May 14 2009 by Bryson Forbes
Victoria Day, more affectionately named May Two Four weekend, is upon us already! The holiday officially recognizes the birthday of Queen Victoria (May 24, 1819) and has been a holiday and cause for celebration in Canada dating back to 1854, her 35th. It is celebrated the Monday prior to May 24th and this year is as early as it can ever be, with the holiday falling on May 18th.
Unofficially however, this weekend signifies the end of winter in Canada and that warmer weather is ahead. "May Two Four" is a double entendre used to indicate the date, or the case of beer (24 beers total) that many enjoy to help celebrate the weekend.
There are many traditions that happen on May Two Four weekend. For some, it is the weekend to get the outdoor work around the house done. They spend the weekend cutting the grass and planting the garden. For others, this is the weekend to get away to the cottage, open it up for the first time, get out the boats and kick-start the season.
Yet another group of Canadians see this as the start of road trip season. I have long been a May Two Four road tripper and here are a few tips to help you this weekend:
1) Buy your beer early if you can! Line ups at The Beer Store on Friday at 5:00pm will make the ones at passport office look short. Go Thursday if you can.
2) Fill up your gas tank early as well. You can set your watch to the stations magically raising prices Friday morning!
3) Expect traffic and enjoy the ride. You are not getting there in record time anyway. The police will be in full force looking for those in a hurry. You'll get there eventually and if you do so without a ticket you'll be in a much better mood.
4) Pack for different weather! Although this is the unofficial start of the warm weather season, the weather this weekend can fluctuate enormously. Just because Friday is 24 degrees and sunny doesn't guarantee Sunday wont be 8 degrees and raining. Be prepared!
Enjoy and be safe. Let me know some of your May Two Four traditions! Cheers!