Monday, May 19, 2008

We have a National Holiday in Canada on Monday - It is called Victoria Day !

Dear Children,

The country that we know as Canada was first inhabited by Native People. In the 1600s, French explorers, attracted by the fur trade, began to settle in what we now call Quebec and Ontario. Later, English speaking settlers arrived from Britain and began to compete with the French.

In 1759 French and British soldiers fought a battle on the plains of Abraham in Quebec. After the English won, Canada became part of the British Empire. Queen Victoria reigned as queen of England and the British Empire ( including Canada) from 1837 until 1901. During her lengthy reign, many important events and changes happened in Canada.

Confederation took place on July 1, 1867. Confederation means the birth of Canada. On that day, with the approval of the British Parliament, the British North America Act became law. It united Canada's first four provinces and confirmed the parliamentary system as the form of the government. Another important event that helped to unify Canada was the completion of a transcontinental railway in 1885. A large number of workers who built the railroad were from abroad, many were Chinese. The railroad also made the prairies and British Columbia more accessible to immigrants.

During Queen Victoria's reign, Canadians celebrated her birthday on May 24. Victoria Day became a national holiday in 1901. Every province celebrates it except Quebec. Since 1952 the celebrations fall on the Monday before May 24, so everyone has a long weekend. O Kay that is the end of the history lesson. On Monday night we'll go to the park with family and friends to see the fireworks. Most people look forward to Victoria Day because it is a long weekend and marks the arrival of warmer weather. For a lot of people it is the weekend to plant flowers and vegetables in gardens or in boxes on apartment balconies.

We Wish You all a Happy Long Weekend!!

With Love, AmmaNana