Victoria Day kicks off a summer full of patio enjoyment!


Going outdoors for Victoria Day long weekend

It’s important to spend time outdoors, and that’s especially true if you’ve got young ones in the family. Consider getting creative with washable sidewalk chalk and drawing fun art outside! If you wish to go further and take a family stroll, this two-seater wagon can help make the trip fun for the kids! Regardless of how far you go, it’s a great idea to spend time outdoors for the long weekend.


Going for a swim on Victoria Day

With summer weather finally arriving, what better place is there to celebrate but in a pool? As the heat waves hit, cool off with a refreshing swim and relax poolside to get the summer tan going! There are plenty of swimming options out there for you, and Canada is blessed with many beautiful beachfronts, too! Remember to keep things safe if you intend to jump in the waters.


Victoria Day camping trip

The long holiday weekend presents the perfect opportunity for a getaway into the wilderness. Many Canadians use the extra time to drive to one of Canada’s many great campsites to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends. Consider a nice camping trip this Victoria Day if you’re keen to unplug, relax, and enjoy some campfire stories with loved ones.


Start your summer gardening

With an extra day tacked on to the weekend, it’s a great opportunity to tackle some projects that might not otherwise fit into a two-day break! If you’ve got a garden or are considering starting one, Victoria Day is the perfect opportunity to plant the seeds of a beautiful summer. Projects like greenhouses and plant coverages take careful planning, so it’s best to get started sooner rather than later! Best of all, it’s a gift that will keep on giving throughout the entire season!


Victoria Day fireworks

What better way to end off the holiday than a beautiful symphony in the sky? Victoria Day fireworks have been a long-held tradition in Canada, and it’s one that many townships and individuals participate in each year. There’s typically no set time for the fireworks show: once the sun is down, the show begins. The best views can be found on beachfronts, so make sure to bring some beach towels to secure your spot for the Victoria Day fireworks!

With May 24 marking the unofficial arrival of summer, it’s always going to be a popular holiday. Whether you’d like to host a huge summer party or keep things low key, we hope you have a fantastic Victoria Day! Enjoy the long weekend!

See also: Statutory Holidays: Canada 2019 – Your Guide to Canada Stat Holidays by Province

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John is a Toronto-based journalist from Bracebridge, Ontario. With several years of experience in the gaming industry spent delivering news with honesty and integrity, his appetite for all things technology has only grown. Outside of the gaming world, he’s got a huge passion for photography, sports, and mid-day naps. You can check him out on his Twitter channel, @Makelevi.