Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Thanksgiving in Canada


Today is Thanksgiving in Canada, a secular national holiday. Thanksgiving is celebrated the second Monday each October to give thanks to the abundance and end of harvest season. Canadians celebrate it by spending time with the family and eating a huge meal, that will often include pumpkins and turkey. The conclusion of harvest comes early in Canada because it is so north and the frosty and snowy season therefore comes early.

Some people do thank higher powers for this holiday. Canadian Parliament stated in 1957: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”

Some give the holiday religious esteem, similar to the Jewish celebration of Sukkot. Some Christians will decorate churches with things like corn, pumpkins, wheat and whatever other symbolizes crops of the season. There are also parades in some cities.

Even though the actual Thanksgiving is today, Canadians do not necessarily celebrate it on the exact time. They might feast on Saturday or Sunday of this three-day weekend. Outdoorsy Canadians will take the holiday to go out to the country, and hike, fish or spend time in the cottage and observe the autumn leaves. Those who stay at home can enjoy the Canadian Football League’s “Thanksgiving Day Classic.” If you are an expat, you might get work off to enjoy such lovely activities.

The history of Thanksgiving began with the English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been exploring Canada to try to set up a passageway to the Orient. Though unsuccessful in his original goal, he settled in Newfoundland in 1578 and gave a festival of thanks for having survived such a long odyssey. French settlers would also form festivals of thanks with the natives in Canada during this era. Citizens of Halifax celebrated Thanksgiving after the end of the Seven Years War in 1763. During the American Revolution, Americans who were very loyal to Great Britain would migrate to Canada. They brought many of the customs and practices of the American holiday, such as cornucopias and pumpkin pie, so Canadian Thanksgiving is similar to American. Parliament tried to establish Thanksgiving as November 6th in 1879, but this date was not set in stone. As stated before, it was finalized in 1957, as has been celebrated annually ever since.


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