It is no wonder we Canadians get confused and present a confusing state to countries far and wide.
In Canada, our first, three-day, summer weekend is a weekend of 'not reallys'. Often as not, despite the media proclaiming it our first, long weekend of the summer - it isn't summer at all. When my sons were children, the May 24th long weekend was the weekend of fireworks. Some years, spectators arrived in shorts and tank tops, sporting their first, burnt, red skin of the season. Other years, we wore our ski suits, toques and mittens to watch the fireworks display. Summer? Not really.
The May 24th long weekend was created to celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday. In years past, and even by some still today, it was and is called The Victoria Day Weekend. Since Queen Victoria's death, the first, summer, long weekend has been used to celebrate the reigning monarch's birthday. In French, it is called 'La Fete de la Reigne' - party of the Queen. While indeed Queen Victoria was born on May 24th, 1819, no reigning monarch since has been born on that day. Queen Elizabeth was born April 21, 1926. Is the May Two-Four our reigning monarch's birthday? Not really.
The May 24th long weekend is a federal Canadian holiday. It is to be celebrated on the Monday prior to May 25th. This year, we celebrate on May 18th. Is that the 24th of May? Not really.
Canadians see the long weekend as the perfect start point to summer activities. Parks and campgrounds have long been booked full in anticipation of this first summer long weekend. While cottagers head to their cabins, city dwellers look for outdoor patios. With temps in our area ranging from 12 to 18 degrees over the next three days, will it be sunny and warm enough to enjoy these activities this year? Not really.
About the only thing that will remain really true about our May Two Four this year, is the play on words used by most Canadians to describe the weekend. We call it the May Two-Four. Describes not only the date, but the size of a case of beer. Does it have to be the Queens' birthday, hot or summery or even May 24th to enjoy a cold one? Not really.
Have a great long weekend, my fellow Canadians. Indoors or outdoors, enjoy yourself and happy knitting.