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Happy Victoria Day: Fire up Your Barbecues

    Queen Victoria Day

    I propose a reconsideration of the name for Victoria Day in Canada – how about rebranding it as BBQ Day? The rationale behind this suggestion becomes apparent after witnessing the extensive queues for propane refills over the weekend, aligning the celebration with the widespread tradition of barbecues during this time.

    By renaming Victoria Day to BBQ Day, we not only embrace the contemporary Canadian affinity for barbecues but also infuse a lighthearted spirit into the celebration, making it more reflective of the nation’s vibrant and diverse cultural landscape.

    Queen Victoria, whose reign spanned from 1837 to 1901, was not only the second-longest-reigning monarch in British history but also a significant figure in the development of the British Empire. Her era, known as the Victorian era, was marked by industrial progress, cultural transformation, and the expansion of the British Empire to its zenith.

    Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, played a pivotal role in popularizing certain traditions, including the celebration of Christmas and the exchange of Christmas cards. Their influence on the cultural landscape extended to various aspects of daily life. Let’s explore a few interesting facts about Queen Victoria to add a touch of historical context to this proposal.

    • Queen Victoria was only 18 when she came to the throne!
    • She was born on the 24th of May 1819.
    • Her father died eight months after she was born.
    • She died on 22nd January 1901, at the age of 81.
    • She had 9 children.
    • She married her first cousin, Prince Albert.
    • She wore a white wedding dress and set the worldwide trend of white wedding dresses.
    • Her first language was German but she also spoke English, French and Hindi.
    • Most of their children married into Europe’s Royal Family.
    • In 1897, Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, which commemorated 60 years on the throne.
    • She survived 7 assassination attempts
    • Queen Elisabeth the Second is Queen Victoria’s granddaughter
    • Her family nickname was “Drina”
    • She enjoyed singing, painting, and drawing
    • Victoria had reigned for 63 years, 7 months, and 2 days
    • She had 40 grandchildren
    • She had 37 great-grandchildren

    Queen Victoria’s favorite food was the raised pie. The pie was made from turkey and chicken that was stuffed with woodcock and pastry.

    Across Canada, Victoria Day serves as the unofficial marker of the end of winter, and the beginning of summer. Alternative and slang names for Victoria Day are May Two-Four (after the two-fourths of beer usually consumed on this day) and Firecracker Day in Ontario.  In Quebec it’s anything but Victoria Day. I’ll stick with BBQ Day. (It’s a long story, you have to be there to understand.)

    Tony M.