Victoria Day in Canada

When is Victoria Day in Canada?

Victoria Day in Canada is on May 22, 2023. It falls on Monday.

How many days until Victoria Day in Canada?

There are 319 Days left until Victoria Day in Canada.

Is Victoria Day a public holiday in Canada?

Victoria Day is a public holiday in Canada, celebrated on the last Monday leading up to May 25. All 3 Canadian territories and most of its provinces have declared Victoria Day a paid statutory holiday. This holiday is observed to commemorate the birthday of Queen Alexandrina Victoria, the former Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Today, Canadians refer to this day as the “May two-four weekend” or the “May long weekend”.

While all federal buildings and educational institutions close for Victoria Day, many retail business organizations remain open including shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions.

Victoria Day's Origin

Canada’s Victoria Day is celebrated to commemorate the birthday of the former ruler of the United Kingdom, Queen Victoria.

Who is Queen Victoria?

Queen Victoria was a British Queen born on May 24, 1819. She served the throne at the age of 18. Her reigning period began on June 20, 1837 until her death at the age of 81 on January 22, 1901. Although it has been noted that the Queen is getting weaker and weaker as years passed, Queen Victoria died because of cerebral hemorrhage, a type of stroke.

The reign of Queen Victoria, now known as the Victorian era, sees the growth of the British Empire, becoming the first global industrial power. She reigned for a total of 63 years and seven months which was way longer than any of her predecessors.

When did Victoria Day become a holiday?

Although Victoria Day has been celebrated in the Province of Canada since year 1845, it was only in year 1901, after the Queen’s death, that the Canadian government declared it as a legal national holiday. It is celebrated every 24th of May, on Queen Victoria’s birthday. However, on year 1952, it was decided by the government to switch its celebratory date. From May 24th, it was moved to the last Monday before May 25 instead. Thus, its date of celebration at present varies from year to year.

Victoria Day's Traditions in Canada

In Canada, Victoria Day is unofficially recognized as the start of the summer season, therefore, most of this day’s activities are likely held outdoors.

How is Victoria Day celebrated in Canada?

Since most of the Canadian workers are given a day off on Victoria Day, many would spend their rest day partaking on the holiday’s public events. Some families may prefer to stay home and relax while others may plan a camping trip, go on a picnic, or visit the parks. It is also typical to have small get-togethers on this day. Family and friends alike may enjoy having barbecue parties together.

Raising of the Royal Union Flag

One of the traditions observed on this day is the flying of the Royal Union Flag, or also known as the Union Jack. The Royal Union Flag is to be flown from sunrise to sunset, alongside the country’s national flag. This is seen flown in all federal government buildings throughout Canada.

Attending Victoria Day parades

Small and large Victoria Day parades are traditionally organized each year during the celebration of Victoria Day. Several cities from across the Canadian provinces and territories hold these events, inviting people to participate. Many Canadians would attend the Victoria Day parades available in their community along with their respective families or friends.

Public events

Victoria Day is usually spent with the company of loved ones. Canadians enjoy a lot of outdoor events that the local communities organize for the occasion. As public events such as parades, concerts, sports tournaments, and fireworks-displays are arranged within the day, it is common to see crowds of people gathered in the country’s public areas. Like other Canadian holidays, some big cities in Canada may organize firework shows for Victoria Day. These shows are in fact, one of the highlights for the holiday’s celebration.

Dates of Observance for Victoria Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 May 22 Monday Victoria Day
2024 May 20 Monday Victoria Day
2025 May 19 Monday Victoria Day
2026 May 18 Monday Victoria Day
2027 May 24 Monday Victoria Day
2028 May 22 Monday Victoria Day
Upcoming Canada Holidays
Holiday Date
Civic Holiday August 01, 2022
Labour Day September 05, 2022
Thanksgiving October 10, 2022