Well, Victoria Day weekend, at least. The actual Victoria Day is May 24th. (Queen Victoria's birthday.) This is a long weekend holiday for us.
Kirsten, Bree, and Felicity are going camping with one of their friends' families - believe it or not, their campground has internet access, so they may stop by and say hi. The rest of us are having a barbecue in the backyard tomorrow; our neighbours are going to join us. No school for anyone on Monday! Should be fun.
If you know much about the history of our province, you may be wondering why we celebrate Victoria Day...
Yeah, Canada recognizes the British monarchy as ours also, but Newfoundlanders have in general had pretty mixed feelings about the royals ever since World War I, when an entire generation of young men was lost, poorly equipped and trained and basically used as cannon fodder. Newfoundland didn't become part of Canada until the late 1940's; it was British till then, and loyalty to the then-king provided a major incentive for men and boys to join the army in the first world war. So it seemed like a betrayal, not just a military defeat, when so many died needlessly because they were considered expendable.
For a pithy but accurate explanation of this, Great Big Sea has addressed it in a couple of songs. For the history, see "Recruiting Sergeant." Then the more modern view is summed up in another song, "Over the Hills." Specifically the "The queen has called and we obey"/"We owe the crown and now we'll pay..." lines.
Recruiting Sergeant song and Lyrics
Most references in the song should be clear, but the CLB is the Church Lads' Brigade, an organization for boys age 4 to 21. It's sort of like cross between Boy Scouts and religious ROTC. "The stone men on Water Street" describes a war memorial that has become a major local landmark.
Over the Hills (really terrible sound quality, sorry!) or Sample (higher quality but a short section) and Lyrics
So why do we celebrate Victoria Day? From what we understand... mainly as an excuse for a holiday! It's seen as the end of the long winter, and most people will either go camping or at the very least spend some time outdoors. Hopefully no more snow. We'll be enjoying our long weekend!
The Green Girls