Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving Quick Facts - US

AKA NameCanadian Thanksgiving
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2023 DateOctober 9, 2023
2024 DateOctober 14, 2024

Canadian Thanksgiving

Canadian Thanksgiving in
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Canadian Thanksgiving is a time when families in Canada gather to share a meal, give thanks, and celebrate the harvest season. The observance is filled with warmth, togetherness, and gratitude, emphasizing the importance of recognizing and expressing appreciation for life's many blessings. As families come together, delicious food, heartfelt conversations, and cherished memories hold center stage.

The history of Canadian Thanksgiving can be traced back to 1578 when English explorer Martin Frobisher held a celebration to thank God for his safe journey. Aspects of this observance that may be of particular interest to people in America include its religious and cultural associations, as well as the shared connection to harvest time. Both Canadian and American versions of Thanksgiving center around giving thanks, with delicious food and family gatherings as integral parts of each celebration. Moreover, the focus on acknowledging and appreciating life's blessings resonates across both cultures, providing an opportunity to embrace similarities and learn from each other’s customs.

Though Canadian Thanksgiving is not typically observed in America, the customs and traditions associated with it share many similarities with American Thanksgiving celebrations. Families come together for a feast that often includes turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, and other seasonal favorites, along with an array of mouthwatering desserts. Common activities during Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations include spending quality time with loved ones, engaging in outdoor activities to enjoy the beauty of the season, and reflecting on the many reasons for gratitude. Canadian Thanksgiving occurs on the second Monday of October, offering a time for both Canadians and those in America with Canadian roots to celebrate and give thanks.

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Top facts about Canadian Thanksgiving

  • Thanksgiving is not an official statutory holiday in the Maritime provinces of Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
  • 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. - Parliament Proclamation (January 31, 1957)
  • The first Canadian Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1578, more than 40 years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts for the American Thanksgiving.
  • During the American Revolution, many British Loyalists fled to Canada, bringing with them their tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving.
  • Canadian Thanksgiving actually predates American Thanksgiving by more than 40 years, as it was first celebrated in 1578 while American Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621.
  • The first-ever Canadian Thanksgiving Day Classic took place in 1958, with two games being played on the holiday.

Top things to do for Canadian Thanksgiving in the US

  • Watch the Canadian Football League Thanksgiving Day Classic football matches held in Montreal over the long weekend.
  • Use the long weekend to start decorating your home for Halloween.
  • Celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving by making Nanaimo Bars at home. This no-bake dessert is a Canadian specialty, layered with a crumb-based crust, custard flavoured butter icing and a layer of chocolate on top.
  • Some restaurants may offer a special Canadian Thanksgiving menu for the holiday. This can include traditional Canadian dishes like turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.
  • Canadians living in the United States might choose to celebrate by hosting a Thanksgiving dinner with their American friends, introducing them to the Canadian holiday and sharing traditional foods.
  • For many Canadians, watching Canadian Football League (CFL) games is a popular Thanksgiving tradition. In the United States, Canadians might gather at sports bars or other venues to watch the games, though this depends on regional availability of these broadcasts.

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