Tuesday May 16, 2017

Victoria Day? May Two-Four? What do you call the long weekend?

The 180 surveyed Canadians to find out what they call the long weekend in May.

The 180 surveyed Canadians to find out what they call the long weekend in May. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

The results are in: Canadians are divided about what to call the long weekend. 

It's May Long to most of the Prairies, for example, and May Two-Four in Ontario. Victoria Day is the overall winner across the country, but it's certainly not the overwhelming favourite. 

Queen Victoria and beer

Queen Victoria, and beer: just two of the namesakes for Canada's long weekend in May.

The 180 conducted an online survey, and gathered your feedback via email, Facebook, and Twitter as well. With the help of about a thousand people, we determined the trends shown in the map above. 

We also heard about some more region-specific names. 

May Run, for example, is used in both the Maritimes and in northeastern Ontario. Maritimer Dan Viau says he thinks the name, at least in Eastern Canada, comes from a one-time tradition of young people spending the weekend at a drag race on P.E.I.:

"Carloads of young people would make the trip across to the Island on the ferries from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to attend. Campgrounds surrounding Oyster Bed Bridge, in the middle of the Island's summer beach resort area, would open just for the long weekend... and be filled with partying young folks."

Fireworks Guelph Canada Day

(Kate Bueckert/CBC)

If you live in Sydney, Nova Scotia, you may know Monday as Hiking Day

If you grew up in Toronto, or parts of Ontario, in the 50s and 60s, you may know the day as Firecracker or Fireworks Day, because that's how you celebrated the weekend back then. 

If you like to fish, you may know the weekend as Opening Weekend.

Calgary snow

Snow in Calgary on the May Long weekend, 2016. (Rob Brown/@cbcrob/Twitter)

If you live in Quebec, you may be very confused about what to call it. After all, the province changed the official name in 2003, and it's still known by a variety of things in both French and English (and franglais: long weekend de mai, anyone?)

If you're in southern Alberta, you know Janet Lymer is spot-on with her definition: One more snowy weekend in Calgary.

And, if you live in Victoria, B.C., well, it should come as no surprise that Victoria Day is your phrase of choice. 

Whatever you call it, happy long weekend from the crew at The 180!