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Victoria Day, fête de la Reine

Victoria Day is observed in Canada on May 24th or on the preceding Monday. This date is a statutory holiday in all Canadian territories and in six out of ten provinces.


The holiday was established in 1845 to commemorate the birthday of Queen Victoria (the British monarch who later gave royal assent to Confederation). But it was not until 1901, the year of Victoria’s death, that the holiday officially became known as Victoria Day. Since that time, the holiday has commemorated the birthday of the current monarch, as well.


The French name for Victoria Day is la fête de la Reine. However, in Quebec, this date is celebrated as la Journée nationale des patriotes, or National Patriots’ Day, in memory of Anglophone and Francophone activists who fought for democratic government in 19th-century Quebec.