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Victoria Day

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Victoria Day


The History of Victoria Day

Victoria Day (called Fête de la Reine in French) was established as an official legal holiday in 1901 by the Canadian Parliament in remembrance of Queen Victoria (1819-1901).  Queen Victoria was the English sovereign from 1837 (after the death of George IV – her uncle) at the age of 18 until her own death in 1901.They chose May 24th, the birthday of Queen Victoria to be the date of the holiday (unless it came out on a Sunday, then a proclamation is made to have it celebrated on the 25th).  In addition, the date of her birthday had been already been celebrated in parts of Canada (originally called Canada West, which is comprised mainly of modern Ontario) since 1845, when the Legislature of the Province of Canada declared this date a legal holiday in honor of the Queen’s birthday and was called Sovereigns Day – and throughout Canada and the English Empire since the early 1890s, celebrating Empire Day in her honor [changed to Commonwealth Day in 1958 and changed to the second Monday in March in 1977).  In 1952, the Statutes of Canada were amended so that Victoria would be celebrated on the Monday preceding May 25th.  Also note that Great Britain celebrates the Queen’s Birthday in early June.  There has recently been some talk about changing the name of the holiday (e.g. Citizenship Day or Heritage Day) or even moving the date to coincide with Memorial Day (a U.S. holiday), which occurs about a week later. It is already referred to as Fête de Dollard in Quebec in commemoration of Adam Dollard des Ormeaux (a French-Canadian soldier and folk hero who (in 1660) led 22 men to defend against a force of 500).


Note, the holiday is not officially celebrated in the following Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.


Sovereigns Birthdays

The birthday of the sovereign following Victoria, her son, King Edward VII (actually born on November 9th) was celebrated on Victoria Day by official proclamation.  However, not all subsequent rulers followed suit, and usually used their own birth dates. [See chart below]



Years of Reign

Date of Birth

Official Celebration

Queen Elizabeth II


April 21, 1926

1952 = June 9
1953-present = Victoria Day

King George VI


December 14, 1895

June 9, 1937
June 9, 1938
May 20, 1939
June 13, 1940
June 9, 1941
June 8, 1942
June 2, 1943
June 8, 1944

June 14, 1945
June 10, 1946
June 10, 1947
June 7, 1948
June 6, 1949
June 5, 1950
June 4, 1951

King Edward VIII


June 23, 1894

June 23

King George V


June 3, 1865

June 3

King Edward VII


November 9, 1841

May 24

Queen Victoria


24 May, 1819

May 24


Victoria Day Traditions

The traditional celebration of Victoria Day usually includes taking the day off from work and spending it with the family.  Bar-B-Qs and spending time with your kids in the park are usual destinations of the celebrants.  The evenings are usually concluded with watching a fireworks display or setting them off yourself (some people refer to the holiday as fire cracker day).  Other go away for the long three day weekend.  The holiday is also called “May two-four” by some because (1) it falls out around May 24th, but also (2) it refers to a case of beer with 24 bottles, since drinking is another usual tradition of the holiday.


Coming Soon!


General Websites about Victoria Day

Annie’s Victoria Day Page ( Information and related links about Victoria Day.

Happy Victoria Day ( “The ultimate collection of resources for Victoria Day Celebrations in Canada”


Information, Origin and History of Victoria Day

The 24th Of May: Victoria Day (Yaffles & Yaffles): Information and history of the holiday, also includes a bit of the holiday’s traditions.

Celebrating Victoria Day ( Brief overview of the holiday

Holidays & Festivals: Victoria Day ( Information and history of Victoria Day.

The Making of a Holiday – Victoria Day ( Information, history and story of how Victoria Day came into being.

Victoria Day (Department of Canadian Heritage): Information on the origin and history of the Victoria Day Holiday – includes a chart of Sovereign’s birthdays & observances.

Victoria Day (Golden Gate Genealogy Forum): Information on the Victoria Day holiday and Queen Victora.

Victoria Day – ( Information on the holiday and the birthdays of other sovereigns.

Victoria Day – ( Information, history and origin of Victoria Day.

Victoria Day ( Everything you wanted to know about Victoria Day but Had No Clue How to Find It.


Victoria Day Traditions

The 24th Of May: Victoria Day (Yaffles & Yaffles): Information and history of the holiday, also includes a bit of the holiday’s traditions.



Victoria Day Events

Victoria Day at the Detroit Zoo (

Victoria Day Canada Events (

Victoria Day Celebrations – Fort Henry (

Victoria Day Fun at Fort York (


Victoria Day Crafts and Activities for Kids

Victoria Day ( Coloring activities, craft ideas, e-cards and lesson plans    

Victoria Day Recipes

Picnic Recipes for Canada and Victoria Day (

Recipes From the Victorian Era (

Spring 2005: Recipes and Entertaining (


Victoria Day Quotations”

“Quote-un-Quote” : Queen Victoria (


Victoria Day Multimedia

Victoria Day eCards/GreetingCards

Free Victoria Day Ecards (

Holiday Ecards: Victoria Day (

Victoria Day (

Victoria Day (

Victoria Day (

Victoria Day Screen Savers

Victorian Screensavers for Your PC (

Victoria Day Desktop Themes

Victorian Desktop Thems for Your PC (

Victoria Day Wallpaper

Victorian Wallpapers for your PC (


Victoria Day Stories and Poems

Victoria Day by Matt Squires (Washington Yacht Club)

Victoria Day: Dina’s Weekly Feature by Dina (Pearson Adult Learning Centre)

Victoria Day on the Island by Emily Cumming (



Victoria Day News

News and Articles on Victoria Day (


Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria ( Information on the life and history of Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

Queen Victoria – A Brief Biography ( A short bio of Queen Victoria.


Miscellaneous Victoria Day Websites

Victoria Day, A Public Holiday Under Employment Standards Act, 2002 (Ontario Ministry of Labour)

Victoria Picnic Etiquettes (



Gift Baskets for Victoria Day

Celebration Box with Sparkling Wine Gift Basket



Food & Drink for Victoria Day



Celebration Box with Sparkling Wine Gift Basket


Flowers for Victoria Day

Post-Holiday Sale  125x125    

Books for Victoria Day


Alberta icon


Moon Handbooks Alberta icon


High Days and Holidays in Canada icon



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Last modified: March 20, 2012

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