In honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday, I fled to the country this weekend to enjoy a long weekend of peace and relaxation. While I didn’t end up succumbing to The Rapture, I definitely didn’t squeeze in much R&R either.
For those non-Canadians out there, and those Canadians that just don’t pay attention, the May long weekend is generally known as the unofficial beginning of Summer season in Canada. Which is a bit strange since its clearly located in the middle of Spring, and if memory serves, is more often than not miserable and cold. The weekend, colloquially known as ‘May Two-Four’, is in fact the celebration of a long dead Queen’s birthday not a weekend commemorating a case of beer. Nowadays, the weekend actually marks the celebration of the current Monarch’s birthday. This means we celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s birthday about a month late – but hey, its better BBQ weather, right?
Either than BBQ’s and fireworks, I wasn’t aware of any traditions that are carried out on this holiday annually. However, after a brief perusal of the Victoria Day wikipedia site, I found out the following information:
- The Royal Union Flag must be flown at all federal government buildings from sunrise to sunset – as long as a second flag pole exists since this flag can never replace our National Flag (the mighty Maple Leaf)
- 21 gun salutes, known as Royal Salutes, are fired in each provincial capital and in the National capital at noon
- Several cities, most notably Victoria, host Parades
While I didn’t attend any Parades, fire any guns or do much of anything with a flagpole, I did have a great weekend. Jillian and I, having taken the Rapture warnings seriously, partied like there was no tomorrow on Friday night with Mr. Moustache – even choosing to share one seat together in the cab on the way home, despite there being plenty of room. Apparently we also entertained our cab driver with some colourful commentary. I say ‘apparently’ because Nancy remembers naught of this ride home, or of getting into the house and securely into bed.
I continued my weekend of festivites by spending an afternoon shopping in upstate New York with a spiked Diet Coke, and then hitting the town again with Jillian. I distinctly remember arriving back at home with a gang of misfits that night, but was thoroughly confused when I woke up on the couch sometime the next morning. Apparently I missed one hell of an after hours party – although I was sort of involved, since I was sleeping on the floor for part of it, and on the couch for the rest. I also have a mysteriously sore nose that was clearly banged into something with quite some force, fingers crossed for no black eyes!
Queen Elizabeth II, your birth has officially been celebrated – now let me get back to my recovery.