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Celebrated in many countries, Thanksgiving is a day to be thankful for all the blessings in the past year. Thanksgiving day is joyfully celebrated in the United States, Canada, Liberia, Saint Lucia, and Grenada, though every country has different traditions and customs.
Coming up in a few days on the second Monday in October is the Canadian Thanksgiving. Canadian Celebrated on October 11th, thanksgiving day is an official national holiday and is celebrated as a three-day thanksgiving weekend in Canada.
7 Things You Need To Know About Canadian Thanksgiving
1. History Of Canadian Thanksgiving
Although Canadian Thanksgiving is a day celebrated nationwide, giving thanks for a bountiful harvest and blessings received in the year, the origin of Canadian Thanksgiving does not involve the harvest season.
Canadian thanksgiving origin started in 1578 when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a thanksgiving meal with his crew to thank God for reaching the shores of North America, today a northern Canadian territory, Nunavut.
Martin Frobisher went on three voyages to discover the Northwest Passage and discovered Labrador or Frobisher bay instead. As the story goes, Martin Frobisher and his crew held the first thanksgiving dinner in Canada with beef, peas, and biscuits as a thanksgiving ceremony for arriving safely. Thus the English explorers celebrated the first Canadian Thanksgiving forty years earlier than the American Thanksgiving.
After that, the first Canadian Thanksgiving did not take place in the country officially until April 5th, 1872. In 1872, the first Thanksgiving after Confederation was celebrated as a day of gratitude for the recovery of Prince of Wales.
2. Why Is Canadian Thanksgiving Celebrated On the Second Monday of October?
Canadian Thanksgiving was declared a national statutory holiday by the Parliament of Canada in 1879, November 11th was announced as the official Thanksgiving holiday. Post World War I, Armistice Day and the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday clashed on November 11th.
Thereafter, November 11th was modified as a Remembrance day celebration. Later on, a different date, i.e., the second Monday of October, was decided as Thanksgiving day and an official statutory holiday by the parliament of Canada on January 31st, 1957.
The holiday goes way back to 1578, having a long history of being celebrated on different dates. Ever since the declaration by the parliament, the Canadian Thanksgiving has been observed with utmost joy and enthusiasm on Monday, October 11th. After being set on the second Monday in October, Canadian Thanksgiving has been falling on the same day as Columbus Day in America since 1971.
3. Significance Of Turkey & Pumpkin Pie On Thanksgiving Day
Canadian thanksgiving celebrations mark their opening with a big dining table decorated with a lot of delicious food. In addition to roast turkey being the main dish, pumpkin pie, whipped sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce are the classic dishes and hence are placed center stage on the dinner table.
Although many people opt out of the classics, turkey and chicken, and prepare a boiled meat dish of their choice. Along with the leading dishes, the thanksgiving feast involves the Canadian staple dish, mashed potatoes, and many more Canadian delicacies. Though the spirit of thanksgiving celebration is alike, the thanksgiving dishes might not be.
Every province in Canada has a different food tradition; Newfoundland enjoys the Jiggs’ dinner, including salt beef and split pea pudding as their thanksgiving dinner. Brome lake duck maple tourtière is a meat pie made with duck and maple syrup is commonly enjoyed by people in Quebec on Thanksgiving.
People in Ontario prefer butter tarts and bite-sized pastry shells, including syrupy filling for their thanksgiving dessert. For dessert, apple pie is also a popular choice for Thanksgiving, a very delicious yet straightforward dessert itself; this dessert compliments the delicious food in this particular meal.
4. Thanksgiving Canadian Football League
On Thanksgiving, the football league is a renowned tradition in Canada, mostly commonly called the Thanksgiving Day Classic. The CFL or the ‘ Canadian Football League’ brings with it excitement and a fun long weekend. The three-day weekend with football and delicious food makes this national holiday even more special to all the football fans.
The Grey Cup also features fabulous music artists during halftime every year, amazing music artists like Shania Twain, Imagine dragons have lifted spirits during CFL many times. The CFL played the first thanksgiving game in 1958. The formation of the CFL in 1958 made the thanksgiving football league possible every year.
