Thanksgiving Day


Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving (action de grâce in French) or Thanksgiving day, is an official statutory holiday in all Canadian provinces and territories except Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Canadians have been celebrating Thanksgiving day as an official statutory holiday since 1879. The dates were not fixed as some provinces celebrated it in October and some in November. Beginning in 1921, Thanksgiving and Armistice Day (Remembrance Day) were celebrated on the same day — the first Monday in the week when 11th November comes every year. On January 31, 1957, the Governor General of Canada Vincent Massey issued a proclamation, and the second Monday in October is officially declared as Thanksgiving Day. So 11th November was set as Remembrance Day thereafter.

The first Thanksgiving celebration in Canada took place in 1578 when the English explorer Martin Frobisher and his crew had a special feast to thank God for granting them safe passage through Northern Canada. Even though Thanksgiving began in Canada, in the United States thanksgiving day is celebrated on a different day, the fourth Thursday in November. But in both countries, the holiday celebrates the same cause, thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest. Many people in both countries consider it to be an important time for families to gather and enjoy a meal together.

Thanksgiving meals are the most important celebration on Canadian Thanksgiving Day. Pumpkin pie and Turkey are the common dishes, but butter tarts are special in Ontario, Nanaimo bars in British Columbia, Jiggs’ dinner in Newfoundland, etc. Like American Thanksgiving day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t a part of Canadian Thanksgiving. In Canada, the thanksgiving long weekend celebrates with outdoor activities, family/friends get together, and of course, the Thanksgiving meals that start on Friday afternoon.

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