Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Queen's Birthday or Queen's Official Birthday is celebrated as a public holiday in several Commonwealth countries (usually Commonwealth realms). It is also celebrated in Fiji, now a republic. The exact date celebrated varies from country to country, and is usually not the current Queen's actual birthday, April 21. When the reigning British monarch is a King, then it is known as the King's Birthday or King's Official Birthday.
In the United Kingdom, the day is now the second Saturday in June. Although not a bank holiday (as it not a working day), Civil Servants are given a "privilege day" at this time of year, which is merged with the late-May bank holiday to create a long weekend. The Birthday Honours List is released at this time.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia (except Western Australia, which has a Foundation Day a week earlier), has the Official Birthday be the second Monday in June. The only civic occasion of note associated with the day is the release of the "Queen's Birthday honours list", on which new members are inducted into the Order of Australia. It also serves as the opening weekend to Australia's snow season, though it is quite common for there to be no skiable snow until much later. One reason why the holiday survives, despite the lack of enthusiasm for the subject, is the lack of other public holidays and celebrations in Australia's winter months (as distinct from the Northern Hemisphere where Christmas and New Year's Day fall in the middle of winter).
In New Zealand, it is the first Monday in June, and owing to the climate being colder than Australia's, does usually serve as the opening weekend to the country's snow season.
According to the legislation creating Victoria Day, Canada celebrates the Queen's official birthday in May. It is always celebrated on the Monday on or before May 24 in honor of Queen Victoria's birthday. For Canadians it is often considered the beginning of Summer, when theme parks, outdoor pools and other summer activites are opened or begin.
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