- Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day (Action de grâce in French), is an annual one-day holiday to give thanks for all that one has at the end of the harvest season.
- In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.
- Although the Monday is the statutory holiday, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving on any day of the three-day weekend (Saturday, Sunday or Monday).
- The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient. He did not succeed but he did establish a settlement in Canada. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. This is considered the first Canadian Thanksgiving, and the first Thanksgiving to have taken place in North America.
- After the Seven Year's War ended in 1763, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving.
- During the American Revolution, Americans who remained loyal to England moved to Canada where they brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada.
- The first Thanksgiving Day in Canada after Confederation was observed on April 15, 1872, to celebrate the recovery of The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.
Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed year to year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In the early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary
After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.
On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
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
- Today, Thanksgiving provides an opportunity for Canadians to give thanks for having the good fortune to live in a bountiful, free country, and to celebrate that day by feasting with family and friends.
- Most families in Canada celebrate Thanksgiving with a special dinner for family and friends. The traditional dinner often includes a roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes, vegetables and apple or pumpkin pie.
- I hope all Canadians, no matter where they are living, have a very happy Thanksgiving this coming weekend!
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Thursday Thirteen: Canadian Thanksgiving
Monday, October 8th, Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving. In honour of this upcoming holiday, I bring you:
#36 - 13 Things About Canadian Thanksgiving