5. How is American Thanksgiving Different From Canadian Thanksgiving?
Although the two neighbors share the same holiday and have many similar factors, many features make American Thanksgiving different from Canadian Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving in Canada is often misjudged as an American counterpart. However, the holiday celebrated in these two countries has similarities, Thanksgiving in Canada is a different holiday than the one celebrated in America.
Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated for a different reason. The Americans celebrate Thanksgiving for the feast shared among the pilgrims and native Americans in 1612. While the Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving, observing general Thanksgiving for the harvest and blessings. The origin of the holiday in Canada began when the English explorers shared their first feast of Thanksgiving for the safe passage to Frobisher bay in 1578.
The football and the thanksgiving day parade tradition are similar traditions for the two countries on holiday. Football and the marching bands in the thanksgiving parade in America mark the Thanksgiving celebrations. On the other hand, Canada has a simple thanksgiving, though they also have football; the thanksgiving day parade isn’t a massive celebration on this holiday.
Thanksgiving in America also means ‘Black Friday the ultimate Friday right after November 25th is when many stores in America offer huge discounts. Although Canada does not have a black Friday on Thanksgiving, a similar shopping day occurs in Canada on December 26, on Boxing day. Boxing day was at first a day of giving charity to people who had to work during Christmas. Today on this day, stores across the nation open early and offer fantastic discounts.
Another feature that distinguishes between the two holidays is the dates. America celebrates its Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November on 25th November. At the same time, the Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving on October 11, Monday.
Food brings everyone together, much applicable on this day. The Americans and Canadians have various similarities with slight differences in their thanksgiving menu. Though both countries serve the turkey and pumpkin pie on this day, many Canadians switch to other meat instead of turkey. In addition to this, the pumpkin pie served by Canadians has a spicy taste rather than the sweet pumpkin pie served in America.
The festive holiday weekend is celebrated with love and enthusiasm in both countries. While the Americans celebrate this day in the form of a nationwide holiday, that is not the same with Canada.
Although it is celebrated in the entire country, it is an optional holiday for the Atlantic provinces, including Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia.
As the employers are not liable to pay their workers on their day off on this day, Scottie Andrew mentions in his article that the families celebrate their Thanksgiving a day before.
6. Traditions of Canadian Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated with enthusiasm being grateful for the plentiful harvest and blessings. Celebrated on the second Monday in October, this day in Canada is celebrated with delectable food on the table with CFL on the television, and the entire family gathered around for this blessed day.
Although this is a simple day in Canada, the Kitchener-Waterloo Oktober Fest Thanksgiving parade lifts the spirits for everyone. Along with these traditions celebrated nationwide, every family across the country has its practices when it comes to Thanksgiving.
Although the holiday is celebrated with the same spirit across the country, every family in every province has its own unique Thanksgiving traditions. Food is the most common factor in Thanksgiving to which this particular tradition is incorporated.
Turkey being a typical main dish in many homes, most Canadian families prefer other meat options such as Ham. The vegetable dish filled up to the brim has many unique recipes attached to it.
Though the holiday is about being thankful for blessings, it also brings us together with our differences. The thanksgiving holiday celebrated in Canada has many traditions to it in addition to the classics.
Canadian Thanksgiving 2021
To most people in Canada, this day is known as Jour de l’Action de grâce. This day is all about closing down the cottages and spending a good weekend with their family in Canada. 2021 Canadian Thanksgiving is expected to be celebrated with as much joy as the years before.
Kitchener-Waterloo Oktober Fest Thanksgiving parade will be broadcasted to people all over the country. Canada’s largest parade is scheduled to start at 8:30 AM, making its way through King St to Kitchener, Waterloo.
The CFL is expected to bring up the enthusiasm just as years before this one. Though Thanksgiving is not a statutory holiday in a few provinces in Canada, it does not stop the people from celebrating it.
Even though the long weekend is missed but is recovered with the Thanksgiving feast on the day before. The spirit of Thanksgiving encourages us to be thankful for all the blessings and be optimistic for the coming year. Like the years before, this day will be celebrated in 2021 with utmost love, gratitude, and joy.
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