As a Canadian living in the United States, I am very thankful to be enjoying Thanksgiving for the second time this year! Many Americans that I meet are surprised to hear that Canadians have their own Thanksgiving. Canadians celebrate in October. Why October? well, I think its because Canada is further north and we harvest our crops earlier. Thanksgiving is centered around being thankful for the bountiful harvest and our blessings from the year gone by. The history of Thanksgiving in Canada can be traced back to the 1578 voyage of Martin Frobisher from England in search of the Northwest Passage. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. Thanksgiving is a statutory holiday in most of Canada. The Monday is the official holiday but families gather to enjoy a meal on either day during the long weekend. Canadians traditionally eat a turkey dinner, lots of the fall vegetables and pumpkin or apple pie is a traditional dessert.
I guess in all fairness I should share some information about the history of American Thanksgiving too. Many people trace the origins of the modern Thanksgiving Day to the harvest celebration that the Pilgrims held in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. Thanksgiving Day is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. The meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, and vegetables. Thanksgiving Day is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.Thanksgiving Day parades are held in some cities and towns on or around Thanksgiving Day. Some parades or festivities also mark the opening of the Christmas shopping season. Most people have a four-day weekend so it is a popular time for trips and to visit family and friends. Thanksgiving is the biggest travel time of the year.
In my opinion, American Thanksgiving is a much bigger event then Canadian Thanksgiving. In Canada, it is really just a 3 day long week-end to give thanks with your family and enjoy a meal. American do it up BIG and they all LOVE Thanksgiving. They eat, give thanks, shop, go to parades, play football, eat some more. So many Americans I know, put up their Christmas trees. I see the American holiday as a kick off to the whole holiday season leading into Christmas.
I have a few dear American friends that live in Canada and I have some wonderful American friends too. I love that almost all of them consider Thanksgiving their favourite holiday of the year. It is great to be thankful for a day that is all about families gathering together!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING AMERICANS! enjoy your day!
photo borrowed from: http://www.newlafayette.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Thanksgiving-dinner.jpg
my Thanksgiving “research” is from Wikipedia.
(opinions and Thanksgiving information from a Canadian girl living in Kansas)