Even though she's been dead for over a century, Canada has been celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday for years. Wouldn't it be cool if everyone could take a day off work or school on your birthday?
What is Victoria Day?
Queen Victoria was born on May 24th but Canadians celebrate Victoria Day on the Monday before May 24. This year Victoria Day is May 19th, 2014. Victoria Day became a popular holiday in Ontario (it was Canada West back then) in 1845 and a national holiday in 1901. During the 1900s, it used to be called Empire Day and then it changed to Commonwealth Day. Now Canadians call it Victoria Day. Victoria Day, or May Long Weekend as it's often called, marks the unofficial start of summer. Outdoor pools often open on this weekend and BBQs and camping trips are the norm.
Who Was Queen Victoria?
Victoria, who was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India, was born in 1819. She was only 18 when she took over the throne in 1837 after her uncle George IV died. She ruled until her death in 1901, when her son Edward the VII became the King of England.
Did You Know?
- The earliest postage stamps in the world were the Penny Black of the United Kingdom and had the head of Queen Victoria on them. They were first used on May 6, 1840.
- As a kid, Queen Victoria was trained to keep her chin up. To help her out, holly was put under her collar to irritate her if she put her chin down.
- Victoria's mom spoke German at home and even though she ruled England for 64 years, Victoria never learned to speak perfect English.
- Queen Victoria was the last teenager to rule England.
Have Your Say
How do you celebrate Victoria Day? Let us know!