Very few communities still celebrate May Day, or Victoria Day, the way Langley does.
For decades, the community has held its May Day parades and crowned May Queens on the days of the long weekend.
There are parades and picnics, and fundraisers. And most of the time, it doesn’t even rain, thanks to May being the first (mostly) nice month of the year.
The celebration is linked to British Columbia’s continued celebration of Queen Victoria’s birthday. It was Queen Victoria who named British Columbia, replacing old names such as New Caledonia or Columbia District. And while she presided over the British Empire during the time Canada came into being, the fact that she re-named us seems to have given her a special place in West Coast history.
Perhaps that’s why our May Day celebration looks back towards an idealized version of the Victorian era.
Go to the May Day parade and you’ll see modernized versions of the kind of celebrations that were common more than a century ago.
While some things have changed, you might see horses pulling buggies and hear pipe bands, maybe see a few Mounties in their old-style red serge.
Some things have been modernized, for the better.
But the best reason for celebration Victoria Day, and May Day, remain the same. The year is on the cusp between spring and summer. The weather may finally cooperate. It’s a nice time of year to get outside, watch a parade, and get to know the community we call home, once again.