by Anita Mae Draper
It's Victoria Day in Canada today! Ah, the freedom. But it's not political freedom we're talking here. Canada attained independence in 1982 although it's still a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and has the reigning British monarch as a figurehead.
Yes, Victoria Day in Canada means:
- Freedom from clothes! Leave that outerwear behind and feel the breeze on your bare skin. Yeehaw!
- Freedom to plant! It doesn't matter where you live in Canada, you can safely plant your garden on or after Victoria Day and you don't have to worry about frost.
- Freedom to camp! Yes, campgrounds open this weekend and quickly fill with exuberant party-goers who've shed their clothes in their eagerness to become mosquito bait.
- Freedom to suntan! Canadians suffer more sunburns on Victoria Day weekend because of all those clothes they've left behind in the house.
- Freedom to go to the beach! Regardless of how cold that water is, all beaches in Canada open for public swimming and scantily-clad bodies show off their ghastly white skin*.
- Freedom to open the cottage. Highways are jammed as cottage country owners leave their urban homes to spend the weekend mucking dead moths, flies and rodent feces out of their chosen home-away-from-home.
Need I say, Canadians thrive on Victoria Day.
Victoria was born in 1819. She took over the throne in 1837 at the young age of 18 upon the death of her uncle George IV. She ruled as queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India until her death in 1901, when her son Edward the VII became the King of England.
Here's a Canadian 5 cent piece from 1899 and yes, that's a young Queen Victoria you see there.