Monday, May 24, 2010

Monday AMuse

Today is May two-four.

Victoria Day.

A holiday in these parts. And for once, the holiday celebrating Queen Victoria's birthday actually falls on her birthday.
She would be 191 years old this year. She reigned for 63 years, 216 days.
This weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer, the weekend for planting your garden, the traditional opening of the cottage, the beginning of blackfly season.

It is celebrated often by the drinking of a traditional case of 24 beer. The beer store sales rise by about 20% this weekend. Thus, the play on words (in Eastern Canada, at least) of May two-four.

When I was young, the nickname for the holiday was Firecracker Day. That term has gone by the wayside now that backyard fireworks have been banned. And it is no longer the only day of the year for fireworks.

Drink Responsibly and Enjoy the Day


  1. Very informative post. I find Queen Victoria fascinating and particularly that era.

    CJ xx

  2. I hope you enjoy your holiday! It´s also the start of camping season, right?
    Happy Summer!

  3. May two-four? Definitely an Eastern expression: I've never heard it out here (not that I've heard everything, of course ...)

    It's sunny here, but breezy and chilly for the first "summer" long weekend of the year - something like ten degrees. If I was a camper, I would certainly not be camping right about now!

  4. Crystal: it was a fascinating era that I am happy to read about and glad to not have had to live through!

    Betty: yes, it is! you can now book your camping spots at your favourite provincial park and campgrounds.

    Pinklea: I never heard of the term until I moved to 'cottage country' in Central Ontario about 15 years ago. Since then I see it written, and gradually people in Southern Ontario are starting to use it (though I suspect, sightly derisively).
    Mostly it is called The May Long Weekend.

  5. I learned something new here! Thanks.
    Have a great time and happy holiday!

  6. Lovely post, I managed to plant my flowers, Monday was nice, I would have froze my but off camping. take care. Hugs.

  7. Hi Violet

    why does Victoria get revered in this way I wonder. You have a state Victoria don't you, we do too...

    Happy days

  8. Coooool! May 24 was my graduation day from high school...39 years ago. Dear god!

  9. May 24 has been the expression for us as as long as I can remember. I am sure my parents called it Victora Day weekend when we were kids. Of course now it is to celebrate the reigning Queen's birthday but I don't think many think of it this way anymore. Rather antiquated. I didn't realize it was particularily an Eastern Canadian expression. I wonder if it is mostly Ontario's? It was a lovely weekend this time. Great post!

  10. We celebrate the reigning Queen's Day on April 30th. I don't know what we'll do when Alexander becomes king. His daughter Amalia will be our next queen, but I will not be here anymore by that time, She's only 5 years old, I think.

  11. Happy Victoria Day! In Australia I lived in the state of Victoria, but we only had a holiday for the reigning Queen!

  12. I thought we were bad enough, celebrating Queens Birthday Weekend! Any excuse for a holiday, I guess!

  13. SAW: it is fun to party when the weather is good

    Joanna: thanks

    Cinner: the garden centres were packed!!

  14. Delwyn: Victoria was Queen when Canada became a nation, so it makes sense to celebrate. though I wonder how we would be celebrating had her birthday been in February.
    We don't have a province of Victoria, but the capital city of British Columbia is Victoria

    Susan: I don't even remember what year I graduated, never mind the date!!

    Lorac: wasn't it? and it is still a great week for warm weather!
    I rather like the idea of celebrating a bit our history. It should be remember in any way.

  15. Nora: maybe by the time Willem Alexander is crowned he will decide to keep April 30th as a celebratory day - it has been entrenched in your memory for generations by now!!

    Scott: yeah, we don't bother with ER's birthday. besides, we really like the unofficial start to summer bit and you can't have that in April

    Meggie: whether we like it or not we have a royal family - and they can be useful for celebrations!

  16. Wonderful description of May 24th. My husband still calls it Firecracker Day. :)


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